By Muhammad Lawal
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has commenced work to restore power to Birnin Kebbi and Sokoto following a fire outbreak that gutted two transformers on Thursday night.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one 90MVA (330KV/132KV) and 60MVA (132KV/33KV) transformers damaged as a result of the fire incident were valued at 4 million U.S Dollars.
Addressing newsmen in Birnin Kebbi after inspecting the damaged facilities on Friday, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, TCN, Dr Sule AbdulAzeez, described the damages as colossal.
AbdulAzeez, an electrical Engineer by profession, recalled that he received a phone call Thursday night that there was a fire incident in Kebbi TCN substation, noting that communication lasted throughout the night until when the fire was quenched on Friday morning at about 7 a.m.
“That’s why I felt it’s very necessary for me to come down here myself, as well the Executive Director Special Service Provider and General Manager in-charge of Kaduna region to have a first hand information about the incident,” he said.
The TCN boss assured that an investigation committee comprising professionals and specialists would be established with a view to finding out the main cause of the unfortunate incident.
On level of damage, AbdulAzeez who said the company had lost two transformers and a control room, however said their priority was on how to restore light back to Kebbi people and neighbouring states.
He said: “This station is also serving Sokoto not only Kebbi. So, the first thing we are going to do is to back feed Sokoto through Talatan Mafara in Zamfara State.
“Here in Kebbi also, very quickly, we have already mobilised our engineers, infact; they have already started opening the cable tranches.
“Again, we have a transformer here which was supplying Niger Republic, now, it’s not supplying any place, so, we are going to use that transformer to make sure that people of Kebbi get light as quickly as possible.”
AbdulAzeez assured that for the parmanent solution, it would take the company two weeks for arrangement of transformers and other things to restore normal power supply.
He, however, said that: “We are still looking at the possibility of back feeding Kebbi from Sokoto and that can be done in two or three days.”
The managing director appealed to customers to be patient because the incident came unexpected, adding that it had happened and “by the grace of God Almighty we are going to resolve the problem as soon as possible.
He assured that the situation “is under control”, and TCN would do a comprehensive check of the affected transformers immediately to enable it properly assess the transformers for repair work.
The TCN boss also paid homage on the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Iliyasu Bashar, at the Abdullahi Fodio palace in Birnin Kebbi to seek royal blessings, assuring that work had already begun towards restoring power to Kebbi state.
Responding, the emir appreciated the MD for personally coming to assess the situation by himself, saying “power had now become a gold, when there is no light, there will be no phone, there will be no communication and all other activities will stand still”.
While expressing happiness that work had already begun, the royal father assured the TCN chief of total support and cooperation to enable them discharge their responsibilities diligently.
NAN recalls that the fire that gutted the two transformers was put out by the fire service personnel and rainfall that ensued that very night.
But at about 4 a.m. on Friday, the transformer tank bursted and re-ignited the fire again. (NAN)