TCN Upgrades Transmission Line To Boost Power Supply In Sokoto

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The reconductoring of the new 130KM 132kV double circuit Sokoto – Birnin Kebbi Transmission Line has been completed, said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

In a statement on Saturday, TCN General Manager (Public Affairs), Mrs Ndidi Mbah, disclosed that the transmission line was energised at about 4:35pm on Tuesday.

“The new high capacity 132KV transmission line which affects/ transverses 405 towers along the Birnin Kebbi – Sokoto line route, now transmits about 170MW, which is more than double the 70MW capacity previously transmitted by the decommissioned old 132kV transmission line,” she said.

The TCN spokesperson added, “The new 132KV transmission line has solved the low voltage and attendant poor power situation that used to be prevalent in the Sokoto axis, as TCN is now enabled to substantially transmit increased bulk power electricity to Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO)’s distribution load centres in Sokoto State and environs.”

She explained that the new development would enable KEDCO to deliver more stable and quality power to its customers in that axis.

Prior to the reconductoring of the line, Mbah noted that the Sokoto – Birnin Kebbi 132KV transmission line was overloaded due to increased demand, arising from the massive increase in human population and attendant socio-economic activities in the area.

She, however, stated that the new transmission line has solved the problem of overloading and suppressed load, adding that it has ample capacity for anticipated load increase.

The project began in November 2020 and was carried out in phases, in order to ameliorate the effect of scheduled outages on electricity consumers during the period.

According to the TCN spokesperson, some areas did not experience outage through the period as they were back-fed through another line.

“We are sincerely grateful to the government and good people of Sokoto State and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, for their patience and cooperation during the period of the transmission line reconductoring,” she said.

FG Apologises To Nigerians Over Poor Power Supply, Says Eight Plants Down

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Federal Government has apologised to Nigerians over the current power outages and shortages in various parts of the country.

This was caused by the breakdown of some National Integrated Power Plants (NIPP) supplying electricity to the national grid, the Federal Ministry of Power explained in a statement on Thursday.

Aaron Artimas, who is the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Communications, listed the affected plants to include Sapele, Afam, Olonrunsogo, Omotosho, Ibom, Egbin, Alaoji, and Ihovbor.

He noted that while the Jebba Power Plant was shut down for annual maintenance, the Shiroro Power Plant has water management problems.

Seven other integrated power plants – Geregu, Sepele, Omotosho, Gbarain, Omuku, Paras, and Alaoji – are experiencing gas constraints.

Artimas decried that the condition of the plants has drastically affected power generation, leading to effectively minimising the national grid.

@EngrSMamman

 

In a series of tweets on Thursday, the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, regretted the unfortunate situation and offered his apology to all affected Nigerians for the inconveniences the power shortages have caused.

He, however, assured Nigerians that the ministry through the appropriate agencies was working assiduously to rectify the technical problems affecting the plants, as well as making effort to resolve the gas issues to the others.

The minister stated that the national grid would be restored to its previous historic distribution peak of about 5,600MW of electricity achieved earlier in 2021, so as to relieve Nigerians from the current harsh climatic conditions and restore full economic activities.

See the minister’s tweets below:

COVID-19 Lockdown: Gbajabiamila Meets NERC, Others Over Power Supply

 

As Nigerians continue to clamour for better power supply especially following the stay-at-home order by the Federal government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has met with the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman and the management of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

The meeting which held on Wednesday sought to address some of the issues regarding electricity, as well as a viral video by Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh.
In the video, Ameh lamented over the poor electricity supply to Nigerians during the ongoing lockdown in major parts of the country.

While giving his opening remark, Gbajabiamila expressed dismay over the barrage of calls and messages from many Nigerians through his social media account, reacting to the protest video and therefore, called for prompt action.

“It has become imperative that I urgently call for this meeting to find a solution to the poor supply of electricity during this lockdown period. If we ask people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, at least we have to make their homes comfortable for them to stay.

“The complaints have just been too much in the last 24 hours. There are people also in the hospital now without electricity; we need to brainstorm over an urgent solution,” he said.

On his part, the Minister of Power, Mamman, highlighted the challenges encountered by power generating companies (GENCOs) and the possible intervention of the leadership of the House of Representatives.

