The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Monday alleged that all the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have adopted a common practice known as load management with which they reject 40% of the load that is wheeled to them for distribution to their customers.
Commenting specifically on the attitude of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) towards the load that the TCN allocates to it, the Assistant General Manager, Transmission, Abuja Sub-station, Engr. Suleman Mahmud, told journalists in the Apo sub-station, Abuja that it is only about 60% of the load allocation that the AEDC accepts for onward supply to the consumers in its franchise area.
The management of the TCN fulfilled its promise of taking the reporters on a tour to see the stranded power in the AEDC franchise area by touring on the facilities in Karu and Apo sub-stations in Abuja.
Asked why the TCN is not supplying the rejected load to other DisCos, he explained that it has become a joint decision of the collective DisCos to reject the load. He said that “most of them have the same practice that they adopt.”
He earlier noted that: “If we have 100 per cent to give and somebody (DisCo) is taking 40 per cent, rejecting 40 per cent. As I mentioned earlier that the maximum load they picked one day was 35mw. So we are at the mercy of AEDC. That is the truth.”
Mahmud, however, attributed the practice of the company to the poor network of the Discos, which he said, is deterring Nigerians from benefiting from government investment in the expansion of transmission network.
Meanwhile, the AEDC, Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Oyebode Fadipe, who was called to state his company’s side of the story did not receive his call.
He replied the message that was sent to him, saying; “Apology for not taking your call. I am in a training at the moment. I will make some enquiring.”
The load rejection, according to the TCN Managing Director, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed has led to the loss of five: which includes two in Benin, two in Abuja and one in Onitsha.
He urged the Federal Government to make a policy that will force the DisCos to recapitalize.
His words: “That is why we are calling on government (Federal Ministry of Power) to make a policy directive that will lead to the recapitalization of the DisCos. We are also calling of NERC to also make a regulation that will lead to the recapitalization of the DisCos.”
He complained that no matter the amount of investment that TCN put into transmission expansion, it cannot achieve the desired result.
He submitted that the distribution companies are neither generating the expected revenue nor are they carrying out the required investments.
The TCN boss said that “That is why we need the massive investment on the side of the DisCos… The electricity industry is a connected business. If the GenCos do not perform, it will affect TCN. If the DisCos do not perform, it will also affect the TCN and the GenCos. So this is the problem.
“Apart from the fact that we are not getting the required revenue that the DisCos are supposed to be bringing to the market, also we are not even get getting the required investment on their side so that we can have seamless relationship.”
Asked whether he would help recommend that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission approve a higher tariff for the DisCos for them to boost their investment, Mohammed said that an upward review of the tariff will not solve the problem.
According to him, there is a higher distribution loss because the DisCos lack the capacity to collect the charges at even the prevailing tariff.
He said that “I don’t believe in the argument that only tariff is the problem because capacity is also an issue and there are so many other issues. Even the current tariff if they can collect 100%, I am telling you, we cannot be where we are.”
Authored By: John Ofikhenua
SOURCE: THE NATION