13 March 2014, Abuja – The Board of the Transmission Company of Nigeria has warned that it will demolish structures within close proximity to high-powered electricity installations across the country.
It also warned those erecting residential buildings around its electricity installations – both power stations and transmission sub-stations – to cease doing so with immediate effect.
The board issued this warning on Wednesday during an inspection tour of the Enugu Region of the TCN.
The Chairman, TCN Board, Mr. Ibrahim Waziri and former governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Sam Egwu, led other members of the board on the tour.
Egwu expressed shock that people could risk their lives and that of their family members by living very close to electricity sub-stations and other high-powered installations.
Responding to questions from journalists on buildings close to the Onitsha sub-station, in Anambra State, Egwu said, “It’s not only here we have observed this, we saw it in Port-Harcourt.
“In fact, there is a sub-station where an individual built his residence inside the premises of the TCN, but that is the problem we have in this country.
“We blame the government for most of our problems, yet we cause trouble for ourselves. Otherwise, why should a normal human being risk the life of his entire family by building a residential building close to high power installations, sometimes under high-tension wire?”
He added, “Look at buildings very close to this sub-station; they are not supposed to be built here, but they have decided to defy instructions and build their structures, residential buildings for that matter.
“So, this is a situation we have found and as a board. We are going to look at it and we believe that we are going to take an action that will not be palatable to those who have flouted the laws of the land.”
The former governor was alarmed by the level of decay in the Enugu region.
He, however, said the board was poised to tackle the problems; hence, the visit to all the locations where the TCN had its transmission lines and sub-stations in order to assess the situation.
“We are in these places to know the problem on ground and be able to take a decision that will enable the transmission company to be able to wheel the entire power that will be generated to the distribution companies,” said Egwu.
The Deputy Managing Director, TCN, Mr. Abubakar Atiku, blamed the persistent poor power supply on shortage of gas, which he attributed to pipeline vandalism.
He said, “Before you get this power generated, you must get the raw materials for it and the essential raw material for electricity in Nigeria is gas, and to a certain extent, water.
“For a couple of months, the industry has had a lot of issues with gas; the pipelines are being vandalised and that is principally the reason why we can’t still generate enough.”
In his address, the General Manager, Enugu Region, TCN, Mr. Geoffrey Nwokoye, noted that part of the challenges were that the Okpai-Onitsha DC 330KV transmission line as well as the Benin-Onitsha 330KV transmission line were overdue for mechanised line trace maintenance.
– The Punch