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Poor state of Power Sector: DISCOs should recapitalise, expand capacities —TCN

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Power sector
Infographics on power loss.

…says delivery of adequate electricity to consumers a priority

By Udeme Akpan & Price Okafor

THE Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, has called for the recapitalisation of Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, in order to expand their capacities, required to provide adequate and stable power to consumers.

The Managing Director/CEO, TCN, Mr. U.G Mohammed, who disclosed this during his recent visit to Vanguard in Lagos, stated: “The DISCOs need to invest a lot of funds to build their capacities to deliver much power to consumers nationwide. Currently, they do not have that money. In fact, most of them still owe the banks for loans raised to procure the assets. Recapitalisation will enable them get more money to put requisite infrastructure, including meters in place to deliver electricity to consumers.”

He said: “The DISCOs should be capitalised. When they recapitalise, they would build additional capacities needed to deliver improved services to power users.”
FG’s 40% interest.

He said the financial position of the DISCOS would further improve, if the government would inject 40 per cent funds in line with its 40 per cent interest in the companies.

According to him, “What we are saying is since government has 40 per cent interest in the companies, it should also provide commensurate funds for investment. For instance, if we need to invest N4.3 billion, the private companies and the government should contribute 60 per cent and 40 per cent of the required fund respectively.”

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Metering

He said: “Metering is very important and many countries, including developing nations have done it. When I went to Burkina Faso, I realised that every household has its meter. Nevertheless, we have not yet been able to achieve that in Nigeria. People are willing to pay, but the meters are just not available.

“Why are the meters not available so that once you buy, accredited experts can get it installed for consumers? It appears that the DISCOs, that make more money, did not do enough to provide the meters. They may not also be providing adequate support towards ensuring that the meters are available under the Meter Asset Providers, MAP.”

Capacity

Mohammed said that TCN would continue to patronise companies that demonstrate capacities to execute high quality jobs in the sector.
According to him, “One of the problems we have in the sector is lack of capability. In TCN, we would continue to patronise contractors that offer good quality jobs at reasonable or competitive prices.”

“In 2007, I was one of those that organised a training in Sheraton Hotel, Lagos for contractors that do business in Nigeria’s power sector. In that event, we taught them many things, including how to go about wining and executing high quality jobs. After that, some indigenous companies started winning contracts. So, it not true that I am against indigenous contractors.”

Projects

Mohammed, who said the company has invested in many projects to stabilise power transmission in all parts of the country, added: “We should start something like contract financing. We have started awarding long term maintenance of our lines, including the line from Yenogua to Ahuda, and Auchi.”

Vanguard

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