By Obas Esiedesa
The Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Usman Mohammed has said that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) should not be on the board of electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
The BPE had last week announced that it was increasing the number of its representatives on the board of the utilities to two.
But Mr. Mohammed who fielded questions from newsmen at a quarterly press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday night said as the government agency in charge of monitoring the performance of the privatized companies, it was wrong for BPE to be on the DisCos’ board.
“The BPE monitors the performance contract. How do you monitor what you are part? It is not the right thing”, he added.
He said TCN has made it views on the issue known to the government in writing.
The TCN boss also insisted that the DisCos need to be recapitalized, noting that without additional investments in the distribution network, the effort of government to bring power to consumers may not be achieved.
He stated that TCN has invested massively in upgrading transmission infrastructure including re-conducting several lines and construction of several substations across the country.
He however pointed out that such investments have not been marched by investments in the distribution network which would allow electricity get to consumers.
He blamed poor infrastructure by the DisCos for frequent grid collapses recorded in the past few months.
He said TCN was working hard to stabilize the grid but for instability to be eliminated a few things needed to be addressed including having a spinning reserve and procurement of SCADA (System Control and Data Acquisition).
He explained: “We have four important things to do to make the grid stable. First is the frequency control. We achieved 49.5 and 50.5Hz from May 2017 to November 2018. From December 31 2018 to May 5 2019 we achieved frequency control at the rate of WAPP standard that is 49.8 and 50.2Hz at 66 percent of the time.
“But from May 6 to this time, we are struggling to achieve frequency control of 49.8 and 50.2Hz. we are struggling at 30 percent. This is because we have weak distribution network. Once it starts raining all the distribution networks are always collapsing and as a result of that frequency management becomes a big issue”, he added.
He disclosed that TCN has received $1.661 billion dollars from multi-lateral donors to boost power supply in the country.
Mohammed said that TCN had raised significant amount to reinforce the system under the critical investment programme.
“As at today, the amount we have raised from multi-lateral donors has risen to 1.661 billion dollars to execute some power projects in the country.
“These projects include the Abuja Wheeling Scheme that will bring five sub-stations and bring a new supply route to the territory.
“The new route will be from Lafia to Abuja with 330KV line and two 330KV sub-stations in Abuja and put addition three numbers 132 KV sub-stations in the territory,’’ he said.
He said that the contract for the project had been signed and divided into six slots, adding that 10 contractors had been pre-qualified.