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North-East plunged into darkness as vandals sabotage TCN transmission towers

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Residents in Nigeria’s North-East face continued power outages after vandals targeted critical Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) towers.

This latest incident adds to a growing problem of infrastructure destruction hindering stable electricity supply in the region.

Ndidi Mbah, the general manager of public affairs at TCN, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

According to her, this new incident occurred while TCN was fixing the region’s four vandalized towers.

Her statement comes amid the company’s 27th May deadline to restore electricity supply in the region.

“One number, T290, one of the four new towers erected by TCN contractors along the Jos – Gombe 330kV transmission line, collapsed during the cable stringing process”, TCN said.

“It is unfortunate that while TCN is working on reconstructing and restringing the four vandalized towers, three (3) towers along the Biu – Danbua 132kV transmission line were also vandalized with 16 spans of conductors stolen.

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“The towers that have all collapsed include towers T1690, T1691 and T1692. TCN has mobilized a contractor to commence their reconstruction. The TCN patrol team made this discovery last Friday.

“Additionally, this morning, the TCN lines patrol team discovered that tower T540 along the Makurdi – Jos 330kV double circuit transmission line has been vandalized. Sections of the tower have been removed, although the tower remains standing.

“TCN has contracted emergency repairs to prevent its collapse.

“We reiterate our commitment to restoring normal bulk power supply through the distribution companies serving the North East and other areas affected by vandalism.

“However, there is an urgent need for everyone to join hands with TCN in protecting our collective assets by being vigilant and promptly reporting any suspected acts of tower and line vandalism,” it stated.

This incident is not an isolated one. Similar attacks on TCN infrastructure have been reported in recent months, raising concerns about lax security measures and the underlying reasons behind the vandalism. Experts point to factors such as metal theft or targeted disruption of essential services in the region.

The Nigerian government is under pressure to address the issue. Restoration of power and improved security for TCN infrastructure are crucial for economic recovery and stability in the North-East. Stakeholders are calling for a multi-pronged approach that includes increased surveillance, community engagement to deter vandalism, and potentially stricter penalties for those caught tampering with critical infrastructure

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