CLO deplores disconnection of Aba Power, describes action as ‘siege’ to national security
Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has decried prevailing outage in Abia State owing to disconnection of Aba Power from the national grid by Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
It described the development as a siege to national security. The Abia facility, which provides electricity to nine of the state’s 17 councils, was disconnected on Friday over N896,210,059 indebtedness.
In a statement, leader of Southeast Zone of the organisation, Comrade Aloysius Attach, said other 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) established since 2013 might be owing far greater amounts, yet not subjected to “this treatment because the Federal Government understands the far-reaching implications of putting any part of the country in complete darkness even for a day.”
He added: “Far from allowing any part of Nigeria to be plunged into darkness, the government has been subsidising the DisCos with a fortune, despite being private entities.
“The Federal Government subsidised the DisCos with N120 billion in 2022 alone.
“It is scandalous that the market operator, an arm of TCN, owned by the Federal Government, didn’t mind putting a whole state in darkness, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Civil Defence and National Security Organisation in Abia State, which rely on constant electricity supply to discharge their onerous duties to Nigerian people in a state with grave security challenges.”
CLO pointed out a fundamental contradiction in the steps taken by TCN on repayment of statutory fees to federal agencies by Aba Power. It continued: “While TCN, in a letter with reference number TCN-MO-003-APL-049-VOL2-202, dated April 30, 2023, asked Aba Power to clear its debt within one month, the company wrote a letter with reference number, TCN-MO-003-EDTSP-C37—VOL7-2023, on the same day to the market operator, directing it to yank off Aba Power from the transmission network within 24 hours.
“It is not fortuitous but rather a well-calculated and deliberate action that the disconnection started not just on a Friday, but also on a public holiday, which saw Nigerians out of their usual businesses till the following Monday.
“TCN and the market operator did not allow Muslims to celebrate the yearly Eid-el-Fitri feast after one month of fasting, body mortification and intense spiritual exercises.”
The civil society organisation expressed satisfaction that Aba Power has been making efforts to discharge its financial obligations to suppliers, government agencies and customers.