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Residents write Buhari as FG, TCN, Jigawa shun Gagarawa power station started under Yar’Adua

JIGAWA, Nigeria – Nigerians in Jigawa State have begged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in the abandonment of the construction of the Gagarawa national grid substation.

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The appeal to Buhari was contained in an open letter sent to the President on Thursday.

It was signed by Salim Ibrahim, President of the Gagarawa Students Association.

Late President Umaru Yar’Adua, in 2010, approved the commencement of the project.

But the Nigerian government, Jigawa State Government and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the parastatal handling the construction, have all allegedly left it uncompleted.

The power substation is located in Gagarawa Local Government.

In August 2019, former TCN Managing Director, Usman Mohammed, threatened to revoke the contract.

He did not give the name of the company handling the project but ordered the contractor to appear before him to explain the delay.

“The contract was awarded at the cost of N472 million since 2011. If we discover that he (contractor) will not be able to deliver in accordance with the contract terms, we will revoke. We will take over and complete it in two months”, Daily Trust quoted him as saying.

However, as fate would have it, Mohammed was fired by the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, just two days ago – after President Buhari’s approval.

In the SOS to Buhari, Ibrahim recalled that the issue was raised on the floor of the House of Representatives by a former member, Sani Zorro.

Ibrahim lamented that despite the inclusion of the project in the 2019 budget, no action has been taken.

He wrote: “Honestly, people are suffering and we are in urgent need of electricity to live comfortably. As we all know, water and electricity are social amenities essential to humans in this generation.

“Growing up in Gagarawa town, I know very well how people are suffering due to the absence of electricity, especially during hot seasons and fasting periods. It is hard to spend a year experiencing or enjoying electricity in my town and the whole Local Government.

“My town generates its electricity from Gumel poles. During raining seasons, some poles fall due to the heavy winds and it takes a long time before the government fixes them. People lodged complaints but still got no desired result.

“The annoying part is that the state and federal governments have neglected us. They claim that the power substation will work, so when? Imagine that Nigeria cannot provide electricity for all citizens. I cannot blame the government alone, poor representation in both state and national assemblies is a factor.

“I was happy when I read the news, in December 2019, that the Jigawa Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the TCN on the construction of two 132KV Double Circuit (DC) as well as the completion of our project. Nothing till date.

“It is sad to watch how people are suffering to charge their phones at various commercial centers in the town. People also find it difficult to buy ice blocks because it is expensive during Ramadan and other times.

“The project when completed will serve Gagarawa, Taura, Ringim Local Government Areas, in addition to the proposed industrial hub in the area.

”The student leader also explained that the project will boost economic activities and provide jobs for youths in the area.”

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