Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The World Bank Group is set to consider its planned expenditure on projects it had identified to fund in the transmission expansion and upgrade plan of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the interim head of TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed has disclosed.
Mohammed stated recently in Abuja that in addition, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Agence FranÃ§aise de DÃ©veloppement (AFD), which have interests in funding the TCNâ€™s expansion and upgrade programme would meet to finalise their decisions by the middle of 2018.
He made these disclosures when a 20-year transmission expansion master plan done by German power consultancy firm, Fichtner, was presented to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
Fashola had described the 20-year transmission expansion master plan as a document that would end the era of using trial and error methods to develop Nigeriaâ€™s transmission network.
He has also urged electricity generation and distribution companies in the country to adopt and develop their capacities alongside the TCN plan.
â€œThis master plan establishes the basis of the TCN transmission rehabilitation and expansion plan under which several donors are supporting TCN, and that plan, we have actually advanced some of them. For example, the one that is supported by the World Bank â€“ we have actually done the negotiation, I think it would go to the board very soon,â€ said Mohammed.
He added: â€œThe one by the AFD â€“ the Abuja transmission scheme, the procurement has gone very far, and the other aspect, the northern corridor, we are doing the pilot aspect of the feasibility studies and it would also go for appraisal before the middle of this year.
â€œAnd that is the same thing for JICA project between Ogun and Lagos, and the northern corridor and the north-east transmission projects. These are the basis of why we are doing what we are doing.
We are strengthening transmission system under this programme using in-house capacities,â€ he said
In his remarks however, Fashola stated that the federal government would commit to ensure that the markers in the plan were adhered to. He said it was a holistic plan to develop Nigeriaâ€™s transmission network alongside expected expansions in the generation and distribution end of the sector, and urged operators in the two other ends of the sector to adopt its components.
â€œWith the completion of the 20-year transmission expansion plan, the era of trial and error in the transmission expansion program will be over. I accepted to open this workshop based on my conviction that the report will clearly bring out the future development of improved power system delivery in Nigeria for the next 20 years, starting from gas supply through the other power supply value chain,â€ Fashola stated.
He added: â€œThe development of the master plan started in 2016. The objective of the studies is to complement the transmission rehabilitation and expansion program and power sector recovery plan by establishing the long-term generation and transmission plan that meets the forecasted national electricity demand at the lowest economic cost.
â€œI therefore urge the CEOs of all generator and distribution companies to work closely with TCN to ensure that the outcome of the report is carefully reviewed and practical implementation should commence after obtaining formal approval from the relevant agencies,â€ said the minister.
â€œThe NERC and NBET are implored to key into the masterplan when procuring additional generation, while the Discos should follow the transmission plan for developing their own distribution masterplan. This is a new dawn for order and methods in the process of solving the power problem. On behalf of the President, the federal government of Nigeria, I accept this report and commit that our team will do our best to implement its recommendations for the benefit of our people,â€ the minister explained.