According to information retrieved from the Transmission Company of Nigeria on Monday, vandals demolished 108 power transmission towers nationwide between January 2022 and September of this year.
According to information acquired, the vandals dug up and wrecked 330kV and 132kV double circuit power transmission wires as well as threatened transmission towers with their excavation. The Federal Government labeled this activity as sabotage.
The regions of Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Enugu, and Benin saw transmission tower vandalism; however, the government, through TCN, had outsourced out the repairs of some of the vandalized towers.
Additionally, the transmission company’s internal engineers were sent to work on additional vandalized towers.
During the study period, nine towers were demolished in the Lagos region and 27 towers in the Abuja region were vandalized, according to an analysis of transmission company data.
During the study period, 52 transmission towers were vandalized in the Kano area, while 10 towers were smashed in each of the Enugu Benin regions. This represents the highest number of wrecked transmission towers in the region.
Nigeria experienced two power grid failures in September, both of which resulted in a widespread blackout over the nation. This was attributed by the government and customers to transmission facility destruction and sabotage.
TCN reportedly said that it had around 10 vandalism occurrences in 2023 alone, ranging in severity among its territories. These crimes primarily involved attacks on the company’s transmission towers.
It read, “Among other regions, the Kano region of TCN had 49 towers vandalized; the Osogbo region had 51; the Abuja region had 19; and the Enugu region had 18. The Papalanto/Abeokuta 132kV transmission line, which is situated in the Obafemi Owode area of Ogun State, has nine towers, numbered from Tower 56 to Tower 65. These towers were severely vandalized, causing them to fall on May 23, 2023.
In order to allow Ibadan Disco, a distribution firm, to supply energy to its clients whose supply was impacted by the incident, the company had to supply bulk electricity over an alternate line, which resulted in several days of power outages in Abeokuta and its surroundings.
In a similar spirit, vandals targeted the TCN Aba sub-region frequently in August 2023, resulting in roughly N23 worth of repairs. Along with 244 copper cable lugs and 122 earthing copper conductors, N366,000 worth of galvanized bolts and nuts were carried off.
It further stated that Owerri Ahoada 132kv DC Line (T199 – T211), IPP/Elelenwo 132kv DC Line (T40, T43, T52, and T53), Ahoada/Yenagoa 132kv Line (T19 – T31), and Owerri/Ahoada 132kv Line (T203 – T217) were among the vandalism instances at the Port Harcourt sub-region.
The lone vandalism incident reported to Uyo Work Center occurred at Itu T/S, when a subterranean cable linked to the generator was vandalized.
The Ihovbor-Osogbo-Benin-Osogbo double circuit transmission line was targeted by vandals who severed the legs of four towers, but they did not fall and so did not impede the bulk power transmission on that line. Consequently, the Benin region was not spared from these heinous deeds.
The TCN reports that on June 8, 2023, Benin area linesmen patrolling the Benin/Ihovbor/Osogbo 330kV double circuit line tower found that Towers 30 to 34 had been vandalized.
According to the statement, “The tower legs were sawed off and left to collapse, which could have been catastrophic because it could have resulted in a loss of revenue and power supply as well as a risk of electrocution incidents.”
The TCN management denounced the vandals’ actions, saying that their heinous deeds were sabotage attempts and had a detrimental effect on the company’s plans to expand its grid. Not only that, but the vandalized towers would now be replaced with resources that could have been utilized to upgrade the grid system even further.
In an effort to combat vandalism, TCN is urging host communities to work together and warns them to report any suspicious activity near transmission towers to local TCN offices or security personnel.
The recent fire accidents near power transmission equipment and the wave of disruptions on the national electrical system were denounced by the Nigerian Power Consumers Forum on Friday, according to a report.