“We are aware of the challenges faced by Nigerians, so we have started talking to GENCOs because they have been complaining that Discos are not paying and only about 20% of their dues are remitted.

“So, the GENCOs are facing technical and revenue shortfall. Consequently, they can’t as well meet their financial obligations to gas companies. The Discos also pay less of their generated revenue to GENCOs, because they complain about power theft by consumers, high technical costs, etc.

“The sum of N130 billion is what the government gives GENCOs to augment the shortfall of payments not fulfilled by Discos. We still have about N1.2 trillion payment shortfall in all. I have been begging the gas suppliers to please, in the interest of Nigerians, release gas to the GENCOs. The shortfalls are accruals from the problem of estimated billing, non-payment of bills by estimated customers, etc.

“What the NASS can do is to plead with CBN to help with funds to enable the Federal Government to augment the revenue shortfall to enable government pay gas companies and thereafter bring all the critical stakeholders to a table,”, the power minister said.

In his contribution, the NERC Commissioner on Compliance, Mr. Akpaneye, assured the Speaker and the leadership of the House that the commission is committing the Discos to a new guideline that shows empathy with Nigerians during this COVID-19 lockdown.

“All NERC Commissioners are in the Situation Room in our office monitoring GENCOs and Discos activities. We know the demand for this power during this lockdown is for residential, since most industries are on lockdown, so we are going to release a new guideline and sanction electricity companies that can’t show empathy during this period.”

Also speaking, the GMD of NNPC, Kyari hinted that the problem with the Trans Vocados gas line was resolved Wednesday morning and therefore, gave an assurance of supply of gas to enable GENCOs to generate power.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, on their part, gave accounts of complications arising from the non-fulfilment of financial obligations by the electricity stakeholders but assured of interventions in the interest of Nigerians who are observing the lockdown order.

At the end of the meeting, all the critical stakeholders assured the Speaker and the leadership of the House of their commitment to ensuring power supply.

They, however, agreed to reconvene in the next few days to find lasting solutions to the challenges in the sector beyond the lockdown period.

FG To Disconnect Benin, Togo Over $16m Power Supply Debts

 

The Federal Government has promised to disconnect Niger Republic and Togo’s power supply if they fail to pay their outstanding $16 million debts.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, Usman Mohammed, who revealed that the initial debts were as high as $100 million.

“When I took over as MD TCN, both Benin and Togo owed Nigerian more than $100 million.

“They paid part of what they consumed and out of the debts, it is remaining only $14 million for Benin. Niger owes less than $2 million and we are not leaving them.”

READ ALSO: Akeredolu Presents Staff Of Office To Olowo Of Owo

He threatened to disconnect the neighbouring countries if they fail to adhere to the payment agreement.

“In fact, we will disconnect them as we disconnect people around here.

“Electricity is not charity; we cannot allow people to consume electricity and leave us like that, No.”

Mr. Mohammed stated that they have restricted their supply and are insisting that they pay all the outstanding before they connect and increase the power off-take.

 

Senate To Investigate Gencos, Discos Over Unsteady Power Supply

 

The Senate has mandated its Committee on Power to investigate the activities of power generating and distribution companies with the aim of unraveling the causes of unsteady power supply in Nigeria. 

The resolution of the Senate followed the consideration of a motion moved by Senator Chukwuka Utazi, who lamented that power generating or installed capacity of Nigeria in relation to its population and Gross Domestic Product cannot ensure that Nigeria competes favourably in terms of development with other nations.

The lawmaker while expressing optimism that Nigeria can set a realisable target of generating a capacity of 100,000 megawatts in the next 10 years, said this target can be achieved through a mix of energy sources such as natural gas, hydro, coal, wind and renewable energy.

READ ALSO: Corruption: Buhari Asks NASS To Speedily Pass Special Crimes Court Bill

He added that beyond generation and transmission, Distribution Companies lack the financial and technical capacities required, thereby resulting in their inability to pay for power which Generation Companies (GenCos) deliver to the grid.

The Senate urged the Federal Government to upgrade the transmission infrastructure of Nigeria’s power grid for more efficient transmission of power.

While advocating for 100,000 megawatts installed capacity to match the size of Nigeria’s economy and population, the upper chamber urged the Federal Government to break-up the country’s power distribution companies into smaller, more manageable distribution companies for optimal performance.

