How one man’s indiscretion fuels Kebbi power crisis

Ali Garba, AGM (Transmission) Birnin Kebbi TCN Power Station

By Yakubu Ahmed-BK (Maibindiga)

The incessant electricity outages and recurring power crisis in Kebbi State has been linked to the indiscretion, corruption and arrogance of the Assistant General Manager (transmission) of the Birnin Kebbi Power Plant of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Ali Garba.

An investigation conducted by this reporter revealed that the constant system collapse which always necessitates blackouts to Kebbi State and other outreach stations was as a result of the complete stoppage of the routine but regulatory lines patrols which Ali Garba has unilaterally stopped even though money for such are released to him.

These patrols that are done quarterly are specifically regulated for maintenance purposes and to look out for broken insulators, erosion encroachment to the tower, vandalization of tower members (tower iron) and earth wiring among many other possible problems that may impede power supply.

The investigation which was accentuated by outcries from power consumers across the whole of the old Sokoto state and the neighboring Niger Republic was meant to locate the exact problems of power supply in the areas.

It has been a quarterly tradition and practice for patrols to be undertaken on the Kainji/Birnin Kebbi line; Birnin Kebbi/Niamey line and the Birnin Kebbi/Sokoto/Talata Mafara line in order to locate potential problems and fix them before they graduate into bigger problems that may take days and resources to deal with.

But since his arrival, Ali Garba has stopped the patrols and instead preferring to wait until a problem occurs before he orders for rather costly and futile efforts to locate the problems and begin the process of correcting them. Feelers from our sources in TCN revealed that funds earmarked for the quarterly patrols are usually sent to Garba, who in turn, sits on them. The last patrol done was in February 2019.

Ali Garba who is widely known within the Birnin Kebbi power axis as “BAKA TSORON KOWA” is from Kano state and junior staff members claim that apart from greed and arrogance, the man has shown traits of envy on the constant power supply which Kebbi enjoys. His standpoint is therefore enterpreted to be an effort to sabotage the power flow.

It has also been discovered that several petitions on the man’s incompetence and sabotage written and sent to the Managers of TCN asking for his redeployment have largely remained unheeded.

Is this matter not big enough for the state government and all political, community, religious and labour leaders of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara to rise and pursue?