The Minister of State for Power, Hon. Mohammed Wakil, on Monday took a strong stand on bringing to an end the eight-month old blackout in Borno State by disbanding the technical committee on the reconnection of the state.
He, consequently, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to reconnect the state to the national grid.
Wakil also directed the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to speed up work on the 330/132/33 kv substation in Damaturu which is expected on completion to serve both Borno and Yobe States.
He said: “Borno should now have three sources of power supply from the national grid.”
Rising from a marathon meeting on the blackout crisis, the minister decided to take direct charge of the reconnection efforts, insisting that Maiduguri must be reconnected irrespective of security and sabotage challenges faced by the state.
The minister, said the decision was taken after high level interactions with security and intelligence personnel indicated that sabotage and insurgency are twin evils responsible for the blackout.
He noted that Borno people are no longer ready to take any further excuses for the continuous blackout, warning that “ sanction will be applied if the reconnection is not effected,
“You have 48 hours to get light back to Maiduguri. I am taken over directly in term of monitoring and ensuring compliance. We must deploy on all fronts to restore light. Enough is enough,” the minister was said to have told the meeting.
The minister said the Goodluck Jonathan administration would no longer tolerate sabotage from within or outside on the reconnection efforts, directing officials of TCN to hasten the pace of work on the 330/132/33KV substation in Damaturu which he said is adequate to supply both Yobe and Borno States.
On its completion, he said: “Borno state will then get three sources of power namely the 132KV Gombe- Biu-Damboa-Maiduguri line, the 330 kv new sub station on Damboa road in Maiduguri and the Damaturu 330/132/33KV which should be completed as quickly as possible.”
“The era of only one line connecting the state to national grid is over. We must ensure at least three lines of connection to prevent future sabotage and vandalism,” the minister said.