TCN Loses 4 Towers To Vandalism, Tasks NASS On Funding

From Lateef Taiwo

The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, says four, 4, towers along the Jos – Gombe 330kV transmission line have been vandalised.

A statement signed by the company’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, affirmed that the incident happened at about 3:32pm on Monday, 22nd April, 2024.

According to TCN, when the 330kV transmission line tripped, its operators attempted to restore it to service but it tripped again, prompting the dispatch of TCN lines men to trace the line in order to detect and rectify the fault.

“While fault tracing, TCN’s engineering crew discovered that
towers 288, 289 , 290, and 291 were vandalised and that some tower members were carted away. Also, the towers had equally collapsed as a result of the incident.

“Presently, bulk power supply to Gombe, Yola, and Jalingo Substations have been disrupted, affecting bulk power supply to parts of Yola and Jos Electricity Distribution Companies’ franchise areas.

“To mitigate the effect of the incident on electricity consumers affected by the incident, TCN is trying to first back feed Gombe through its 132kV transmission line from Bauchi and subsequently Ashaka, Potiskum, Damaturu, and Billiri/ Savannah,” TCN noted.

Vandalisation of power towers around the country has become a recurring decimal in recent times. Just weeks ago, the Katampe-Shiroro Transmission Line was vandalised.

This latest incident coincided with the Senate’s oversight visit to the Ministry of Power on Monday where TCN’ Managing Director, Engr Sule Abdulaziz mentioned vandalism as one of the major clogs in the wheel of progress for the company

Having fingered underfunding as a major bane, the MD asked the National Assembly (NASS) to increase the budgetary allocation to the company to aid in the execution of its over 120 projects.

The MD lamented that the N2 billion which TCN got from the 2024 budget allocation could only pay compensation.

Hence, he pleaded for an increased budget, and urged the committee to also help in addressing the issue of right of way, advocating a law that would give the right of way to the projects.

Abdulaziz however, disclosed that vandalisation was a huge challenge hampering the projects in the North East and South East, and disclosed that the company was collaborating with a Chinese firm to build a super grid.

The TCN MD attributed the cause of grid collapses which has become so rampant in recent times to vandalisation, underfunding, and the absence of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, SCADA.

Also speaking, an Independent System Operator, ISO, Executive Director, Engr Nafisat Ali, accused the DisCos of load rejection, saying that the development was one of the causes of grid collapse.

In his reaction, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said that his committee would review the penalties for power assets’ vandalisation.

He explained that the members of the committee were on the oversight visit to TCN to find out the challenges that have led to poor supply of electricity to Nigerians and also the reasons for the consistent collapses of the national grid, describing as unacceptable the situation where Nigerians must rely on a private generator for their power needs.


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