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Nigerian Government Deploys NSCDC to Safeguard Power Infrastructure Against Rampant Vandalism

In a bid to protect power infrastructure, NSCDC has been tasked with preventing widespread vandalism of transmission lines across Nigeria.

The federal government has ordered the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), to take over the protection of transmission lines and towers across the nation.

The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunjo-Ojo, gave the order on Friday during the passing-out parade of the second batch of mining marshals of NSCDC in Abuja, decrying that: “It is not acceptable for a country to spend billions on power infrastructure for it to be vandalised.”

The minister, while expressing deep concern over the constant vandalism of transmission lines, towers and transformers, described the repeated vandalism of critical national assets as economic sabotage which must be nipped in the bud.

Tunji-Ojo added that: “I will speak with my brother, the Minister of Power, about the rate of vandalism, the rate of destruction of our critical infrastructure in the sector and a lot of sabotage going on with our transmission lines, our generation points and all the rest has to be looked into.

“It is your job to make sure that no critical asset of government is destroyed and we are ready and I believe NSCDC is up to the task.

“The next time I come here, I want to see my Power Rangers, I mean people that will protect our distribution lines, people that will protect our Gencos and people that will protect every power sector. It’s not reasonable, it’s not acceptable for a country like Nigeria to spend billions of dollars on power infrastructure all for it to be vandalised. No country grows or develops without the power sector, so NSCDC it is time for you to play your part.

“In terms of the power sector we will take this sector by sector. I have decided that the solution towards you accomplishing your mandate is sectorisation of your responsibility.”

Tunji-Ojo also assured Nigerians that the country would do everything it takes to win the war against illegal miners.

He said: “Today, I can tell you the revenue from the solid mineral sector is not where it used to be, it has improved. The security in terms of our mines has improved and of course Nigeria is a big country. Therefore, we need to train more, we need to deploy more personnel to make sure that all our mines and all critical assets of Nigeria are well protected.

“We have seen that there is no solution to our problems that Nigerians cannot prefer. Yes, we’ve not yet won the war but we know we will win the war.”

On his part, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, acknowledged 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 Ogbe, however warned miners to formalise their operations or face the law.

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

In his remarks, the Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi, lamented that the nation’s security especially the mining sector is being threatened by the nefarious activities of illegal miners, bandits, kidnappers, terrorists, among others, noting that this has led to a major setback in the development of the country’s otherwise very lucrative mining sector that  is very critical to the country’s socio-economic development.

Audi said, “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.”

He noted that adequate security measures towards strengthening security and safeguarding our collective patrimony needs to be put in place, while insisting that there is need for a robust policy guideline backed by legislation, for robust regulatory measures to combat and criminalise illegal mining.

The CG explained that this measure will no doubt attract and encourage genuine investors, both indigenous and foreign to the mining industry.

On the new mining marshals, he said: “I am of the firm belief that this intensive training has sufficiently equipped the participants with the requisite skills and knowledge to discharge their duties diligently and professionally. Let me at this juncture remind today’s graduands of the expectations of government and to charge you all to maintain a high sense of professionalism, integrity, discipline, civility, humility, and level headedness and to ensure that knowledge gained in the course of the training is effectively utilised to fortify security at all mining sites across the country.

“You are also expected to imbibe the spirit of patriotism, absolute loyalty and to eschew acts or unethical conduct capable of dragging the image of the Corps in the mud as anyone found wanting will be appropriately sanctioned. Furthermore, you are to shun any act of unhealthy rivalry with other Security Agencies but rather regard yourselves as partners in the wheel of progress and development of this great Nation.”

Michael Olugbode

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