Blackout: Taraba Govt Demands FG To Quickly Restore Power Supply To N-E

By Sani Yarima

The Taraba State government has expressed displeasure about the negligence of the Federal Government to restore the power supply to the North-east region for almost a month.

Engineer Naomi Tanko Agbu, the state Commissioner of Energy and Economic Development aired this position during a press conference in Jalingo. 

She described the vandalization of the transmission towers as deliberate which undermines the stability of the region’s electrical system, putting lives and livelihoods at risk.

“I am deeply saddened by the recent disruption in electricity supply caused by the vandalization of four (4) transmission line towers along the Jos-Gombe 330kV line on 22 April 2024.

Engr. Agbu maintained that “these critical components of our electrical grid serve as lifelines, delivering power to homes, businesses, hospitals, and essential services.” 

According to her, the Taraba State Government has contacted the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu but no positive response yet, for the weeks of blackout to a state capital such as Jalingo in the nation.

Naomi Agbu emphasized that the lengthy time to respond to this matter is concerning as it shows complete neglect by the Federal Government of Nigeria to Taraba state and the North-east region. 

“These senseless acts of sabotage have not only jeopardized the reliability of electrical infrastructure in the North-East region but have also resulted in widespread inconvenience and hardship for our community, plunging millions into blackout,” she lamented. 

The Commissioner further revealed that recent reports they received, have shown spikes in crimes and insecurity issues for a region like the North-East that is already endangered. 

She, however, noted that the cascading effects on their regional economy, especially in terms of food production cannot be exaggerated.

She added that the economic vandalism of transmission line towers represents a blatant disregard for the well-being and prosperity of their region. 

“This issue is a federal matter and I want to assure you that we are taking this matter very seriously and we have been working tirelessly with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) to address the situation. 

“We, as a Ministry waited in addressing the public until significant progress has commenced by the FGN, of which we have been informed that TCN has handed over the site to the contractor and restoration works have commenced.

“As you know, the role of the government is the protection of lives and properties of its people. Our priority is the restoration of electricity supply to affected areas quickly and safely,” says Agbu. 

Engr. Naomi Tanko Agbu recalled that in 2023, Governor Agbu Kefas presented to the public his five (5) finger agenda that revolves around education; health; women and youth empowerment; security, peace, and unity; economic development, and job creation. 

Additionally, she emphasized that his dreams for a better Taraba cannot be allowed to be cut short due to economic sabotage to the electricity supply to the state, as energy is a key driver to the sectors and economic prosperity.   

“The Governor has made great strides in less than one (1) year in office in ensuring that he rewrites the history of the state, he delivers in terms of economic progress for the state, while also laying fundamental foundations for the institutions in Taraba state. 

In conclusion, Engr. Naomi Agbu emphasized the need for the Nigerian government to implement a robust plan, such as the North-East ring circuit proposed in the TCN expansion plan. 

This plan would connect the North-East region to the South of Nigeria and has been widely demanded. Therefore, it should be implemented immediately by the Federal Government.

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