The Oasis Reporters
March 29, 2021
By Prof Usman Tar
The Boko Haram islamist insurgents have just discovered an easy way to sabotage the existence of the people of Borno State in Nigeria’s north east .
It is cheap to blow up a power transmission line whilst repair/restoration takes a much longer time, indicative that the people are probably in for a long haul of blackout. The vicious circle of blow-up-and-restore power infrastructure is shaping up to be a permanent feature of the insurgents’ battle plan, and a profane “new norm” that is becoming unbearable. Terrorists feast on sabotage and blackmail as a means of triggering public anger.
The government should show to the insurgents, loud and clear, that in conjunction with the peace loving populace, they reserve the collective will to overcome, defeat terror, and prosper, to the frustration of the agents of terrorism.
Dual Master Plan:
1. Cosmopolitan Power Plan: Government should consider establishing a secure hybrid Mega solar and gas power plant for Maiduguri, Bama, Biu and environs. This plant should have sufficient capacity to power residential and industrial needs.
2. Rural Power Plan: Government should consider establishing a secure mini hybrid power plants at LGAs to service the LG HQ and adjacent villages. These plants should service the needs of SMEs, cottage industries and communities.
These plants, to be domiciled in well-fortified state capital and LG HQs, should be secured in more efficient and sustainable ways than the “exposed” national power grids that pass through vast territory and “ungoverned spaces”
This initiative can be funded through Sukuk loan or PPP. In addition, the government can negotiate a smooth take off with the TCN and DISCOs who, it would seem, lack the will or resources to embark on such a capital project. At the end of the day, there is no alternative to a sustainable solution that will counter the nefarious intent of the insurgents.
The necessary legislative, institutional and budgetary structures should be secured to commence this.
The time for urgent action is now. The earlier this matter is given consideration, the better for us in calling the bluff of the insurgents.
May Allah grant us the collective will to overcome this challenge, as we have done so since the start of this madness called BH insurgency.