Bassey Inyang in Calabar
As Nigerians continue to groan over poor electricity supply to their homes, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoSF), Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, has heaped the blame for the persistence of the problem on the Power Distribution Companies (Discos) whom she said were not living up to expectations.
Oyo-Ita stated this yesterday in Calabar, Cross River State, at a ceremony where she inaugurated a new 60MVA and 132/33KV power transformer at the Calabar Transmission Substation, Essien Town, which was installed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
She said for the trend to change, and for Nigerians to appreciate the huge investment in the generation and transmission components of the power sector, the Discos must embark on massive investments in the rehabilitation and expansion of their facilities.
According to her, â€œThe distribution companies should now invest more in the distribution network because that is where the problem lies. There is a lot of power that is being generated by generating plants and transmitted by transmission plants but the Discos do not have the capacity to transfer this power to the end users.
â€œSome of the Discos are not investing so that they could transfer this power to the end users. Nigerians will never appreciate the large amount of money being invested in power generation. So, we are appealing to the distribution companies to go back to the drawing board.â€
However, she stated that the federal government was willing to offer support to the distribution companies so that they can render adequate service to Nigerians.
â€œIf they know they donâ€™t have the financial or the technical wherewithal, let them come out and be sincere and stop frustrating Nigerians as well as painting government in a bad light. So my appeal to the distribution companies is that with all these large investments we see all over the country, they should take power distribution more seriously, â€ Oyo-Ita said.
She said the newly inaugurated facility would lead to the generation of large quantity of power for Port Harcourt Distribution Company (PHEDC), and it is going to improve the socio-economic growth and development of the state, and would improve power supply significantly in Calabar Municipality, Calabar South, Odukpani, Bakassi, Ogoja, Ikom, Yakurr, Itigidi, Ugep, Obudu and environs.
She said the implementation of the Transmission, Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) was on course across the country with plans by the federal government to expand the national grid.
â€œThe Implementation of the Transmission, Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) is on course. TREP has received significant support from international donors and is expected to not only stabilise but expand the grid to 20,000 MW in the next three to four years. A component of the programme is supported by the World Bank in the sum of $486 million which was approved in February 2018.
â€œThe Abuja Transmission Scheme Financed by Agence Francaise Development (AFD) whose procurement has reached near final stage is expected to construct five additional substations and provide the third 330KV power supply route to Abuja in addition to Shiroro-Abuja and Ajaokuta-Abuja 330 KV transmission line. All the other components of TREP are doing very well,â€ the HoSF stated.
She appealed to the state government to assist the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to execute its mandate effectively in the state.
â€œI wish to again request the support of the state government to support TCN to demolish illegal structures under the right of way of power transmission. This is necessary not only to enable TCN maintain and expand the lines but to ensure safety of lives of our people,â€ she said.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director/CEO of TCN, Usman Gur Mohammed, said in the last one year, TCN engineers had installed several transformers, using in-house capacity, adding that the company would inaugurate over 90 transmission projects before the end of this year.
Gur who was represented by the Head of TSP, Victor Adewumi, said the inauguration of the facility would help the PHEDC to improve power supply to electricity consumers in its areas of operation.