We are prepared to work with DisCos to improve power supply delivery- MD, TCN
BY: Innocent Okoye
The management of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, has offered to work in tandem with the managements of all the Distribution Companies, DisCos, to ensure superior power service delivery to the people of Nigeria and beyond.
The problem however is that the managements of the DisCos are not prepared to work with anybody for system improvement and that is why the country seems to be deteriorating in terms of power supply delivery.
The Managing Director of TCN, Mr Usman Gur Mohammed made the above declaration at the meeting to present updates of the donor funded projects to representatives of donor agencies and top managers of power MDAs in Abuja.
Mr Mohammed related how in several fora organised by NERC and the power ministry for high level engagements for top managers of power agencies, the MDs of DisCos did “No Show”. They always sent their representatives. We want to work with them and if BPE would convene such a meeting, it is very much welcome, the TCN MD offered.
The TCN presentation at the meeting covered several grounds; Mohammed commended the donors for the funds and confidence they place in the current management to deliver on promise and assured that TCN would definitely deliver on the projects to grow the grid infrastructure and service improvements. He added that with the way the sector was going TCN would be in the position to repay the loans without resorting to the Federal Government.
According to the MD, TCN was successfully implementing a four-point strategy which include system frequency control, procurement of adequate spinning reserve, provision of functional Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), and Critical Investment in Lines and Sub Stations. “TCN is rehabilitating and expanding the transmission lines and substations across the country. As at the last count, we have installed 69 power transformers across the nation, making them consistent with N-1 reliability criteria in line with international best standards.
“TCN is also using in-house capacity to install abandoned transformers and other equipment, string transmission lines and also assist contractors complete various uncompleted projects. “The use of in-house engineers to complete projects has assisted greatly in completing several projects across the country. It has also assisted in resolving budget overrun which previously characterised TCN project implementation,” he said.
“We have raised the highest donor-funded money in the history of Nigeria. We have 1.661 billion dollars under which we are expanding the grid. “Of the 1.661 billion dollars, there is not a kobo that has been disbursed apart from the Abuja Wheeling Scheme where TCN has effected advance payment on the 155 million dollars project.
“TCN management has started providing complete and effective oversight and supervisory control over all donor-funded projects and this has significantly improved the pace of implementation. “This meeting is for TCN to give a breakdown of its achievement with the funds and to seek the donor’s guidance on implementation,” he said. Usman said that all the investments in transmission infrastructure would hopefully translate to sustainable electricity power, adding that the country needed the same level of investment in the distribution network to be able to optimise the use of power.
“This is why we have consistently been calling for the re-capitalisation of the Distribution Companies (DisCos). We want them to have the same type of investment and expand the distribution network and make it reliable so that they can supply Nigerians with electricity,” he said.
On his part, Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh, harped on the need for synergy among players in the power sector. Okoh said that there was need for industry players to come together, recognise the gap and find solution to the problem of the power sector.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Mr Louis Edozien, commended the donors for assisting the country in its quest to ensure that Nigerians enjoyed stable power supply. Represented by the Director of Transmission, Mr Emmanuel Anosike, Edozien commended TCN for a job well done, urging the outfit to maintain the good work.
A representative of the World Bank, Mr Muhammed Wakil, confirmed that the bank has good relationship with TCN and recently closed a 300-million-dollar power project. Wakil also confirmed significant improvement in the performance of TCN and the passion among staff to achieve projects. He however like several other participants at the meeting encouraged TCN to have better coordination with the Discos so that the investments that are being made would actually result in improved power to Nigerians.