In a significant blow to power supply in Nigeria, a massive fire broke out at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) transmission substation located in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, on the night of Thursday, September 14, 2023. This incident has led to widespread power outages, adding to the challenges faced by the nation’s electricity supply.
The fire engulfed the 330-kilovolt (kV) facility, causing extensive damage. Abdulazeez Abdullahi, the Head of Corporate Communication at Kaduna Electric, confirmed in a statement on Friday, September 15, 2023, that the power outage experienced in parts of Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara states was a direct result of the fire.
Critical power supply infrastructure at the Transmission Works Centre in Birnin-Kebbi was severely affected by the blaze. Kaduna Electric expressed its condolences to TCN’s management and staff, acknowledging the significant inconvenience caused to its customers.
This disruption in power supply comes as a severe setback to the affected regions, which were already grappling with electricity-related challenges. Many residents and businesses now face additional hardships due to power shortages and resulting disruptions in their daily lives.
What makes this incident even more alarming is that it occurred just 24 hours after a national electricity grid collapse attributed to another fire outbreak. The consecutive incidents have raised concerns about the vulnerability of Nigeria’s power infrastructure and its readiness to respond to such emergencies.
Nafiu Abubakar, the spokesperson for the Kebbi State Police Command, confirmed the fire incident to Channels Television. However, he mentioned that further details could not be provided at this time due to ongoing assessments and investigations.
Efforts are now focused on assessing the extent of the damage and planning for the necessary repair works to restore power supply to the affected areas. In the meantime, residents and businesses in Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara states must prepare for continued power disruptions until the situation is resolved.
This unfortunate incident underscores the critical need for robust infrastructure maintenance and disaster preparedness measures in Nigeria’s power sector. The government and relevant authorities must take swift action to prevent such incidents in the future and ensure the reliable supply of electricity to the nation.
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