Amidst complaints from the public on the epileptic power supply, the Nigerian government continues to take big steps to strengthen substations and power transmission networks in the country. The federal government executed about 105 projects between 2015 and 2022 through the aid of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). Additionally, to overhaul the national grid, the government has also initiated a project worth $2 billion, funded by multilateral agencies, notably African Development Bank, World Bank, the French Development Agency, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The federal government made a big decision to privatize the national power sector in 2013. This change is said to be in contrast with the backdrop of the despondent nature of the sector, which affected the standards of living and hindered the growth of the country’s economy. Some impeding factors also have crippled power transmission in the country. Initially, Nigeria had about 13,000MW generation capacity, which has impeded the transmission to homes and industries and is now undeserving at less than 5,000MW.
These projects are geared to add 6,216MV capacity to the grid.
However, Minister of Power Abubakar Aliyu argued that the project completed by the TCN would increase the rate of power supply in the country. The Minister made it known in a document released to the journalists that the 105 Power Transformer projects completed between 2015-2022 are geared to add a capacity of 6,216MVA to the grid, with 73 of the power transformers installed by TCN engineers in substations across the nation. He also added that between the period 2015-2022, a total of up to 900 kilometres of reconductoring and construction of new transmission lines was completed.
Among the major line Aliyu highlighted are the reconductoring of 140km 132kV Birnin- Kebbi to Sokoto transmission line (April 2021), the completion of the 330kV Aloji – Ikot Ekpene transmission line, the completion of 132kV Ihovbor – Okada transmission line, completion of 330kV Gombe – Damaturu transmission line among others. He continued stating that some transmission line projects are about to be completed and expected to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2023. The Minister added that the Electricity Grid Maintenance, Expansion and Rehabilitation Programme, being financed by the multilateral agencies, World Bank, AFD, AfDB, and JICA, is estimated to create about 45,000 direct and indirect jobs during the execution stages.
Government to also prioritize investing hugely at the transmission level.
Furtherly, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Dr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, said the organization is embarking on a facelift of its facilities across the country to address prevailing challenges. He noted that the organization is strategically transforming TCN through upgrading facilities, prompt maintenance, rehabilitation, grid expansion, and manpower development. Dr. Abdulaziz explains that this agency strived to achieve this feat despite facing challenges such as encroachment of transmission Right of Way (RoW), vandalism, insurgency and communal clashes.
Dr. Abdulaziz stated that while some of the construction works are ongoing, others, such as the reconductoring of 16 transmission lines and 17 others under the Service Level Agreement (SLA) projects, are at different stages of completion. He then urged stakeholders for ultimate cooperation. Nevertheless, the Nigerian Power Consumers Forum (NPCF) called on the federal government to also prioritize investing hugely at the transmission level. Michael Okoh, Convener of NPCF, explained that massive investment in the DisCos’ networks and GenCos’ stations would support the power supply expansion and relieve power consumers.
NPCF urges speed implementation of the projects.
Moreover, Okoh elaborated that the TCN’s tremendous accomplishment can be much more applauded when power consumers start to experience more power supply. He commended TCN for its proactive effort in expanding the bulk power needs of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Malam Yusuf Bako, the advocacy team lead of NPCF, who also acknowledges the effort of TCN, further urges the organization to speed up the implementation of the projects for quick transmission of power supplies. He further called on the government to invest more while compelling the Distribution Companies (DisCos) also to accelerate the process.
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