By Obas Esiedesa
International multilateral donors including the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB), have raised $1.57 billion for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to its Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP).
The programme is expected to expand the company’s electricity grid to 20,000 megawatts (MW) within the next four years.
Other donors into the programme are Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and French Development Agency.
The Managing Director of the TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, when the TCN hosted a workshop with stakeholders in the electricity industry to review its plan to procure and install brand new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and electricity management system (EMS) for the national grid.
He said TREP was initiated and approved by the Federal Government for the TCN to steadily grow, stabilise and modernise Nigeria’s transmission network so it can take more electricity from generation companies (Gencos) to distribution networks.
According to him, “We established the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) that seeks to expand and stabilise the grid, and provide necessary flexibility and redundancies consistent with N-1 reliability criteria.
“The objective of the TREP also is to expand the grid to about 20,000 megawatts in the next three to four years, this being done through the implementation of the TREP.
“I wish to tell you that the TREP has so far been able raise $1.57 billion from multilateral and bilateral donors. And, this is coming from the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), JICA, and French Development Agency”.
He stated: “Discussion is ongoing also to raise more funds in the course of the implementation of this programme.”
Mohammed explained that the TCN was able to attract such funds from these multilateral donor agencies because it was able to clean its management processes and now abide by standard corporate governance processes.
He noted that such corporate governance processes imbibed included the update of TCN’s annual financial audit reports which he said was in arrears from 2010 to 2016 but now cleared, except for that of 2017 which is ongoing; the trimming down of its bloated management cadre from 46 general managers to 16 and less than 50 assistant general managers; as well as the restructuring of its procurement systems to accommodate only competent firms in its contract windows.
“In the last one year, we have been able to deliver a 20-year least-cost transmission plan, present to NERC a generation adequacy report which is part of the requirement of the function of system operation, and we have been able to also audit TCN from 2010 to 2016 and now working to deliver the 2017 audit,” he added.
Mohammed equally disclosed that TCN has set aside a $65 million budget to procure the brand new SCADA and EMS for the country’s grid. He explained the facility will help the TCN manage the grid efficiently.
He explained further: “The SCADA is a digital system to control the grid. Most of the time we use manual processes to control the grid, and if somebody does anything in the grid that is supposed to be seen, sometimes it cannot be seen because there is no SCADA, so the SCADA is like a mirror that sees everybody on the grid and anybody that does anything that affects the grid will be seen and punished according to the grid code.
“Its main purpose is to ensure that we have a grid that is functioning properly, and become stable and modern”.