The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu has warned those engaging in attacking the national grid to desist or face the full wrath of law, saying the act is a threat to national security.
The minister also appealed to workers of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to shun the act of vandalising properties whenever there is an industrial action.
He gave the warning during a visit to the Transmission Company of Nigeria, National Control Centre, Osogbo on Friday.
Adelabu said investigation was ongoing to see what led to the fire incident at the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) power transmission station in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi state, assuring that anyone found culpable will be dealt with.
He said, “It takes us to the protection of these assets. These are national assets and they are precious assets to all of us. Nothing must happen to them because if you destroy these assets, it is an act of economic sabotage.
“It is also a threat to national security and this has to be legislated. No matter what the circumstances are, nothing must push us to deliberately destroy these assets.
“I’m not against industrial actions, it is part of labour relations but when we are doing it, we must be conscious of what is our collective asset. Industrial actions will be resolved whether we like it or not but in the course of the action, what have we destroyed?
“Vandaling assets in the control centre is an economic crime that must be so treated. We need to talk to ourselves.
“It was regrettable that during the two-day warning strike, I learnt that the control centre was attacked. It is not the best for us as a country. These are things that baffle our international partners.
“We should see ourselves as defendants of our national assets. Once anything happens here, it touches every Nigerian and every household. If we touch the National Grid, the entire nation goes into a blackout and it is unfair to everybody.
“The fire break in Kebbi, people are saying it’s sabotage, I’m not going to conclude it’s sabotage but it looks like it. How can three transformers catch fire simultaneously?
“We have set up a high-level investigation panel to see what led to that fire outbreak and I can assure you that if any of our staff is found wanting, such staff will face the wrath of the law.”
The minister further noted that efforts are ongoing to strengthen security to forestall future attacks.
“We have written to the National Security Adviser to strengthen our security around our establishment across the country so that what happened in Kebbi will not repeat itself elsewhere. I want to assure you that going forward, we are not going to experience such breakdown in our national grid.”