Vandals destroy N40m NIPP tower in Abia
VANDALS attacked the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) transmission lines in Abia State and hacked a tower worth about N40 million, thereby cutting off the lines connecting about 1,397mw from three of its plants, the officials have said.
Addressing newsmen at the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) office in Abuja, the management said they were battling to stop the sabotage due to many constraints following court injunctions from suspects in the state and its environs.
NDPHC Executive Director, Legal and Company Secretary, Abdullahi Salisu, said the 132/330KV transmission tower in Ikwuano town was hacked even after the community had been duly compensated for its Right of Way (RoW) for the over 200km line to Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State.
According to Salisu, people were mobilised to hack down the tower weighing about 30tonnes with a generator and steel chainsaw for “perceived inadequate compensation and alleged threat to health.”
He lamented the delay in completing the North-South transmission loop connecting the 563mw Calabar plant, 330mw Egbema plant in Imo, and the 504mw Alaoji plant in Abia.
Speaking on the cost incurred due to the sabotage and for the completion of the networks, he said: “On the hacked tower, we are talking about N40 million to N45 million. We have signed contracts with the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors.
“For every delay we have, they will be paid a penalty and that is a cost to the pocket of Nigerians. The contractors have the right to charge us to court to pay for delays.
“The quantification of cost comes in different forms because our 10 NIPPs are gas-based. We have signed some interim Gas Supply Agreements (GSA) to provide gas for the plants. Even when we don’t use it because of this delay, we still have to pay in millions of dollars.
“The plants are ready but we cannot wheel out the capacity generated to the grid due to the sabotage on our transmission lines that hinders us from evacuating the stranded power.”
Managing Director of NDPHC, James Olotu, sought the intervention of the Federal Government and security agencies to deal with the alleged culprit, who Salisu described as the mastermind but who had obtained a court injunction against any action.
He listed the criminal acts to include vandalism of national asset of 330KVA Alaoji-Calabar line in Ugwunagbo local council and theft of 10 drums of transmission conductors weighing over 40tonnes at Umuahia.