By Abiemwense Moru
Abuja – The House of Representatives on Wednesday called for the demolition of structures erected under high electricity tension cables to prevent incidents.
The House also urged the Police and other relevant agencies to support the exercise and maintain surveillance around the routes of the wires, to sustain the tempo after the demolition.
This followed a motion moved by Rep. Jimoh Olajide (Lagos-APC).
Moving the motion, Olajide explained that town and regional planning law required that a mandatory distance of 5.5 metres, 15.5 metres and 25 metres must be observed as setback from low tension wires, 11kV wires and 35kV lines, respectively, by any person wishing to construct any structure.
He expressed concern over the flagrant violation of existing laws by property developers, who construct structures under high tension wires and close to electricity transformers, regardless of inherent dangers to the occupants.
Olajide added that many people had been electrocuted while properties worth millions of Naira were burnt when high tension wires fell on structures erected under them.
“Recall an incident in April 2016, when no fewer than five persons were electrocuted while houses were destroyed when high tension wires fell on houses in Kuta, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
“Also remember the case of Miss Deborah Faleke, who was electrocuted around Fagbento street, Alakuko, Lagos State, on May 21, 2016, when an electric wire fell on her,” he said.
The lawmaker further expressed concern at the nonchalant attitude of the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) towards victims of electrocution and owners of burnt properties following the falling of high tension wires on houses.
He however emphasised the need to ensure enforcement of law requiring that safe distances be given between high tension wires, transformers and structures where people live and transact businesses.
The green chamber therefore mandated its Committee on Power, Works and Housing to interface with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing; the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), and Distribution Companies (DISCOs) on the issue.
The committee will also interface with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of state governments to determine ways to ensure the enforcement of laws prohibiting the erection of structures under high tension wires or close to electricity transformers.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara. (NAN)
By Abiemwense Moru