Senate wants FG to allocate funds to revive vandalized electricity infrastructure in North East

The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday urged the Federal government to immediately allocate funds through the Ministry of Power to revive vandalized transmission lines infrastructure that supply energy to the North East.

This followed a distress motion sponsored by Senator Haruna Manu representing Taraba Central Senatorial District and co-sponsored by 8 others, highlighting the enormity of life faced by citizens in the affected 6 states due to the total blackout.

He said the entire NorthEast of the country had been without power supply for over a month as a result of incessant vandalisation along the Jos-Gombe 330KV transmission line that has resulted in disruption of power supply, affecting millions of residents.

The blackout, he said, has affected the operation of hospitals, commercial activities, communications networks, public safety and the overall well-being of the people of Plateau, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Yobe and Borno States.

He lamented that the ugly trend has exacerbated insecurity issues, and imposes a heavy financial burden on public resources for the repair and replacement of infrastructural damages.

He said: “The vandalization of critical electricity transmission infrastructure poses a significant threat to the economic prosperity, public health, safety, and security of the North-East region of Nigeria.

“That recent incidents of vandalization along the Jos-Gombe 330KV transmission line have resulted in severe disruptions to power supply, affecting millions of residents, hospitals, commercial activities communication networks, public safety, and the overall well-being of the people in Plateau, Comb Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Yobe, and Borno States.”

In his contribution to the motion, former Senate President and Senator representing Yobe North Senatorial District, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan lamented the underdevelopment of the North East zone.

According to him, the underdevelopment of the zone was reported in the United Nations Report in the 90s, classifying the zone as the poorest out of the 6 zones in terms of economic and infrastructural development, adding that asking for the revival of electricity infrastructure was the smallest compared to what other zones are enjoying.

Senator Ahmed Wadada representing Nasarawa West Senatorial District sympathized with the Senators and constituents that make up the entire North East over electricity blackout, insisting that economic activities have moved from the analogue to the digital era, such that without electricity, no one can virtually do anything to eke out a living.

He said: “I sympathise with the people of North East who have been without light for over a month due to a total blackout. Without electricity, you can’t achieve virtually anything.

“Without natives charging their phones, how do you communicate, do digital banking.”

Wadada urged Senator Godswill Akpabio to change the narrative, given that the present administration has the political wherewithal to ensure the workability of the power sector.

After contributions by other lawmakers, prayers, “urging the FG to expedite the construction of the Makurdi-Jalingo 330KVA transmission line”, and “that the FG should implement the recommendations in Sections 209, 210, 211, 212, and 213 of the Electricity Act, 2023 was sustained after the question was put to vote by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.

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