FG gives TCN nod to manage N72bn planned investment in Discos

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The federal government has given the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) the go-ahead to superintend N72 billion investment in the power distribution companies (Discos).
The TCN has chided the distribution companies for inefficiency, which it said led to poor supply of electricity to the consumers, noting that in order to address the anomaly, it plans to upgrade 11 distribution infrastructure and networks across the country.
Piqued by the inefficiency of the distribution companies, minister of power, works and housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, ask them to either upgrade their operations or quit the business of electricity distribution in Nigeria especially in view of the fact that distribution networks of Togo and Republic of Benin provide stable power to their customers with about 80 per cent of electricity consumed in those countries coming from Nigeria.
The Managing Director of TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed, has during a session with newsmen stated that Fashola received an approval from the Federal government for the TCN to manage the N72 billion planned investments in the Discos.
Mohammed said the TCN got the approval because it already had a comprehensive systems study and plan on Nigeria’s electricity network, adding that the investment would help stabilise the country’s electricity grid.
He said before, the government has not shown interest in putting money in the distribution, but recently the minister of power has approached stakeholders where he got the approval of N72 billion which will be invested in the Discos.
He further said “Discos have low capacity; investments have not been done in the Discos, and you know it. We have commissioned so many substations; go and find out how many of these have been done by the Discos.
“That is why we are begging the government and anybody that is willing to listen to us that investments need to go to the Discos. We are actually working with the government to see that the last mile which is now the weakest link in the power value chain which is distribution, that investments are directed to that sector,” he said.
Mohammed also said, “A milestone that will help us to also stabilise the grid. It is in our interest that distribution is rehabilitated and I can tell you we lost two transformers in Abuja because of poor distribution. If distribution is not fixed, it will affect us at the TCN. Government is investing in the Discos and it is TCN that is managing the investment. We are managing it on behalf of the minister of power.”
As a precursor to meeting the federal government’s clamour for a better power supply, the investors gave the federal government fresh conditions saying the current N1.3 trillion financial gap created by the sector’s non-cost reflective tariff, must be addressed by the government.
The investors promised to hand over their assets to the federal government within 24 hours once they are paid compensation.

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