Power Problem: Some States Have Almost 24 Hours Supply, Says Fashola

 

Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing has said that some cities in Nigeria can now boast of constant power supply.

He made the assertion on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

“Sitting down here I can tell you some states that have almost 24 hours – Kebbi, Yobe. Some have five, some have 10 and there are still outages,” Fashola said.

He said the constant power supply in some states is due to the increase in the transmission capacity, noting that the transmission capacity has grown to about 8,100 watts as of December 2018.

He said the Ministry of Power has moved forward but needs to implement the short term goals it set.

READ ALSO: Presidential Election Results Were Accredited By Observers To Be In Conformity With The Law – Fashola

Fashola also spoke about programmes which the ministry have put in place to ensure adequate power supply across the nation.

“The government has decided that as 40 per cent holder of everything in the distribution of power, we have our programme to invest N72 billion which will involve installing transformers and all of that.

“We created a metre access provider regulation. What it does is to create a new plan of investment programme. We manufacture, produce, supply and install metres and fill the gap the distribution companies cannot raise capital to fill. They cannot do so alone, they must do so under a procurement policy with the distribution company,” he said.

The former Lagos State governor said the Federal Government will solve the problems of poor power supply in the country and will continue to keep the people informed as to the watts being consumed in the country.

Nigerians Are Reporting Better Power Supply, Less Use Of Generators – Buhari

President Buhari’s Democracy Day Address (FULL TEXT)
File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the nation has witnessed better power supply under his administration going by the minimal use of generators among Nigerians.

The President said this on Tuesday while highlighting some achievements of his administration on Democracy Day.

Read Also: 19 Achievements President Buhari Listed In His Address

He said; “In the area of power generation, Nigerians from all parts of the country continue to report better power supply and less use of generators. This underscores the effectiveness of the methodical plan to deliver incremental and uninterrupted power supply to our homes, markets, offices and factories.”

Also according to the President, the nation has witnessed the highest power supply with over 5,000 megawatts of electricity.

He further stated that the nation’s power generation capacity has been expanded to over 7,000 megawatts with the provision of new facilities.

“The country achieved 5, 222.3 MW representing the highest peak of power generated onto the national grid and delivered to customers in December 2017. With new facilities, repairs and rehabilitation by Government and private investors, generation capability now exceeds 7,500 MW.

“This Administration is committed to lawful interventions to ensure the operators of the distribution business live up to expectations especially in the areas of distribution capacity, service delivery, collection efficiency, and metering to eliminate contentious estimated billing”. Read Full Speech Here.

Delta Community Decries Shortage In Power Supply

Delta Community Decries Shortage In Power Supply

 

Residents of Okpoku community in Delta State have accused the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) of denying them of power supply.

Despite the disclosure by the Federal Government that Nigeria currently generates about 7,000 megawatts of electricity, blackouts still loom in different parts of the country.

This indicates that there are challenges with the distribution of power to consumers and Okpoku is one of the communities still experiencing erratic power supply and, in most cases, a complete blackout.

The angry residents alleged that BEDC has refused to energise a relief transformer which they claimed was installed through communal efforts.

The community chairman, Mr Francis Osogolo, told Channels Television in an interview on Saturday that, “As I speak to you, there is no light in the entire community.”

“This is what we have been experiencing for over two years which made the community to contribute to the transformer which has already been installed.

“All we have been asking BEDC to do for over two years now is to energise the transformer so that we can enjoy adequate power supply; BEDC has refused to energise it for no reason,” he claimed.

Business owners operating around the area also counted their losses while others decried exorbitant estimated bills, asking the Federal Government to come to their aid.

“Bills are always overestimated and when one decides to adopt the digital billing system, we are forced to pay a ridiculous backlog,” Osogolo added.

In its defence through its Corporate Affairs Officer, Mrs Esther Okolie, BEDC explained why the transformer was not connected.

Mrs Okolie insisted that the community must offset all outstanding bills on the pre-existing transformer before their request can be considered.

She said, ”At the last meeting we held with them, the community was advised to try to offset the bill on the outstanding transformer currently feeding them power because after conducting what we call ‘viability assessment’ on the existing transformer that is feeding them, we discovered that they are owing so much.

