As part of efforts to check the rate of electrocutions and accidents, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has banned the use of untreated
wooden poles in connecting consumers in the electricity power sector.
The agency has also warned the nation’s electricity distribution companies and electrical contractors against using substandard materials and equipment in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
NEMSA also raised queries over the substandard and bad construction practices in the power industry and other allied industries and workplaces.
The agency said on Monday, that the move is to guarantee the delivery of safe, stable and reliable power supply to the citizenry and to guarantee the safety of lives and property nationwide.
In a memo to Discos, Managing Director and Chief Executive of NEMSA, Peter Ewesor, gave reasons of hindrances to safe, stable and reliable power supply to Nigerians caused by the use of these substandard materials and equipment in our power systems and networks as major reason for the ban.
Ewesor also said that the Agency took the decision on the strength of several reports submitted to it by NEMSA’s Inspectorate Field Officers across the country after the monitoring and evaluation of network/power systems
According to him, “during the exercise, the indiscriminate use of substandard materials / equipment and bad construction practices in NESI by the electrical contractors and Discos alike were discovered”
Ewesor, who is also the Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation warned the utility companies, Discos and the electrical installation contractors from further use of these types of substandard materials, equipment and practices in the NESI.
He also strongly advised them to ensure strict compliance and adhere to standard construction practices in the execution of their network and power systems.
He identified some of these substandard materials to include use of untreated wooden poles, use of untreated wooden cross-arms, use of un-galvanized channel/angle irons, use of un-galvanised and improper tie straps and use of un-galvanized bolts and nuts.
He noted how frequent failures of these substandard equipment and materials usually result in sudden collapse of distribution networks/systems, posing risks to lives and property.
Others according to him, include use of split conductors and cables resulting in sudden snapping of conductors and network collapses, use of undersize conductors and cables limiting current carrying capacity and the use of fake/non copper (aluminium) cables for indoor wiring and installations.
He also identified direct connection of up-riser copper conductor to overhead aluminium conductor instead of using bimetal line taps and use of extended cross-arms to raise or increase the height of electric concrete poles as some of the bad construction practices.
Others include the use of conductors with joints over expressway roads and river crossings, feeder pillars not bolted down on plinths falling easily and leaving exposed cables, exposed feeder pillars and using pieces of conductors as fuses which are considered unsafe and unacceptable.
It also include missing J&P fuse links and using only pieces of cables as fuses, supporting 33KV and 11KV overhead lines on the same poles, and using unequal poles in a three (3) or four (4) pole structure.
Use of single pole and angle steel cross-arms for tee-offs of new feeder/extension lines and unfenced distribution substations with exposed transformers bushings were also identified as unsafe and risks to the public.
Source The Guardian