May 18, 2024

North-East govs lambast TCN over power blackout, wait for May 27 deadline

North-East govs lambast TCN over power blackout, wait for May 27 deadline

By Charly Agwam, Bauchi 

The Northeast Governors’ Forum (NEGF) has expressed disappointment over the blackout experienced by the region over the last one month and the alleged nonchalant attitude exhibited by Transmission Company of Nigeria in addressing this issue.

It said the Forum is keenly watching the commitment made by TCN to restore power to all the states of the region by the 27th May, 2024.

This was made known by the Forum through a communique made available to journalists after its 10th meeting which was held in Bauchi yesterday.

“Accordingly, the Forum urged the Federal Government to direct TCN to take immediate action. It has been resolved in the short term, to set up a solar power plant that can generate a minimum 10 Megawatts per State. 

“Forum notes with deep concern that the Northeast, is the only region in Nigeria that has one transmission line supplying six states with a land mass of nearly 300,000 square kilometres and a population of over 35 million. 

“This has made the region the most vulnerable and most disadvantaged for industrial development and economic growth with over 70% of its population below 35 years of age. 

“Forum therefore calls on the Minister of Power and indeed the Federal Government as a matter of urgency to implement the extension of the 330KV transmission line from Makurdi – Gassol – Jalingo linking to Adamawa – Gombe – Bauchi and the extension of the 330KV line from Kano- Bauchi- Yobe, linking to Borno.

“Forum resolved to maximise the existing hydropower generated in Kashimbilla and Dadin Kowa dam which the region has not been benefitting from because of the Ministry of Power has failed to extend the 330KV line of Makurdi – Gassol- Jalingo line,” the Forum said.

The Forum commended the NorthEast Development Commission for developmental projects across the subregion but, however advised its leadership to to be consultative in its dealings, operation and project prioritization, while also calling for investment in agriculture.

“Forum charges the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) to be consultative in its dealings, operation and project prioritization. It calls on the NEDC to work with the States in the region for Energy Development to unlock the energy potentials of the region and lessen the energy paucity burden of the people.

“Forum notes that the world is passing through a horrific food security crisis, especially with the war in Ukraine, climate change and poor agricultural practices. In the Northeast, Member states resolved to continue to invest in the Agriculture Value Chain and encourage the transformation of subsistence farming into SMEs. 

“The member states of the forum will support the procurement of improved drought-resistant and short-maturation seedlings, subsidise fertilizers and ensure that the region specialises in the production of such seeds. The Forum resolved to partner with OCP Africa to support agriculture in the Northeast,” it further stated in its communique.”