FG Summons Abuja, Ibadan Discos, TCN over Worsening Power Supply in 10 States, FCT

FG Summons Abuja, Ibadan Discos, TCN over Worsening Power Supply in 10 States, FCT

•Set to query other non-performing power distributors

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The federal government yesterday announced that it had summoned the leadership of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), following worsening power supply in their franchise areas, covering 10 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

While the AEDC’s franchise area covers the FCT, Niger, Kogi, and Nasarawa states, IBEDC has the largest franchise area in Nigeria, comprising Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara states and parts of Niger, Ekiti and Kogi states.

Electricity supply has generally deteriorated nationwide in recent weeks on the back of gas-to-power challenges as well as vandalism of distribution companies’ (Discos) assets.

Worried by the worsening electricity supply across the country, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu said he particularly summoned the Chief Executives of AEDC and IBEDC because supply has been exceptionally bad in those regions.

Also summoned in connection with the situation, he said, is the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Abdulazeez.

A statement by the minister’s Special Adviser on Strategic Communications and Media Relations, Bolaji Tunji, quoted Adelabu as saying that the management of other non-performing Discos would also be queried over non-performance as reports continued filtered in on the situation in their regions.

According to a letter signed by the Director of distribution Services at the Federal Ministry of Power, Baba Mustapha, the affected chief executives of the institutions were invited to a meeting summoned by the minister in the coming week.

The letter stated that issues to be discussed will be bordering on worsening electricity supply in their regions, to proffer lasting solutions.

“These two Discos have been summoned due to the worsening power supply situation in their regions despite improved supply from TCN,” the statement said.

According to the statement, gas shortage notwithstanding, the ministry had been putting pressure on the Generating Companies (Gencos) to improve performance and generation has been ramped up to over 4,000 MW in recent days.

 “So, we expect power supply to have improved across the country, unlike what we are experiencing in some regions, presently.

“Findings revealed that some distribution companies were deliberately not taking up power supply from TCN while some power lines were also damaged by vandals in Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt and Ibadan regions,” it added.

Going forward, the minister said the focus would be on all the Discos to compel them to meet expected performance while, “wilful non-performance by any Disco could suffice a reason for severe punishment or outright licence revocation”.

The minister said he had also directed the TCN to immediately commence repair works on the damaged transmission towers and power lines to improve supply in the affected regions.

According to the statement,  the minister had embarked on supervisory visits to some of the power generating plants in the last few months, including the Kainji hydropower plant, which he said will soon embark on an expansion plan to boost the existing 560mw operational capacity.

“He also visited Benue and Taraba States to assess the infrastructure being constructed to evacuate an additional 30MW from the Kashimbilla hydropower station to the national grid. Presently, only 10MW is being evacuated from the hydropower plant.

“The minister was also in Olorunshogo and Omotosho thermal plants in Ogun and Ondo states, Ihvobor and Azura power plants in Edo State, respectively,” it added.

During the visits, the minister said he assured the power plants that plans are underway by the federal government to defray part of the outstanding debts being owed to the power generation companies and the gas supply companies.

During the week, the federal government said it had offset $120 million of the debt owed the gas suppliers.

“With this, succour is close to electricity consumers nationwide as we expect this action to improve generation levels across the country,” according to a statement issued to this effect.

According to the statement, Adelabu, however, appealed to electricity consumers to exercise a little patience while the situation is being turned around.

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