BY ROTIMI DUROJAIYE
Attempt by contractors claiming to have the authorisation of the management of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company to remove transformers meant for critical electricity project in Imo State has been foiled by the government of Governor Hope Uzodimma.
His Special Adviser on Media, Oguwike Nwachuku, said in a statement that it was believed in some quarters that the ‘contractors’, among them Indians, must have come with the intention to steal the facilities but merely dropped the name of NDPHC management to get away with the ploy.
“On Thursday, December 2, 2021, Governor Uzodimma got intelligence that some Indian contractors in collaboration with others went to Egbu Transmission claiming to have the authorisation of Niger Delta Power Holding Company to dismantle the 2 × 150mva and 2 × 60mva Transformers meant for the ongoing Transmission Project yard in Egbu and move them to Lagos.
“Governor Uzodimma had quickly detailed the relevant government and security officials to ascertain the authenticity of the visit and claim but was shocked to discover that the so-called NDPHC contractors could not show anything to support their mission,” Nwachuku said.
On further interrogation, it was also discovered that they had no documentation to the effect of their claim, a situation that further raised doubts about their intentions.
“What was worse was that on sneaking into Imo State the contractors made secret contacts with youths from Egbu, promising them tips to enable them move the heavy duty power electricity equipment and also cover their tracks.
It was at this stage that the ploy leaked and when the men were accosted it became apparent that they were not genuine,” he stressed.
President Goodluck Jonathan had in 2010 awarded the Egbu Transmission Project Yard and the equipment were accordingly supplied.
Work was almost completed but for the arrival of 330kv line coming from Alaoji to Owerri and Onitsha.
Incidentally, the 330kv line project has just been jointly awarded by AfDB/TCN, meaning that any interruption of equipment in the project will bring the entire Imo State to a long and devastating darkness and consequently, economic retardation.
“Governor Uzodimma is therefore not taking lightly what looks like a properly designed sabotage and is awaiting the outcome of the interrogation of the so-called NDPHC contractors by security agencies before taking further action,” said the governor’s spokesman.