By Tunde Shorunke
The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, has ordered contractors handling power projects across the country to return to sites as COVID-19 lockdown by the federal government is being relaxed gradually.
Special Adviser, Media and Communication to the Minister, Aaron Artimas, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
Mamman gave the directive during an inspection visit to the new Gagarawa 2 by 60 Mega Volt Amp (MVA) 132/33 Kilo Volt Sub-station being constructed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in Jigawa.
Speaking on the impact of COVID-19 on the power sector, the Minister said the sector was among the worst affected with the entire value chain directly or indirectly counting losses.
“I can tell you that the impact of the pandemic is huge in the power sector as a real service provider.
“We, however, have joined the government effort to restart the economy with the easing of the lockdown and opening of the interstate road.
“I direct all contractors handling power projects to return to sites and work assiduously to recover from the losses recorded during this lockdown,” he said
Speaking on the Gagarawa sub-station, he commended the contractors for their unrelenting dedication to the project.
Mamman said that after completion, the project would boost power supply in over seven Local Government Areas(LGAs) of the including an industrial area.
Gov. Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, who joined on the inspection, commended the efforts of the minister to ensure the projects were delivered after lingering for over 20 years.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support towards delivering key infrastructural in the state.
Nigerian NewsDirect reports that the sub-station was 99 per cent completed and had been energised.
TCN, Acting Managing Director, Mr Suleiman Abdulaziz, who was on the minister’s entourage, was asked to identify and ensure speedy completion of similar sub-stations across the country.