By Raji Rasak
Mr Usman Mohammed, Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said that consumers should be prepared to pay more for electricity in order to ensure regular power supply in the country.
The TCN boss said this on Friday in Lagos during the Groundbreaking for the Replacement of old wires on the Ikeja West-Alimosho-Ogba-Alausa-Ota Transmission Lines.
According to him, Nigerians have to be prepared to pay more for electricity because there is no relationship between poverty and payment of electricity.
“I want to tell the Nigerian public that we cannot move forward if we do not pay more for electricity.
“There is no relationship between poverty and payment for electricity.
“For the poor, give them electricity and a means of measurement and manage their cost.
“But if we don’t initiate a cost reflective tariff system and the situation continues like this, public funds would continue to sink in the sector in futility,” Muhammed said.
The TCN boss also urged the government to stop subsidizing the power sector in order to move the sector forward.
“We have to be prepared to remove government in the middle, this issue of government guaranteeing everybody won’t work.
“The facts is that contracts are not effective and government cannot continue guaranteeing the Generation Companies (GENCOs) where it already sank over N1.5 trillion.
“The expenses can only be stopped when contracts become effective through cost reflective tarrifs.
“We have to stop this government intervention and we can only stop it when contracts become effective.
“Contracts can only be effective when you have cost-reflective tariffs.
“When contracts are effective, everybody is binded by certain agreements,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria has the cheapest electricity in West Africa and we can’t say we are the poorest.
“Even Burkina Faso is having collection efficiency of 98 per cent, despite their location within the sub region, we therefore have to solve the problem of market issues,” said the TCN boss.
Mohammed said that the issue of load rejection by Discos could also be resolved once bilateral contracts were effective.
Speaking on the cable replacement project, the TCN boss said that the power transmission lines were built many years ago with limitations on the quantity of electricity they were carrying, making the upgrade inevitable.
“So, we are in the process of replacement of old wires on the Ikeja West-Alimosho-Ogba-Alausa-Ota transmission lines.
“Due to the current management quest of improving availability of electricity in the country, there have been series of transformer installations across the country, and there is need for a line that can supply power to all the transformers.
“This installation will increase the current capacity of this station to about two and half capacity compared to the old capacity of 200mw.
“The line to be re-conducted has 664MW capacity of transformer, and the current line has only 200MW of capacity, so the re-conducting would increase the capacity by 2.5 per cent which would upgrade it to 500MW.
“That means all transformers the line Ikeja West is covering between Abeokuta and Lagos will be energised.
“The project would improve power supply to residents under Ikeja Electric network,” he said.
Mohammed said that the timeframe for the reconstruction of the line was six months, adding that re-conducting was also taking place at other locations such as the line from Alagbon transmission to Ikorodu down to Maryland, among others.
The TCN boss said that being the largest TCN Sub Station in Nigeria, there were likely to be outages along the network connected to the transmission line.
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