… describes Birnin Kebbi fire incident as act of sabotage
The Nigerian Power Consumers Forum ( NPCF) has described the fire incident at the Birnin-Kebbi substation switchyard that led to system collapse as an act of sabotage on the National grid, confirming speculations of sabotage that had trailed the incident. The forum also appealed to the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), as critical stakeholders in the sector to work with the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu to achieve uninterrupted power supply in the country.
On the statement credited to the acting General Secretary of NUEE, Mr Dominic Igwebike that a meeting of critical stakeholders in the sector has not been convened, this medium is aware that the Minister, since assumption of office had commenced bi-lateral consultations with various critical stakeholders, including past Ministers of Power, ministerial departments, power sector agencies, some GENCOs, DISCOs, Power Sector OEMs, EPCs, among others, to get a deeper understanding of the sector. A stakeholders meeting without an initial bi-lateral meetings will end up being a talk shop with no tangible achievements or the resolutions of major, critical issues. ” We believe It will soon get to the turn of the Labour Unions and a Town Hall meeting can then be held thereafter. All the appointed Ministers are just four weeks old in the office, we should give them time to do their job”, the NPCF warned.
Okoh pleaded with NUEE to key into the minister’s appeal that labour union should desist from vandalising power infrastructure during industrial action. “As much as strike cannot be decreed out of existence, in the words of NUEE acting Secretary General, we are also pleading with him and NUEE members that the act of shutting down the national grid in periods of strike, will have negative impact on Nigerians, themselves and their families inclusive, while the adverse economic implications are too numerous to mention”.
On the Birnin- Kebbi incident, NPCF, made up of Engineers with over three decades of experience in the field of power transmission, said the incident confirmed suspicion that some individuals are bent on sabotaging efforts to improve power supply in the country. “Technically, there is no way two transformers, separated by a reasonable distance from each other, will be engulfed by fire at the same time without any external force acting against the nation’s transmission system. We are deeply concerned about this incident coming after over 400 days of stability of the grid”.
NPCF therefore called on the Minister to institute a probe into the incident, “ in order to identify and bring the saboteurs and perpetrators of this act to book”. The Forum said probing the incident and bringing the culprits to book would also serve as deterrent to others that might want to indulge in such illegal act in the future. “We noticed that the incidents of fire outbreak came a few days after the Transmission Company of Nigeria ( TCN) officially announced that it had achieved 421 days of power grid stability without any breakdown. This rules out lack of capacity on the part of TCN. “We are just worried about the deliberate attempts to sabotage FG’s efforts to ensure robust, sound, stable and improved power supply to Nigerians”, the Forum said.