The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has said the encroachment of lands by people in various communities across power lines is delaying the optimal transmission of electricity across the country.
The minister, who stated this in Kano when he paid a two-day working visit to the nine power stations in the state, said the national grid had improved significantly but that ‘right of way’ had been an obstacle to the successful transmission of electricity.
He said the sub-station in Kano was receiving 330 single line from Kaduna which was not enough, adding that another project had been awarded which would improve the capacity from 600 megawatts to over 2,000 megawatts and would cater for Kano and Katsina states.
“One of our biggest challenges is how people are living on the ways we will pass our cables that will generate power to the various destinations.
“The national grid has witnessed the most rapid improvement ever. As it is now, the capacity can take up to 7,800 megawatts or more but it may not be useful if it is not up taken as the distribution capacity is not up to that.
“So part of the challenge is the right of way which we are facing. We need people to vacate the ways through which the wires can pass. Some people were paid before, but still they didn’t vacate the places. Our agreement with the German company will raise the National Grid to 25,000 by 2025,” he said.
The minister assured that all ongoing projects would be completed by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to ensure stable electricity supply across the country.
Inspecting one of the projects along with the state governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, at DanAgundi power substation, the minister urged him to provide a way for the TCN to pass its cables for improving the power system in the state.
“Like here, we need 10km of space to execute this project. But, we cannot move in with our equipment and reconduct because we are having problems of ‘right of way’ which is occupied by houses, stores and companies of the people,” he said.
Responding, the governor assured that the ‘right of way’ would be provided for the successful completion of the projects, adding that a committee had been constituted and would commence work towards providing way for power cables to pass in the state.
“It is worth noting that we have compensated all of them to evacuate the path. Yet, they refuse to move.
“Nevertheless, we shall deliberate with them once more and if they refuse to move after another notice, we will embark on a demolition exercise” Ganduje warned.