Insecurity: FG may regionalise national assets •NDPHC gets renewable energy mandate

The quick recourse to destruction of strategic national assets in form of oil and power infrastructure by certain ethnic champions is forcing the Federal Government to consider the idea of regionalising the location of such projects.

Already, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), the special purpose vehicle formed to handle the construction of about 10 thermal power stations in the south-south and south west during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, the  presidency has now been mandated to concentrate on renewable energy in the second phase of its operations due to commence any moment from now.

A top security source told Nigerian Tribune in Abuja at the weekend that government became alarmed recently when a think-tank set up to analyse security situation in parts of the country concluded that “rather than moving towards integration, certain sections of the country have been showing consistent tendency to hold other sections to ransom at the slightest provocation.”

Just within this year alone, there have been several sabotage incidents of strategic oil and gas pipelines while transmission lines have also been destroyed leading to acute fuel shortages and power outages.

“Much more attempts at sabotaging such critical assets have been foiled by security and military personnel,” the source which craved anonymity told our correspondent.

At the same time, security agencies and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are working on ways of adequately protecting oil and gas pipelines by technological means against vandalism since it appears that physical patrolling by the military, civil defence and even private guards have failed.

“There are available censor equipment that could be attached to pipelines at some reasonable intervals, which will trigger alarm so that surveillance helicopters are immediately deployed with operatives to thwart sabotage activities.

“Some modern pipelines even release harmful substances that can either knock a vandal off for some hours or even kill him outright while attempting to attack the pipeline but government is being very careful so that innocent farmers who are unaware that they are close to pipelines will not begin to lose their lives while cultivating their farms”, our correspondent was further informed.

Although the source at the NDPHC could not confirm the reason, it however, was emphatic that the second phase of the company’s activities will completely exclude thermal plants.

“Certain voices are insisting that the country has not fully benefitted from the billions committed to the construction of the 10 power plants at Alaoji, Ihovbor, Calabar, Egbema, Gbarain, Geregu II, Sapele II, Olorunsogo II, Omoku II and Omotosho.

“I hope you are aware that Nigeria has an installed electricity capacity of 10,396 from 23 generating plants connected to the national grid with thermal constituting 81 percent or 8,457 of total yet, the country struggles to distribute between 3,500 and 5,000 at most when leaders of ethnic militias are happy with government?”

He stated that the company will now concentrate on building solar and hydro power plants in the first instance while other renewable sources like wind and nuclear will be added later

Culled from THE NIGERIAN TRIBUNE



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