The Federal Government has initiated measures to curtail theft and vandalism of assets in Nigeria’s electricity industry with the inauguration of a technical committee to develop strategies for same.
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said at the inauguration of an 11-member joint technical committee, made up of five from the ministry, five from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and a representative from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) that the measure became necessary to ensure uninterrupted power supply from the country’s electricity network.
Nebo noted that government had decided on the new measure but with emphasis on the synergy between the office of the NSA and the NSCDC. He added that ministry would also explore other collaborative frameworks with all statutory security formations in the country to safeguard its power infrastructure.
He said the committee would work within specific terms that include: developing modalities for cooperation while executing the task, identification of critical infrastructure and need assessment as well as setting up of frameworks to partner other security formations in the country.
“Power is central and critical to Mr. President’s transformation agenda, hence, government would not sit back and allow unscrupulous elements vandalise these equipment. Successive governments in Nigeria have expended billions of naira in the procurement of power infrastructure; such acts would derail the planned efforts at ensuring uninterrupted power supply.
“We as guardians and superintendents cannot afford to fail in providing electricity to Nigerians,” Nebo said.
While commending the Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr. Ade Abolurin, for the agency’s interest in lending a helping hand to the ministry in fighting the menace, Nebo stated that the ministry would continue to initiate measures against vandalism of electricity assets, adding that protection of such critical assets are key in the power chain.
In his remarks, Abolurin disclosed that NSCDC was aware of the challenges of the ministry in protection of vital electricity assets across the country and solicited for collective efforts of stakeholders in the new measure. “For the power sector to succeed in providing uninterrupted electricity supply all power equipment must be well protected through information sharing and surveillance”, he posited.
He further revealed that his agency since inception had also protected infrastructure for other sectors of the economy like petroleum pipelines.