Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) are losing N1billion monthly as a result of the limited capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to wheel power to them, especially in the North.
Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) Executive Director, Research & Advocacy, Sunday Olurotimi Oduntan, said in a statement that the situation was worsened byTCN’s inability to meet its financial obligations, thereby compromising the DisCos’ ability to meet their obligations to the Market Operator.
He said yesterday: “DisCos are currently experiencing a monthly loss in excess of N1 billion due to limited transmission capacities in various areas of the country, especially the northern part.” He described the TCN as “the weakest link of the old National Electric Power Authority,”
TCN had in a press briefing identified the DisCos as the weakest link in the power sector, stressing that the companies were rejecting load allocations.
But ANED said unless the TCN is properly funded, its capacity will remain weak.
ANED expressed doubts over the ability of TCN to accomplish its 22 expansion projects because it was uncertain if the Federal Government will fund the plan.
Countering the TCN’s wheeling capacity claim, the statement noted that “to date, the maximum wheeling capacity reached by TCN has been 5,074.7 Mw (attained February 2nd, 2016) versus its claims of increased capacity from 5,500 Mw to 6,000 Mw, wholly untested and unproven.”
“It is unfortunate that the new management of TCN, with the departure of Manitoba Hydro MHI, rather than reach out, in partnership, to work with the other stakeholders of the sector, is more interested in pointing fingers and playing the blame game.
“No matter how TCN wants to play it, whether it is scheduling an ill-advised and non-informative press conference or seeking to colour the reality of transmission shortcomings, transmission remains the weakest link in the power value chain.
“However, it is important that the public be truly knowledgeable about the limitations in the value chain that precludes their ability to receive the consistent power supply that they have a right to expect,” ANED said, adding that given that this is the fourth quarter of the year, it is not clear that TCN has received, nor will it receive, any funding that comes close to enabling it complete the indicated projects – a continued legacy of limited and poor funding of a vital aspect of power infrastructure.