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Why poor electricity supply may linger, by TCN

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Mistakes were made in privatisation of the power sector

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has advanced reasons why Nigeria may continue to suffer power outages, urging the Federal Government to rescue the power sector and remedy the epileptic electricity supply in the country.

Managing Director of TCN, Usman Gur Mohammed, who spoke at a meeting organised by the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP) on the worsening power supply in Nigeria in Kaduna, pointed out that unless government corrected the imbalances in the establishment of Distribution Companies (DisCos), outages would linger.

Muhammed, who delivered a lecture on the state of power supply in the country, said, “We made some mistakes in the privatisation of the power sector that led to very weak companies that succeeded in taking over the DisCos.

“So, we need to correct the weakness by recapitalising the DisCos, because when we did the privatisation, we didn’t have the investments commensurate with the distribution network. Definitely, there is something that needed to be corrected and that is why I said there were mistakes.”

Speaking at the Sardauna Memorial Foundation Hall in the presence of Controller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Colonel Hamid Ali (rtd.), Coordinator of ARDP, Usman Bugaje and others, he said the TCN has been generating enough power for distribution, but the DisCos could not meet supplies.

“However, there is the hope of having uninterrupted power supply in the country, if the DisCos live up to expectation. Many countries in the West African sub-region like Benin Republic, Chad, Niger, Cameroon get their source of power from Nigeria, with uninterrupted supply, why should our case be different?

“There is hope because when President Muhammadu Buhari administration came in, the value chains in the power sector had problems ranging from generation to transmission and distribution.

“At that time, generation was around 3,500 megawatts just as distribution and transmission capacity was not more than 5,000 megawatts. But, as of December 2018, transmission capacity reached around 8,100 megawatts, which means that there is a significant improvement.

“As of today, the generation capacity is about 7,500 megawatts, which also means significant improvement. So, if you had three things that were not working and you have fixed two, definitely a significant improvement has taken place.

“So, I want to assure that with the government’s N72b distribution programme, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Power and other interventions, definitely, the government is willing to resolve the last line and I believe that very soon, we will see better results,” he stated.

Responding, Bugaje, pointed out that the Federal Government should live up to its responsibility by ensuring adequate provision of power, saying the country’s present economic downturn was caused by the poor power supply.


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