Power transmission lines vandalisation, others must stop, FG tells NSCDC

The Federal Government has read the riot act to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), to take firm steps in ensuring adequate protection of the power transmission lines, towers, transformers and other key assets of the government.

Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunjo-Ojo, who was visibly unhappy with the recurrent power outages in the country as a result vandalisation of transmission lines, spoke during the passing-out parade of the 2nd batch of Mining Marshals of NSCDC in Abuja.

A total of 350 Mining Marshals graduated on Friday after eight months of intensive training and are ready for deployment to mining sites across the country.

The Minister described the menace of vandalism of national assets as economic sabotage that must be stopped.

According to reports, Nigeria has recorded more than six vandalisation of power transmission lines among others, between December 2023 and now.

He commended the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, for his partnership and collaboration with the Interior Ministry which has resulted in the creation of Mining Marshals.

He explained that NSCDC decided to train the second batch of the Mining Marshals, following the positive results from the first batch who had been earlier deployed, leading to increased revenue generation and improved security for legal miners.

“We want to assure all key players in other critical sectors of our economy, that the Ministry of Interior will ensure that the dream of the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu comes alive in terms of protecting all critical national assets f this country.

“We will take it sector by sector. We will protect the power sector. We will secure the energy sector. I challenge you to rise up and protect the critical national assets of Nigeria. The rate of vandalism and and economic sabotage going on in our transmission lines need to be looked into. I will give you the leadership.

“It is not acceptable to destroy power assets. Today is an opportunity to solve tomorrow’s problem” he said.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, on his part, affirmed that the revenue in the mineral sector has improved after the introduction of NSCDC Mining Marshals.

Alake, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Mary Adah Ogbe, warned all illegal miners to formalise their operations or face the law.

He said that the illegal operations of the miners cause land degradation.

Earlier in his welcome remark, the Commandant-General of NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, stated that the nation’s security, especially the mining sector is being threatened by the nefarious activities of illegal miners, bandits, kidnappers, terrorists, etc, a situation that has led to a major setback in the development of the country’s otherwise very lucrative mining sector which is very critical to the country’s socio-economic development.

He said the passing out parade and inauguration of the second batch of Mining Marshals for immediate commencement of operations was coming after they had undergone eight (8) weeks of intensive and rigorous training meant to sharpen their skills and competencies for the task of strengthening security in the Mining Industry.

He noted that the training underscores not only NSCDC preparedness and determination in safeguarding the mining sector which is a “goldmine capable of turning around the economy of this great country but also our commitment to Federal Government’s efforts to diversify the economy to enhance economic growth and development”.

Audi added, “there is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is blessed with abundance of mineral resources which if properly tapped and managed, could significantly boost Nigeria’s revenue base which represents another giant stride towards stabilising the economy.

“Taking against this backdrop, the need to put in place adequate security measures towards strengthening security and safeguarding our collective patrimony cannot be overemphasised,” he said.

According to him, there is a need for a robust policy guideline backed by legislation, for robust regulatory measures to combat and criminalise illegal mining.

“This measure will no doubt attract and encourage genuine investors (both indigenous and foreign) to the mining industry,” he added.

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Source:

Tribune Online