TCN recovers 600MW Egbin-Ajah transmission line after tower completion…Say lack of board affects operations

By Udeme Akpan

EXPERTS, Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to inaugurate the board of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN with immediate effect, arguing that lack of it affects operations.

The board of TCN, a major component of the electricity industry value chain was constituted in January this year, but it has not yet been inaugurated.

The letters of appointment of the newly constituted board members, which has Muhammad Ahmad as the Chairman, were signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

But an investigation by Vanguard, Wednesday showed that the Minister of Power, Mamman Kwagyang Saleh is opposed to the board’s inauguration, a development his Personal Assistant, Aaron Artimas, attributed to ‘some things to be sorted out’.

It further showed that TCN has been without a substantive board for several years, thus denying it the expertise and experience of members required to impact its development.

However, in different interviews with Vanguard, the experts said the prolonged delay in inaugurating the board has impacted negatively on the activities of the organization, and by extension of the nation’s electricity sector.

For instance, in a telephone interview with Vanguard, a Port Harcourt-based Energy Analyst, Dr. Bala Zaka, said: “TCN occupies an important place in the sector, especially as it performs not only transmission but also operations. In carrying out such responsibilities, the role of a functional board cannot be ignored.

“But because of lack of the board, the Minister of Power, a political appointee, has for a long time wielded undue influence on the activities of TCN.  This is not proper as the board should be made up of seasoned technocrats with adequate capacity to impact on the operations of TCN and the sector.”

READ ALSO: How we transmitted 5,801.6MW to DISCOs without hitch ― TCN

He added: “Therefore, there is an urgent need for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to inaugurate the important board without further delay.”

Similarly, President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, Mr. Kunle Kola Olubiyo, said: “If the board of TCN is inaugurated, it will results in having in place a Substantive Chairman and New Board Members, who in turn will select a new/substantive Managing Director/CEO of TCN and with attendant positive results.

“TCN is a bridge between generation and distribution, meaning that without transmission there would not be power for consumers in different parts of the nation. I happen to know much about TCN, especially as a member of the National Technical Investigative Panel on Power System Collapses/Systems Stability & Reliability in June 2013. We have obsolete grid and poor maintenance of facilities, which affect the delivery of adequate and stable power to consumers. Although power generation is relatively high, a bulk of the power cannot be transmitted and distributed to consumers.”

He said: “The board members, therefore, would have many things to do. We know that members of the board have been constituted. A letter to that effect has come from the Presidency to the Ministry of Power, which has not yet deemed it fit to inaugurate it. I have spoken with some of the appointed members. I have also spoken with the Minister of Power, who believes that there is no point to inaugurate the board because of the ongoing moves to unbundle TCN. But it is one government and President Muhammed Buhari should make a declaration in order to give a direction.”

He added: “If the board of TCN is inaugurated, it will results in having in place a Substantive Chairman and New Board Members, who in turn will select a new/substantive MD/CEO of TCN and with attendant positive results.”

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