FG Secures $486m from World Bank for TCN Expansion, Assures on New Meter Program
By Dele Ogbodo
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN, on Monday said the World Bank has approved $486 million for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), transmission infra-structure expansion.
In a statement made available to Energybizdigest online, by the Minister’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, stated that progress is being made with the same bank for the rural electrification and distribution expansion funding. The minister, who made the disclosure at the 25th Power sector operators monthly meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said the power sector recovery programme was in progress and delivering positive results.
The Minsiter welcomed the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel to the meeting and presented him the first copy of the new regulation on Meter Asset Provider. The 25th monthly meeting was hosted by the state government and Ibom Power.
On distribution, he said: “While it is no longer news that we have reached a 7,000 MW generation capacity and have a 5,000 MW distribution capacity, what is newsworthy is that in the last month, we have met with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), DisCos, and GenCos on how to implement the eligible customer policy and increase connectivity to the 2,000 MW that is available.”
That meeting, Fashola, admitted was productive, explaining that it is witnessing positive responses. “Reports reaching me indicate that what is outstanding is an agreement on the tariffs that will be paid by the eligible customer.
“In many parts of the country connected to the grid, citizen feedback is positive, even though all the problems are not solved. Citizens acknowledge more power in dry weather, reduced hours of running their generators and reduction in fuel (diesel and petrol) purchase to power generators.” he said.
According to the minister, citizens are already embracing the mini-grid policy and regulations to provide power for different uses, adding that in Ogun State, a renewable energy project was completed and commissioned in February.
“In Kano State, I commissioned a 73KW Solar Hybrid System developed by Rumbu Industries to support its meter production in a factory that employs 1,400 people.
“Within the same period in Kano, I inspected the Solar system being deployed in Sabon Gari Market, that has 12,000shops. About 3,000 shops have registered, and 486 shops have been connected to cheaper and more efficient solar power. More shops are being wired by 120 technicians employed by the project.
“In Abia State, work has commenced to connect and meter 31,000 shop owners in Ariaria Market to cleaner and more efficient power.” the minister said. Fashola, said NERC has concluded the regulations that will provide the framework to license a new class of meter asset providers to complement the efforts of DisCos to supply meters to citizens.
He said: “Government decision to pursue an out-of-court settlement on a meter contract awarded since 2003, which was held up in Court until 2017, has made available N39 billion to kick off this process.
“I am aware that Yola DisCo is already positioning to take up 400,000 meters once the contract and process formalities are concluded. I am told that Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, Ikeja and Benin DisCos are also embracing the initiative, which has reserved a 30 percent local content for the meters to be supplied under the Regulations.”