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Senator Haruna Manu Leads North East Senators To Protest Blackout In Taraba, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe


 

Disturbed by the incessant vandalization of towers and transmission lines in the North East of Nigeria, the Senate urged the Federal Government to intervene to ameliorate the incessant power blackout in the region.

 

The Senate also passed a resolution urging the Federal Government to allocate funds to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), to enable it to restore power to the Jos-Gombe 330KV transmission line.

 

The followed the adoption of a motion by Sen. Haruna Manu (PDP-Taraba) and co- sponsored by 16 other senators on "Urgent Need to Address the Vandalisation of TCN Transmission Lines in the North-East Region of Nigeria", at plenary on Wednesday.

The Senators which includes: Sen. Abbas Aminu Iya (Adamawa Central); Sen. Kaila Samaila Dahuwa(Bauchi North); Sen. Goje Muhammed Danjuma (Gombe Central); Sen. Kaka Shehu (Borno Central); 

Sen. Geidam Ibrahim (Yobe East) among others

 

Moving the motion, Manu said that that the vandalism of critical electricity transmission infrastructure posed a significant threat to the economic prosperity, public health, safety and security of the zone.

 

"The recent incidents of vandalization along the Jos-Gombe 330KV transmission line have resulted in severe disruptions to power supply affecting millions of residents.

 

"Also affected are hospitals, commercial activities and the overall well-being of the people in Plateau, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Yobe, and Borno.

 

"The indirect effects of power outages on food production further strain food inflation in the country, impacting the availability and affordability of agricultural products, particularly in the north-east which is a major cultivator and producer."

 

 

The Taraba born Senator further explained that the proposed alternative transmission line route, namely the construction of the Makurdi-Jalingo 330KV transmission line, offers a viable solution to mitigate the risks of vandalization and improve the resilience and reliability of the electrical infrastructure in the region.

 

Stressing that "by investing in alternative transmission routes and enhancing security measures, we can safeguard the well-being of our communities, promote economic stability, and ensure the reliable supply of electricity for all residents and businesses.

Senator Manu said that" it is profitable for the nation to enhance accessibility and affordability of high-quality power supply services to support these states and their citizens.

 

Senators, while contributing to the debate on the motion, called for more attention to be given to the wellbeing of the people of the region whom they said, had suffered from long years of neglect.

 

Sen. Kaka Lawan (APC-Borno), informed the senate that prior to the vandalism of the towers last month, some other parts of the north-east had been without light for two years.

 

"The issue of the 330KV line is a recent development. Before now, many parts of the zone had been without light for two years.

 

"Major facilities like airports, hospitals have no light as a result of the activities of vandals," he said.

 

Sen. Ahmad Lawan (APC-Yobe) recalled that as far back as the 90's, the "UNDP categorised the north-east to be the poorest in Nigeria", adding that, " even today, the situation has not changed."

 

He said that although the federal government had intervened in the North East Development Commission (NEDC), the agency had its own limits which would require that the government gave more attention to the zone.

 

Sen. Adamu Aliero (PDP-Kebbi) called for the arrest and prosecution of the vandals to serve as deterrent to other criminals.

 

"Let's find out who the vandals are. It's a crime to go and destroy social infrastructure.

 

"Those who are responsible for this vandalism must be punished.

I am happy that the TCN promised to restore power this weekend. I hope they will keep the promise".

 

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio said that darkness would create opportunities for miscreants and would wreak havoc in the communities.

 

"As much as possible, the TCN should immediately rise to the occasion and the federal ministry of power should ensure that power is restored to the north-east.

 

"This is to aid the security of lives and property which of course, remain the primary focus of government."

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