Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has raised the alarm over buildings on its Right of Way in Enugu and other parts of the Southeast.
It warned people acquiring land to be conscious of the dangers associated with purchasing landed property that encroached on its transmission lines across the country.
General Manager (Transmission) for Enugu Region, Mr Emmanuel Akpa, who gave the warning during a tour of some illegal buildings and other properties constructed along power lines in the Ugwuaji area of Enugu State said that such properties would be demolished. https://sundiatapost.com/jos-disco-moves-to-brand-cables-for-effective-energy-extension/
Akpa, who also showcased projects being undertaken by TCN to improve power supply in the Southeast and other places in the area, however, decried the strangulation of 21 power projects in the Southeast region since 2019.
Although he said some of the projects had reached 80 per cent completion, they had remained stagnant because of litigation.
“In spite of all these achievements of TCN, TCN is facing some problems like buildings on TCN Right of Ways, illegal excavation of soil around the tower base especially in areas like New Artisan Market, Goshen Estate and Centenary Avenue, all within Enugu Metropolis,” he said.
Warning of the dangers associated with building under the 330 KVA lines, he stated that radiation from the lines could lead to death.
He said, “This is aside from the issue of snapping. When it snaps it causes great damage. We have been telling our people about the dangers of building under the powerline but nobody cares.
“Again radiation from the powerline can cause child defects in pregnancies if a pregnant woman stays close to the transmission line. https://sundiatapost.com/gas-will-play-significant-role-in-africas-energy-mix-says-nlng/
“The federal government has stipulated the distance that should be maintained before setting up any building, which is 25 meters but they are not ready to comply with it.”
“Why we keep begging people to stay away from the powerline is because if the line for whatever reason slacked and touched anything, it would melt it. So the dangers associated with such illegal construction on power lines are enormous,” he warned.
He lamented the situation at New Artisan and Ugwuaji in Enugu state where residents have continued to build under 330KVA lines.
On the projects abandoned, he said such had since been completed in other parts of the country but that those awarded in the Southeast region suffered sabotage and litigation from the residents even when the federal government had paid the necessary compensations.
“This is very disturbing because these contracts have been completed in other zones. These contracts were awarded to take the 132KVA to some places to boost economic activities since 2009.
“There are power stations where work has been abandoned due to litigation and disputes over land. These projects were conceived to galvanize business in those areas. Government paid for the lift but from there till now, the projects have not been completed because of the selfish demands of our people. Even the ones built are now being vandalized.
“The 21 projects have been abandoned in the southeast. They are abandoned because of litigation and every time in court, they will strangulate the projects. Certain projects of the federal government are being killed by some Igbo for their selfish reasons and this is affecting the setting up of substations in the region,” he said.
Despite the challenges, Akpa, however, stated that the federal government had continued to upgrade substations to improve the power supply in the region.
“New Haven substation for example, which used to have a capacity of 300MW, is currently being upgraded to 600MW capacity.
“Ugwuaji, Nkalagu, Abakaliki, Oji River and the new 2x60MVA 132/33KV substation at 9th Mile Corner.
“In Onitsha sub-region, capacity upgrade had been affected both in Nibo and Agu-Awka substations. Same things are applicable in Apir sub-region with transformer capacity upgrade at Makurdi, Otukpo and Yandev,” he said.
On staff welfare, he said, “Enugu Sub Region Administrative building which was hitherto in a rented building has now moved to its permanent building.
“All the sub-regions and work centres have equally gotten her brand new administrative building where staff can conduct work. Material dumps for outdoor materials had also been constructed in all the sub-regions and work centres, to make available spares for optimum operation,” he said.