By Emmanuel Addeh
The Minister of Power, Mr. Sale Mamman, has lamented the increasing attacks on the country’s electricity infrastructure, especially by insurgents in the north-eastern region of the country.
The Boko Haram sect had since this year bombed facilities belonging to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), cutting off supply to the state capital and injuring at least five in one of the attacks recently.
A statement by Mr Aaron Artimas, the minister’s spokesman, quoted him as calling on Nigerians to assume ownership of the various electricity installations in their respective communities, to guard against sabotage, vandalism and natural disasters like erosion and bush burning.
The minister who spoke while receiving the paramount ruler of Ipetu-Ijesa kingdom, Osun State, Samson Oke, who visited him in Abuja, urged Nigerians to take responsibility for protecting the public utilities as the best guarantee of ensuring steady and uninterrupted electricity supply to their areas.
“The people should raise the alarm and report to security officials whenever they see people tampering with power equipment,” Mamman noted.
Mamman stated that it was the desire of the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari to supply electricity to every community in Nigeria, stressing that the efforts were being constrained by the sabotage and wilful damage to electricity installations across the country.
The minister said he was greatly pained by the recent destruction of the power tower supplying electricity to Maiduguri, Borno State, which was recently restored by the TCN.
“This act of desperate and wicked damage of public utilities should not be a justifiable means for any agitation,” he added.
Mamman advised the Ipetu-ijesha kingdom to provide adequate security protection for the newly installed power equipment in the area to guard against future destruction.
Describing power as critical to national development, Mamman said the ministry of power would continue to work harder to improve and sustain the current success recorded in the power sector under the present government.
Earlier, the traditional ruler explained that his people had endured many years of hardship following the damage to the electrical equipment.
However, following a letter of complaint to the minister of power, he said that the ministry moved to install seven new transformers and transmission lines to restore power to the entire kingdom.
The traditional ruler who described his kingdom as the largest in Osun State expressed appreciation to the ministry of power and the federal government for the intervention, stressing that it will make life better for citizens.