By Kingsley Okoye
Yola – The Federal Government on Monday said that it had restored 80 per cent of the electricity transmission and distribution installations damaged by insurgents in the North-East.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this in Yola, Adamawa State, while giving his opening remarks at the 27th power sector meeting.
He said that 33KV transmission lines in areas like Damboa, Madagali, Maiduguri, Damasak, Gombi, Mubi, Wukari among others, had been restored.
Fashola said the restoration of the damaged transmission and distribution equipment was resulting in an incremental and improved supply to customers in the franchise area.
He commended the management of Yola Disco for the success recorded in the management of the company despite the declaration of a force majeure by the initial owners of the company.
“Many of you will remember that in 2015, Yola Disco was the only one of the 11 privatised Discos that was given up as being unviable.
“However, this government did not give up on the company. The government appointed Engineer Baba Mustapha to manage the Disco.
“From reports we have received about performance and monthly ratings, it is obvious that Engineer Mustapha and his team have proven that Yola Disco is not unviable.”
Fashola said that the success story of Yola Disco epitomised change and spoke eloquently of the federal government’s roadmap of incremental power.
“It is obvious that incremental power is returning to the customers within the Yola Disco franchise, this was obvious from my first visit to inspect resumption of work at the substations.
“The Maiduguri Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) substation, the Mayo-Belwa TCN substation and the installed distribution infrastructure which had been damaged by insurgents have become fully operational.
“There are testimonies from customers and big-time farmers in Adamawa that they are getting regular supply from the national grid,” the minister said.
According to him, Gov Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi had reported during a road project inspection that most local governments in his state were getting 18 hours to 20 hours supply of power from Kaduna Disco.
“This is what change means, and it is consistent with our roadmap of incremental power.”
Fashola added that efforts were being made to supply electricity to people yet to be reached.
He reiterated the federal government’s planned intervention in the distribution value chain to help deliver the 2,000MW that was constrained by distribution equipment.
The minister said advertisements for quotation by original equipment manufacturers for transformers, breakers, and associated equipment compiled by the DisCos had been published.
Fashola urged operators to brace up for demanding situations with the onset of the rains in the coming months.
“The rains will bring more water supply to the hydro-electric facilities, and these will bring more challenges to transmission and distribution.
“This will be by way of storms, heavy winds, falling trees, damage to towers, lines and installations,we must rise up to these challenges better than we have done in the past.“
“In the event of such challenges, operators should promptly issue notices when there are known damages that interfere with power supply.
“They should promptly send out maintenance men to repair and replace damaged equipment or clear fallen trees.
“They should also send information to the public on multiple platforms of conventional and social media to report faults,” he said.
The minister urged the operators to make themselves available, ready, and willing to resolve customer problems and provide better service.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Yola Disco, Mr Baba Mustapha said the Disco covered 270 kilometers with active customers.
He said the management of the Disco had improved its distribution network and reduced the incidence of technical losses.
“We have also increased our revenue collection by almost 200 per cent,” the managing director said.
He said that Yola Disco was the first Disco to key into the federal government’s `Customer Eligibility’ policy, adding that it had just commissioned a 33KVA for one of its large customer.
According to him, the Disco has also keyed into the Meter Provider Asset (MAP), as it was already discussing with a service provider to supply meters and end estimated billing of its customers.
Mustapha commended the federal government, Yobe and Adamawa State Governments for their supports, saying that the state governments provided vehicles when it lost some of its utility vehicles to insurgents. (NAN)