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Maiduguri outage: Over N1.5bn revenue lost, N880m spent on tower repairs –Minister

A total of N1.17 billion revenue has been lost from January to September 2021 as a result of the vandalism of the power line linking Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, with the national grid following the destruction of the pylons by Boko Haram insurgents. Also, about N55 million revenue had been lost due to the destruction of the Maiduguri-Damboa power line in 2018.

Speaking at a Town Hall Meeting to address vandalisation of power and communication infrastructure, convened by the Federal Ministry of Information which was held at the Multi-purpose Hall of Government House, Maiduguri, yesterday, the Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, said in addition to the loss of revenue, a total of N880 million was also expended on the reconstruction of power towers destroyed by the insurgency. The minister, who was represented by the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr Sule Abdulaziz, said: “The Town Hall Meeting is apt, as information is power, the more people are aware and sensitize on the need to protect critical public infrastructures, they will be in better position to protect the infrastructures.” Also Speaking, the Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, said: “There is no way you can provide 24 hours protection to all power lines in the state or the country, hence the need to deploy technology in safeguarding the power lines.

“The Town Hall meeting to address the scourge of power and communication infrastructure is vital for any development and choice of Borno for the Town Hall would have not come better than now because Maiduguri has been in darkness for nine months now which has subjected residents to untold hardship.” In his opening remarks, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the Town Hall meeting was third in the series of the meetings, stressing that the first was held in Abuja, on vandalism of railway infrastructure and second was on destruction of gas pipelines.

“It cost the Federal Government N3.4 billion to reconstruct a destroyed bridge damaged by vandals, the money which will have gone into other infrastructural development. “The Federal Government has been investing heavily in infrastructure, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the instruments,” the minister said.

In his remarks, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai El Kanemi called on security agencies to fish out collaborators of vandals, and make them face the full wrath of the law. Also contributing, the Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Christopher Musa urged the Federal Government to make special marks on all critical public infrastructures for easy identification, arrest and prosecution of vandals.

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