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    Consumers allege sabotage as grid collapses worsen outage

    September 22, 2023 - Punch, The (Nigeria)


      The Nigerian Power Consumers Forum has condemned the spate of disturbances on the national electricity grid and the recent fire incidents around power transmission infrastructure.

      NPCF's Convener, Michael Okoh, raised the concern in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday.

      This was coming a few days after the Transmission Company of Nigeria stated that for over 400 days, the grid had been relatively stable.

      "From independent assessment which started last year and up to this year, the forum was able to confirm the various initiatives TCN deployed to stabilise the grid including the use of Internet of Things and the deployment of the stop gap system as a placeholder for a smart grid system," Okoh stated.

      He added, "But unfortunately, just after the pronouncement on the efforts of TCN on grid stability, the power sector has recorded at least two system collapses in succession, all caused by a fire incident in the Birnin Kebbi transmission substation and line snap along the 330kV Jebba - Kainji transmission line.

      "These have caused nationwide outages which the NPCF believes is to bring the management of TCN into disrepute."

      He said the forum confirmed that TCN had been maintaining its grid efficiently for 421 days and the grid was looped in some places.

      "This rules out the lack of capacity on the part of the company. We are therefore pointing to cases of sabotage by hoodlums who may not mean well for the country," Okoh stated.

      He said this was not the first time critical national infrastructures had been sabotaged as cases abound everyday of oil theft, rupturing of pipelines or hacking of power transmission towers, of which more than 20 of such cases were reported by TCN in the last 12 months.

      Okoh stated, "The fire incident at the Birnin Kebbi transmission substation switchyard is more of a sabotage on the national grid systems.

      "According to power engineers who have over three decades of experience, they believe that technically, there is no way two power transformers separated by a reasonable distance from each other will be engulfed by fire simultaneously."


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