The Borno State Government said it has spent over N2 billion in the last four years on fuelling generating plants to power street lights within Maiduguri, the state capital.
There are 20 diesel-operated generating plants spread across the Maiduguri metropolis that are powered every night to lighten up the streets.
The commissioner for works and housing, Adamu Lawan, said his ministry gets monthly approval of N44 million from the state governor, Kashim Shettima, for the purpose of securing fuel to power the plants.
Annually, the state government said it spends at least N528 million on powering street lights.
Mr. Lawan, who made this known during a media briefing said the state government had no option than to sustain such expensive services in the interest of the security of the city.
“It costs at least N44 million monthly to buy fuel to power all the street lights in Maiduguri”, he said.
Before the generator-powered street lights were installed in 2014, Maiduguri was once lighted by solar-powered street lights.
The commissioner said the government had to revert to generator-powered street lamps due to the challenges of high cost of maintaining the solar batteries, coupled with the fact that their lights were not so bright.
He said Maiduguri, a city of about 2 million “now has a population of well over 4 million people due to the influx persons displaced by the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency; thats why government is doing everything possible to ensure that the city is well secured for everyone.”
Giving the performance of his ministry in the last one year, Mr. Lawan’ said the government has been able to initiate and complete 40 different projects which cut across civil engineering, public building and mechanical engineering while there are about 14 ongoing projects that cut across the roads and housing projects within the state.
Mr. Lawan said due to the worsening cases of insecurity, the state government had to suspend seven (7) major civil engineering projects being undertaken by various contractors in the state.
He said “the total cost of the completed projects cost government about N2.1 billion”.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Borno State House of Assembly committee on public works, Abdullahi Askira, commended the commissioner for his dedication and transparent running of the ministry.
To keep Maiduguri, the Borno state capital lighted at night, the state government said it has spent well over N2 billion in the last four years on fuel to power streets light, the state commissioner for works, Mr Adamu Lawan said.
Mr Lawan said due to the insecurity caused by Boko Haram, the state government has to sustain the heavy cost of lighting the streets using 20 generating sets.