“They have to reduce at least 70 per cent of that indebtedness before we can consider energising the relief transformer,” the BEDC spokesperson noted.

Buhari Reveals Plan For Rail Transport, Power Supply Nationwide

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised renewed and increased focus on infrastructure, revealing plans for a better railroad transportation nationwide.

The President in his New Year message on Monday morning said the Ministry of Power Works and Housing will be given increased attention as it is one of the drivers of the Federal Government’s commitment to renew and increase Nigeria’s stock of infrastructure in order to achieve global economic competitiveness.

READ ALSO: Fuel Scarcity: Buhari Vows To Stop Those Behind ‘Collective Blackmail’ Of Nigerians

Buhari revealed that Kano-Kaduna rail line will commence this year and that negotiations on Port-harcourt to Maiduguri rail line will be concluded in the first part of this year.

“Construction of the Kano – Kaduna segment is expected to commence this year and reach Kaduna by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021 the two ends will be joined so that we will have standard gauge railway across the main North-South trading route. The Abuja – Kaduna route will be boosted by additional rolling stock next Thursday and will be able to handle one million commuters annually.

“At the same time I have approved and negotiations will be concluded in the first part of this year for the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri line covering Aba, Owerri, Umuahia, Enugu, Awka, Abakaliki, Makurdi, Lafia, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe, Yola and Damaturu. The Abuja to Itakpe line will go through Baro and terminate in Warri with construction of a new seaport at Warri.

Negotiations according to the President have also reached advance stage for the construction of other railway lines. This include from Kano to Maradi in Niger Republic passing through Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, Jibia to Maradi.

He also revealed plans for Lagos to Calabar the “Coastal Rail” through Ore, Benin, Agbor, Asaba, Onitsha, Sapele, Ughelli, Warri, Yenagoa, Otuoke, Port Harcourt, Aba, Uyo and Calabar.

“In the next few years, all these Nigerian cities will be linked by functional modern rail systems, giving enormous boost to the social and economic life of our people,” he said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Insists Restructuring Is Not Nigeria’s Priority

On the Abuja Capital Light Rail, Buhari said progress has reached 98% completion and that only test runs remain before start of operations. This train service according to him will stimulate economic activities in the Federal Capital and provide residents with an efficient and safe transportation system.

“Twelve railway sub-stations around the capital over a 45.2 kilometre route will serve as a catalyst and a pull factor to the economy of the area. The Light Rail System will reduce traffic congestion and carbon emission in line with the Administration’s policy on climate change.

“Management of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has been reconstituted and has been charged with a 12-week rapid intervention in road repairs to cover all the geo-political zones. Government is undertaking repairs and maintenance of 44 roads within the six geo-political zones,” he added.

He said further that the Federal Government has approved work to start on the re-construction of Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano road and it is expected to be completed in 2019.

On Power supply across the nation, the President said more Nigerians across the country are experiencing improved power supply but power still remains a concern. He said the Payment Assurance Guarantee Scheme which started in January 2016 has enabled the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader to raise N701 billion so far, to assure Generation Companies of at least 80% payment for any power delivered to the national grid.

“Consequently, generation has now reached 7,000MW. On December 8, 2017 the country achieved 5,155MW of power delivered to consumers, the highest level ever recorded.”

Several moribund projects, the President revealed have been revived. This according to him includes repairs of Afam Power Station which added 110MW in 2017 and another 240MW will be added this year through a private investment partnership.

Katsina Power Project Buhari should be fully operational this year as it is now being tested and producing 10MW of power from wind for the first time in Nigeria.

“The Zungeru 700MW Hydroelectric Power Project, stalled by court cases is due for completion in 2019. The transmission and other requirements to operate the 30MW Gurara Phase 1 Hydroelectric Plant, the 40MW Kashimbilla Hydroelectric Plant and the 215 MW Kaduna Gas/LPG/Diesel Power Plant will also be completed this year.

A landmark project, Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project is at last taking off. This project has been on the drawing Board for 40 years, but now the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the 3,050MW project has been agreed with a Chinese joint venture Company with a financing commitment from the government of China. Completion is targeted for 2023,” he said.

President Buhari then said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) can now distribute all the 7,000MW that can be generated.

