Usman Mohammed, MD, TCN

 

Power Distribution Companies in Nigeria is indebted to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to the tune of N231billion as of March 2019.

TCN Managing Director, Usman Mohammed who disclosed this on Sunday in Abuja, noted that it had become necessary to correct the mistake made during the privatisation process of the power sector.

“It is important we reset those distribution companies on the path of sustainability so that we don’t continue to put money in a company that doesn’t deliver as expected,” he stated.

He explained that the N701 billion which the Federal Government provided to support generation companies for the payment of gas, was due to the fact that Discos were not remitting the required funds to the sector to pay power generators.

“If the Discos are performing we would not have to put in all that money. So it is because the money from the Discos is not coming in to pay the Gencos that was why we had to put this kind of structure. For transmission, they (Discos) owe us N231bn as of March. The sum of N231bn is what the Discos owe us,” he noted.

Mohammed revealed that there had been a push for the recapitalisation of the Discos, adding that this was also one of the ways to correct the mistake that was made when the sector was privatised.

“We are pushing for the recapitalisation of the Discos because we believe that we made a mistake in the process of privatisation and we believe that the mistake can only be corrected by the process of recapitalisation,” he stated.

“Privatisation is the right thing because the government cannot sustainably invest in the power sector, but the point is that we implemented the right thing wrongly and so we need to correct that mistake. That is what we need to do as people.”

He regretted that the over $1bn investments in transmission had not been adequately felt by power users because of the poor networks in the country’s electricity distribution arm.

“The Nigerian people are not connected to our network. They are connected to the distribution network. So the Nigerian people in a way do not feel what we are doing. But the fact is that even our equipment is not guaranteed because there is no investment in the distribution network.

“You may ask how? We have 737 interfaces between us and the distribution companies. Out of these 737 interfaces, only 421 are protected on the distribution side. The remaining 316 are not protected or not fully protected. So you will see a 33kV breaker that will trip for about 30 times in a month.”

The electricity generated by power generation companies is transmitted by the TCN to the country’s 11 power distributors, who in turn, distribute the product to final consumers.

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