THE Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said yesterday that it intends to expand its delivery capacity to 20,000 megawatts by 2021.
Its Managing Director, Usman Mohammed, stated this while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said: “We have established transmission, rehabilitation and expansion programme. The main objective of this is to rehabilitate, stabilise and expand the delivery capacity of TCN to at least 20,000 megawatts by 2021 and we are on track.”
He also urged the various distribution companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria to provide electricity meters for consumers as part of measures to solve the nation’s power challenges.
According to him, Nigerian consumers are ready to pay their electricity bills, if only they are sure they are being billed appropriately.
He said: “Besides, the excuse of consumers being too poor to afford electricity tariffs does not really hold water, and this can be confirmed if they are provided with meters to save them from the widespread arbitrariness of estimated billing.”
He described the argument of inadequate power supply as being responsible for failure to pay bills as a “chicken and egg” dilemma.
This, he said, can be resolved by allowing the consumer pay for only the amount of electricity he or she uses.
According to him, smaller and poorer countries, like Burkina Faso, have achieved as much as 98 per cent electricity transmission because they took up the challenge of regulated and metered electricity supply to consumers.
Such efficiency, he said, allows Burkina Faso to buy energy from neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire without owing any debts.
Mohammed said Nigeria’s transmission capacity presently stands at 8,100 megawatts although only about 5,000 megawatts can be taken up by the DISCOs.
He assured that the TCN would continue to expand its capacity while the DISCOs strive to expand theirs, towards ensuring improved power supply.
The TCN boss said transmission capacity improvement by over 3,000 megawatts between February and December was an indication that the rehabilitation and expansion programme embarked upon was on track.
Authored By: Augustine Ehikioya
SOURCE: THE NATION