In the past nine months, Maiduguri has suffered several attacks on the electricity infrastructure in the state, resulting in a total blackout affecting several businesses and households.
Maiduguri’s transmission network infrastructure has been the target of Boko Haram with two major attacks, which resulted in the disconnection of the state from the national grid network.
All the local government areas in northern Borno have been off-grid for over two years following insurgents’ destruction of transmission towers.
At a town hall meeting to address the power issues in the state, the newly appointed Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, who was represented by the Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, stated that the TCN had in the last nine months lost a total of ₦1.17 billion to insecurity.
He stated that the insurgents vandalised eight 330kV transmission lines totalling ₦880 million in value from January 2021 till date.
Ibrahim Modu, a resident of Maiduguri, stated that he was forced to seek alternative sources of electricity due to the prolonged outage. “Wet and dry seasons are usually very hot and oppressive, so you need a running fan at home for the family. This power outage has caused a lot of distress in many homes.” Modu said.
Vice-Chairman of the Borno GSM Market Association, Abba Adam Shabab, who spoke on the issue, stated that “We depend on electricity to do our business, including selling, servicing and repair of phones. Even before the public power cut, we had a deal with a private firm, which supplies energy to our shops for a fee. With this arrangement using diesel generators, there is no cause for concern, but the cost of doing business is definitely on the increase.”
In a move to restore power supply to the state, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) last month signed an Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement for the supply of 50MW under the Maiduguri Emergency Power Project. The project is in collaboration with China Machinery Engineering Company (CMEC) and General Electric (GE).