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TCN Usman-Gur-Mohammed

‘Lack of commensurate investments by Discos frustrating FG’s grid expansion drive’

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The Federal Government has observed that the observed lack of commensurate investment in distribution network by electricity distribution companies (Discos), remains a stumbling block in the expected results from the massive expansion of power transmission grid.
Before now, government had been worrying Discos to up their game in investments, but Discos tied their readiness to invest on giving them approval to jerk up tariffs which both government and Nigerians are not ready to hear.
In a statement, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) noted that “Nigerians will never have electricity if the Discos do not invest in their network” regardless of the billions of naira being invested in power transmission assets across the country.
Currently, figures from the Ministry showed that investments by the government and multilateral agencies on electricity transmission under the Transmission Expansion Rehabilitation Programme (TERP), had risen to $1.63bn.
The feat apart from receiving accolades from international donor agencies, it has jumped Nigeria’s power transmission capacity from about 5,000 megawatts three years ago to 8,100MW but lack of corresponding infrastructure build up by Discos is rubbishing results.
Explaining more, the Managing Director of TCN, Usman Mohammed, decried that all the efforts of the Federal Government in maintaining grid stability and efficiency may continue to be useless if Discos continue to remain adamant in distribution assets by recapitalising.
According to him, “All these things that we are doing by trying to make the grid stable, do you know that only 18 customers are connected directly to our network? So that means the quality of life of Nigerians may not change with respect to electricity regardless of what we are doing.
Mohammed averred that “Of course, if we don’t do it, there is a problem. If we do it and other people don’t do what they are supposed to do, it is also a problem. Out of necessity we asked the system operator to do a study across the grid recently and we discovered that out of 738 interface that we have with the distribution companies, only 421 are connected directly through our injection substations.”
Only recently, the regulator, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), had come out to declare that Discos are deliberately frustrating the Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) policy of the government by having cold feet in sealing deals with the over 85 licenced MAPs.

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