The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has stated that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has been the weakest link in the Nigerian electricity value chain.
In a press release signed and issued yesterday by the Director, Research and Advocacy,Sunday Olurotimi Oduntan, the association noted with concern that rather than trying to settle down to work in collaboration with other stakeholders in the sector to improve situation, TCN was more interested in blaming their inadequacies on others, particularly the DISCOs.
“It is unfortunate that the new management of TCN, with the departure of Manitoba Hydro MHI, rather than reach out, in partnership, to work with the other stakeholders of the sector, is more interested in pointing fingers and playing the blame game.
“No matter how TCN wants to play it, whether it is scheduling an ill-advised and non-informative press conference or seeking to colour the reality of transmission shortcomings, transmission remains the weakest link in the power value chain,” the statement read in part.
Recall that at a press conference held in Abuja on Monday, August 22, 2016, TCN identified some of its challenges to include load-shedding by the DISCOs which denies consumers electricity supply even when there is enough power at their disposal.
Contrary to claims of TCN that it was working assiduously to ensure that wheeling capacity increased from 5, 500 to 6,000 MW at the end of the year in line with the presidential roadmap on power, the statement said the claims are unscientific and therefore unreliable, adding that till now the maximum capacity reached by TCN has been the 5,074.7 MW it achieved in February 2nd, 2016.
They also did not see the possibility of TCN receiving any fund from its 2016 appropriation as it claimed.
“Any plans by TCN to complete 22 critical projects captured in the 2016 budget has to be a function of the availability and release of the requisite funding required for same. Given that we are in the fourth quarter of 2016, it is not clear that TCN has received, nor will it receive, any funding that comes close to enabling it complete the indicated projects – a continued legacy of limited and poor funding of a vital aspect of power infrastructure,” the statement read further.
Dr. Abubakar Atiku, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of TCN, in stating why TCN should not be considered the weakest link in the power sector value chain reportedly said that “…the weakest link is truly identified as those distribution companies rejecting customers load; thereby throwing them into darkness, resulting in the lowering of generation, although we have the capacity to generate more.”
In response to that the DISCOs argue that to think that they would indulge in load shedding or rejection is uncalled for since it will lead to loss of revenue and alienation of customers on their part.
They also argued that their current liquidity challenges are a fallout of “TCN’s infrastructure and technical limitations in wheeling power to the proper areas of a DISCO ’s geographical footprint, adding that as result of TCN’s poor transmission capacities, the DISCO’s are currently experiencing a monthly loss in excess of N1 billion.
The statement also noted that until “TCN is properly funded, its project management capacity upgraded, trained and competent personnel enlisted, it is fair to question the veracity of the constant assurances of possible foreign/donour investment in TCN.”