By Emmanuel Addeh
The federal government said that it has concluded plans to establish a regional power training centre in Gembu, Taraba state to assist in the development of manpower in the sector.
Minister of Power, Mr Saleh Mamman, who spoke during the inauguration of the project on erosion and ecological challenges in Taraba, also stated that the multi-billion dollar mambilla project will soon take off.
Mamman noted that the establishment of the regional national power training centre in Gembu, would be in full swing very soon as modalities have been completed for its commencement.
He also announced the immediate kick-off of training of youths in the state by the National Power Training Institute (NAPTIN) in the areas of solar PV installations, electrical installations, and metering to make them self-reliant
Speaking at the event which took place at the Federal University, Wukari, the minister also disclosed that the Jalingo works centre for the effective management and control of power transmission assets of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is now fully operational.
He reiterated that the government was embarking on other projects as part of the power infrastructure improvement efforts of the ministry in the north-east zone, and particularly in Taraba state.
He listed them as the 2X7.5 MVA, 33/0.415kV Substation at Kashimbila town, the 2X60MVA, 132/33kV Substation at Wukari town, the 2X60MVA, 132/33kV Substation at Takum town, the 2X7.5MVA, 33/11/0.415kV Substation at Donga town and the 2X7.5MVA, 33/0.415kV Substation at Rafin Kada town.
Mamman, stated that the projects would significantly improve the reliability and quality of power supply to the communities and environs, saying that the people of Jalingo and its environs will soon enjoy a major boost in electricity supply as work for the upgrading of the Jalingo 2x60MVA, 132/33kV to 2x150MVA, 330/132/33kV and 2x100MVA, 132/33kV transformers have reached an advance level of completion.
“Let me also intimate you that a holistic survey of the electricity distribution challenges in Jalingo and environs have been conducted, and very soon a major overhaul of the distribution infrastructure will be carried out to enhance adequate power distribution, using funds provided under the ministry’s 2021 appropriation.
“Also, we are making efforts to provide power to the unserved and underserved communities in Taraba State, through Minigrid projects such as 37 kilowatts Minigrid in Takum and Ussa; 5-kilowatt Minigrid in Makama Community in Donga; and 7.5-kilowatt Minigrid here in the Federal University Wukari, which are all completed and are ready for commissioning,”he said.
According to him, a contract for the construction of another 150 kiloWatt capacity Solar Mini-grid system at Tella, Gassol LGA of the State was recently awarded by the ministry.
“At this juncture I also wish to re-affirm the commitment of the federal government to implement the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project, we are making all efforts to mobilise the project contractors to the site as soon as possible,” he stressed.
On the ecological challenges project at the university, executed by the government through the Ecological Fund Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), the minister said the project was one of the 16 ecological interventions approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the third quarter, 2018.
“The importance of this project to the university community cannot be over-emphasised as it is expected to address the devastating effects of erosion and flood menace in the university,” he stated.