Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The federal government has directed all contractors handling projects in the Ministry of Power to return to site as the Covid-19 lockdown eases nationwide.
Giving the directive at the weekend, the Minister of Power Mr. Sale Mamman, lamented that though one of the most affected sectors during the restriction of movement was that of power, the ministry was nevertheless forging on with all the ongoing projects.
Mamman spoke during an inspection visit to the new Gagarawa 2×60 MVA 132/33 KV substation being constructed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in Jigawa State.
The federal government had awarded the project for the construction of the 2x60MVA, 132/33kV substation at Gagarawa in 2012, with the initial completion period of the project set at 24 months at the cost of $4,071,959.14.
The project, which has been energised, was designed with two 60MVA, 132/33kV power transformers of about 96 megawatts capacity and six outgoing 33kV feeders and is already over 90 per cent completed.
On the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the power sector, the minister said that in the sector, the entire value chain had been affected, with all of them directly or indirectly counting losses.
“I can tell you that the impact of the pandemic is huge on the power sector as a real service provider. However, we have joined the government effort to restart the economy with the easing of the lockdown and opening of the interstate roads.
“I direct all contractors handling power projects to return to site and work assiduously to recover from the losses recorded during this lockdown,” the minister said.
Mamman commended the contractors for their dedication to the project and said that on completion, it will boost power supply to over seven local government areas with several industrial areas also benefitting.
The acting Managing Director of the TCN, Mr Sule Abdulaziz, who was in the minister’s entourage, was directed by the minister to identify and ensure speedy completion of similar substations across the country.
The Jigawa State Governor, Mr Abubakar Badaru, who joined Mamman on the inspection, commended the efforts of the minister for delivering the project which he said had lingered for over 20 years.
Badaru said that the project would propel industrial development in the state and boost socio-economic activities, increase revenue generation and address the erratic power supply.
Many communities and local government areas such as Gagarawa, Taura, Ringim, Gumel and Miga are expected to benefit from the new transmission substation.