By EMMA UNA
CALABAR—VANDALISATION of power infrastructure is the biggest challenge to power sector reforms, said M inister of State for Power, Alhaji Mohammed Wakil.
According to him, if nothing is done soon to stop the vandals, effective power supply in parts of the country will continue to be far-fetched.
Wakil, who made the revelation in Calabar while Commissioning the new power transmission sub station at Adiabo weekend, stated that vandalisation of power infrastructure was a form of terrorism.
“Some times, youths in the communities where power facilities are located remove some of the components and cables for sale while in some cases, those selling diesel and generating plants willfully destroy power facilities and plunge people into darkness in order for them to patronise their products,” he said.
The Minster Stated that the Ministry of Power had started a campaign to sensitize people, beginning at the state level to the local government, wards, communities and door to door on the need to be vigilant to safeguard the power infrastructure located within their vicinity.
He said: “There is need for the communities to form vigilante groups to protect the power infrastructure located within the community from vandalisation because they are the ones directly benefitting from the infrastructure”.
He stated the terminal power transmission substation was conceived to deliver power from the Alaoji Power Station to Calabar and environs.
“The successful completion of this substation, power supply to Calabar and environs has witnessed a tremendous improvement both in capacity and integrity and the issue of low power voltage previously experienced due to the long distance transmission line from Alaoji to Calabar has been addressed,” the minister said.
Mr Mack Kast, the Managing Director Transmission Company of Nigeria, said the commissioning of 21+ 132MVA station would serve as hub for power to the existing Economic Processing Zones Authority substation as well as others that are being constructed.
He said other substations constructed alongsie the Calabar station located in Kano, Bernin Kebbi, were also ready for commissioning.
He said: “By these projects, President Goodluck Jonathan has demonstrated his continued resolve in ensuring that the transmission agenda for the power sector continues to expand”.