With the recent electrocution incident in Calabar, there have been calls for the federal government to properly enforce the National law gainst building under these power installations.
On April 23, the Federal Government said it would soon embark on a nationwide demolition of structures under high tension cables to forestall cases of electrocution, with Cross River as a pivot state.
The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this to newsmen in Calabar while on a visit to victims of Thursday’s tragedy at a football viewing Centre.
The minister was represented by the Managing Director, Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency (NEMSA), Peter Ewesor, accompanied by the Managing Director, Power Consortium Ltd., Matthew Eberbie.
The visit was to carry out a thorough investigation to ascertain the causes of the disaster and proffer safety measures to avoid a recurrence.
Gracious Omatseye, former Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NIEEE), said the demolition of structures built under high tension cable was a welcome development.
“Many Nigerians had met untimely death as a result of building under power lines and government decision to demolish structures under the lines is a good one.
“Demolition should not be the final stage; government should also put measures in place to ensure enforcement of the activity under the power lines.
“Task force should be set up to monitor activity under the lines so that people will not, after sometimes, begin to erect structures few.
“We have seen a situation in where people are getting permit from local governments to erect structures under power line; it should not happen any longer,” he said.
It is curious that Nigerian government only seems to act after the damaged has occurred, the law against such structures have been around for some time now, with the last revision of the environmental law occurring in 2010. However, we have decided to wait till the people lose their lives before we act. This is too bad.