Vandals cart away traffic light ‘solar batteries’ in Gombe
Chima Azubuike, Gombe
Gombe state commissioner for works Engr. Bappah Abubakar, on Wednesday, explained why some parts of the metropolis does not have functional traffic light, accusing criminals of stealing the batteries.
Abubakar disclosed that the vandals deliberately attacked some of the affected traffic spots to dismantle the batteries.
“We have observed some form of vandalization on those street traffic light. Some have been stolen by vandals, we are trying to put them back and we will commission them very soon,” Abubakar said.
The commissioner, alongside Commissioners for Information; Alhassan Kwami, Finance ; Muhammad Magaji, and Environment; Dr. Hussaina Goje, disclosed this in a briefing with newsmen shortly after State Government Executive council meeting presided by Governor Inuwa Yahaya, at the Government House.
Speaking further, Abubakar said council also approved the sum of 3.2 billion naira to install solar street light within a five year period, adding that it is a departure from the contractual agreement where successive government used 1.14 billion naira to service generator set.
“The completion for the solar street light project is three months, beginning from when the engineers will be handed the site and after the installation the contractors are going to run it for 5 years. Within the period there will be a warranty, and they will train our youths when they seek to go, they will hand over to our people who will be operating the system.
“Prior to now our street light system has been on generator, the last contract that expired the contract sum was 1.14 billion naira. The contract was entered into when the cost of diesel was not even as high as it is now so definitely if we are to renew this contract in the next one year the cost will be twice due to the cost of electrical fittings.”
He added that the first phase will cover only 71km of the township roads, stressing that the state government considered various alternative power supply but is most comfortable with solar.
“We have taken the street light in two lots; this is the first lot, the second lot is being processed for award. The first lot covers 71km of Gombe township roads and the second will be the dual carriage way which is 42km.
“We are in agreement with the solar project to extend this project to all local government headquarters. There is urgent need for us to provide urgent street light in the town, so we are doing it as a matter of urgency.
“We have considered other options but we feel the solar would be more effective. We have looked at other states and solar is working perfectly. We are reverting to solar now as a cheap alternative power supply but after five years there may be another technology cheaper than the solar and we can revert to that,” he added.