As Nigerians express high hopes of having a national grid that can deliver 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2023, the incessant vandalism of power transmission infrastructure could hamper this target. In this piece, Daily Trust on Sunday chronicles cases of vandalism of power transmission lines in recent times, which affected national grid operations.
On April 8, 2022, at about 6.30 pm, the national power grid plunged to a very low level, causing system collapse. Immediately after this happened, the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) swung into action and found that a transmission tower, number 104 at Oku Iboku in Akwa Ibom State, along the 330 kilovolts (kv) Ikot Ekpene to Odukpani transmission line, was vandalised and it fell.
But that was not the first in a space of three months. In March 2022, it was discovered that the 330kv Sapele to Benin transmission line tripped off after a series of vandalism affected some towers under it.
An official of the TCN, which manages the power grid, also confirmed that a tower on the 132kv Enugu to Benue transmission line was hacked and nearly fell. During the process, a suspected vandal was electrocuted.
The TCN immediately fixed the line to avoid it affecting the national grid.
Just near Osogbo in Osun State, vandals brought welding machines, hacked and fell two towers on the brand new 330kv Osogbo to Akure power transmission line, causing delay in the project execution.