By Obas Esiedesa & Ezra Ukanwa
ABUJA—VIEWED as the weakest link in Nigeria’s electricity supply chain, the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has charged the new board of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, to strengthen the transmission network to boost power supply to Nigerians.
Aliyu, who gave the charge in Abuja at the inauguration ceremony of the new governing board of TCN yesterday, lamented that poor electricity supply was one of the major challenges militating against economic development of the country.
He also explained that Nigeria had been hovering around 5,000 Megawatts of power, lamenting that the country had been inconsistent in power generation.
The minister said: ”The electricity that has been delivered is not at the level to support the economy and our population and we have been hovering around 5,000MW.
”Either we go down a bit or we go up a bit. For quite some time, we have been unable to reach the level we want.
“Our economy has grown to a level where people have resorted to finding and persisting through cutting means and other means. So, we have at the moment a GDP of over $500 billion which definitely needs support of electricity to grow and meet up with the demands of a population of over 200 million definitely is too low.”
Aliyu challenged the newly inaugurated board members of TCN to set the seal on the delivery of adequate and reliable electricity to Nigerians.
He urged the Board not to stand against sustainable electricity in the country but ensure management of the national grid and administer the wholesale electricity market to Nigerians.
“Your appointment as directors of the organisation is a great honour. All the appointees that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed are suitably qualified and are worthy of appointment for a very critical component of the nation’s power sector value chain, transmission company of Nigeria, TNC.
“I’m sure you will be fully briefed at the inaugural committee of the board, however, I will appraise you of the very important role of TCN in the delivery of adequate and reliable electricity to the economy,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Gabriel Suswam, while expressing worry over the newly inaugurated boards and the challenges that come with it, appealed to the Chairman of the board to make certain the enhancement of electricity in Nigeria.
“Why I am worried is that most times when you have board members, you experience fighting, personal interests and that becomes a problem rather than a solution.
“So, I want to appeal to the chairman who I know is a very experienced person with some other board members I have seen and people I’ve known that you must hit the ground running, trying to enhance what has already been done by the MD of DCM.
”There’s a lot that needs to be done; there’s a lot that you have to do in order to change the narrative in the power sector,” he said.
On his part, the newly inaugurated chairman of the board, Bukar Bulama Buni, assured that he and the board would make positive efforts in addressing issues on electricity in the country.