The Nigerian government has approved the sum of N3.4 billion for the restoration of electricity to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, revealed this on Wednesday at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In recent years, power supply in the city of Maiduguri has remained problematic as terrorists launched attacks on electricity infrastructure.
In June, the Nigerian government disclosed plans to restore power supply to Maiduguri in six weeks.
In March 2021, barely 72 hours after electric power was restored in Maiduguri, Boko Haram insurgents blew up a transmission tower in the city. PREMIUM TIMES reported at the time that insurgents planted explosives on each leg of the tower, which they detonated in the early hours of the day.
Before the attack, jubilant residents of Maiduguri were seen in a video that trended on social media as they celebrated the return of electricity after nearly two months of blackout. The attack was launched shortly after the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) repaired the transmission tower brought down by the insurgents at a location about 50km from Maiduguri.
Consequently, the city was again thrown into darkness.
Later in January 2022, residents in some parts of Maiduguri heaved a sigh of relief and celebrated the restoration of electricity, 11 months after power outage occasioned by the destruction of facilities and major power lines in the city by Boko Haram insurgents.
Although some residents said that parts of the city came alive after electricity was restored in some areas, other areas remained still in darkness due to logistic concerns. A Daily Trust report said that only few communities, including Bulunkutu, Pompamari, Bypass 20 housing, Budum, and some parts of Baga Road, enjoyed power supply. In many parts of the city centre, the report said that residents lived in darkness because of the activities of miscreants who had vandalised transformers and stolen major power cables.
On Wednesday, Mr Aliyu highlighted the efforts of the Borno State Government and other relevant agencies to ensure that power is restored to the city.
He said: “As you are aware, Maiduguri got disconnected from the national grid due to activities of insurgents. They have been disconnected for over 24 months. About nine months ago or thereabout, we were able to supply Maiduguri through an old line which we resuscitated through the effort of the Borno State government’s rural electrification agency and the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
“They resuscitated a single line of 33 KV from Damaturu, Yobe State and through that we took a very small quantity of electricity which could only give electricity on the 11 KV line.
“So, we are now trying to supply through another new line, a double circuit 33 KV which can take up to around 40 Megawatts form the Damaturu 330 substation. This is at a cost of N3, 164, 293, 880 (N3.1bn) plus N250, 000 million for security and other logistics.”
The Minister further revealed that there is approval for the construction of power substations in Gaidam, Yobe State and Zing in Taraba State.
He explained that he also got approval for the construction of five multimillion dollar one-line power substations in Birnin Kudu, Babura and Kazaure in Jigawa State; Nguru, Yobe State; and Oro, Kwara State.
There is an approval for the construction of a 22-kilometre transmission line passing through Birnin Kudu- Missau-Ningi–Azare in Jigawa and Bauchi States, he said.
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