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Up NEPA: TCN Repairs Vandalized Powerlines in Northeast, Restores Electricity

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has announced the completion of rehabilitation and re-stringing of the four vandalized towers along the Jos bulk power to substations in the Northeast.

“The rehabilitation and re-stringing of the four vandalized towers along the Jos bulk power to substations in the Northeast have been completed,” stated Ndidi Mbah, General Manager of Public Affairs, on Tuesday.

The TCN is responsible for transmitting bulk electricity from Power Generating Companies (GenCos) to Distribution Load Centres of Distribution Companies (Discos),

The re-stringing of conductors was finalized on June 3, 2024, and contractors have reconnected the jumper on tower 282, making it ready for the transmission of bulk electricity via the Gombe 330kV transmission line.

The vandalism was discovered on April 22, 2024, prompting TCN to act swiftly. “When the vandalized towers were discovered, TCN promptly mobilized contractors and supervising engineers to the site of the incident to immediately commence repairs,” Mbah recalled.

Despite an initial promise to complete repairs by May 27, 2024, unforeseen challenges emerged. “The collapse of the fourth tower during the re-stringing process delayed the completion,” Mbah explained. Nevertheless, the dedicated efforts of the repair teams have now borne fruit, with all four towers fully reconstructed and ready for operation.

TCN extended its gratitude to the governors and residents of the North Eastern region for their patience and support during the reconstruction period.

 “TCN appreciates the patience and support of the governors and people in the North Eastern part of the nation during the period of the tower reconstruction work,” Mbah concluded.

Only on Monday, the TCN confirmed a nationwide blackout resulting from a strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and their affiliates.

TCN stated that the blackout began around 2:19 am on June 3, 2024, due to the deliberate shutdown of the national grid by the Labour Union.

The situation escalated overnight with aggressive actions by Labour Union activists, leading to chaos and intimidation at the Benin Transmission Operator, a division of TCN’s Independent System Operations unit.

Staff were driven away, beaten, and wounded, resulting in the Benin Area Control Center being brought to a standstill.

This caused a chain reaction of shutdowns across multiple transmission substations, including Ganmo, Benin, Ayede, Olorunsogo, Akangba, and Osogbo.

The disruptions extended to power-generating units, with the Jebba Generating Station shutting down one unit, followed by three others due to high frequency, ultimately leading to the complete shutdown of the national grid.

Attempts to feed transmission lines at the Shiroro Substation were impeded by unionists.

TCN has pledged to persevere in efforts to recover and stabilize the grid, emphasizing the priority of restoring normal bulk transmission of electricity to distribution load centres nationwide. However, the Labour Union’s ongoing obstruction is hindering grid recovery.

The nationwide blackout coincides with heightened tension and frustration among Nigerians, already grappling with persistent electricity shortages.

The strike, which began earlier on Monday, led to widespread disruptions, including significant delays and cancellations at major airports. The unions are protesting the Federal Government’s refusal to agree to a new national minimum wage and other demands.

The NLC is pushing for a N615,000 monthly minimum wage, a figure government negotiators have labelled as unfeasible.

The union had criticized the government’s priorities, pointing to the purchase of expensive SUVs for lawmakers as evidence of the government’s ability to fund wage increases.

In a statement, the NLC had declared their commitment to the strike, emphasizing that victory comes through struggle and asserting that a living wage is possible.

They stated, “We don’t have the right to call off the industrial action approved by our Organs. Thus, the action will continue while we will have a meeting with our organs to relate to them your proposals.”

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