TCN and the Niger Delta Holding Company according to him have added 1,950MVA of 330 down to 132KV transformer capacity of 10 transmission stations and 2,930MVA of 132 down to 33KV transformer capacity of 42 sub-stations including Ikot Ekpene, Aba, Alagbon, Ajah, Ejigbo, Funtua and Zaria.

Efforts Ongoing To Provide Uninterrupted Power Supply – Ambode

Ambode Mourns LASIEC Commissioner, Lateef Raji
File photo

Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos state has said plans are ongoing to provide constant power supply to all homes and businesses in the state by the end of 2018.

Speaking recently at an interactive session with members of the business community and informal sector, the governor said the state government has devised policies and strategies to short-circuit power generation, transmission and distribution to ensure constant power supply to the people of the state.

The governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna on Sunday said the state government is also in talks with electricity distribution companies operating in the state to see possibility of supplying uninterrupted power to residents.

READ ALSO:Apapa Gridlock: Lagos Govt Sets Up Security Task Force

Ambode said the legal framework to prevent power theft and also legitimize the concept of power generation had already been sent to the State House of Assembly for approval.

“Presently, we have less than 1,000MW in Lagos and the fundamental issues remain with generation, transmission and then distribution. In Lagos State, we have become creative and we have done Independent Power Project (IPP) before through which we were able to generate 47.5MW which was distributed short-circuiting transmission.

“If the law allows you to have independent power and going through the regulatory commission then you are smart enough to do that. The only thing we have done is to get permission from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to create clusters of embedded power in our State and if we are able to do it, we become a test case for the rest of the economy,” he said.

On the collaboration with electricity distribution companies, Governor Ambode said the state government is willing to stand as the guarantor for the people to get 24/7 power supply.

“The generator that people are using is extremely expensive and what we are saying is that can we work with all these stakeholders and push the tariff for example from N20 to maybe N40 but guarantee the people of 24/7 power.

“That is what we are trying to do; we become the guarantor on behalf of Lagosians and then if all those things work out, by this time next year, people will have constant power supply. As a government, we are strongly committed to power freedom; we want to free ourselves from darkness and we want to open up the sector for more investors,” he said.

Edo Communities Decry Poor Power Supply, ‘Outrageous’ Billing

Residents of Evbotubu, Ugbowo and Ikpoba Hill communities in Benin City, the Edo State capital, are complaining over erratic power supply in their areas.

The community members told Channels Television that they are also concerned about outrageous estimated billings constantly thrown their way in spite of the poor supply of electricity.

In Evbotubu community, residents said although they are connected to the national grid, they hardly enjoy stable power supply.

“The light (power) situation in this area is very bad, totally bad,” Ototo Omoridion, a resident of the community, said.

Another resident, Fred Aghedo, said residents of the area get power only once or twice in a week.

For those in the Ugbowo and Ikpoba Hill axis of Benin, the story is slightly different as they get between three and six hours of electricity supply.

A hairstylist in Ugbowo, Daramola Yusuf, said the situation wasn’t always this way.

“Before, we were not even seeing it (power supply) like this. My own opinion is that they (the power company) are improving a little but they should put in more effort,” she said.

One issue that keeps coming up in the power metrics is that of dedicated power lines which enable business owners as well as some highbrow residential areas to get between 18 and 24 hours of electricity supply.

“We always get constant light because we use 33KVA,” a resident who benefits from the dedicated lines said, adding that huge bills are paid to ensure that.

He added, “We always pay bills; the lowest is 800,000 or 900,000 naira for a month.”

Officials of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, however, explained that the situation was as a result of a load shedding arrangement to maximise the supply of electricity.

The Business Manager, Ugbowo Business District, BEDC, Mr Gboyega Ogunlejika, explained the modality for the distribution of affordable power.

He said, “Those who are in commercial areas have daytime supply so that they can improve their productivity.

“So, we are trying to guaranty them supply from 9 am to 3 pm every day. And then, the places we consider as mainly residential; we want them to have power before they go to work in the morning and when they come back at night.”

The Corporate Affairs Officer, BEDC, Gloria Mbagu, explained that with the new equipment installed by the company, customers are set to get improved power supply.

“The number of times we load-shed our existing customers will be drastically reduced, thereby improving their power supply,” she said.

Corporate Affairs Officer, BEDC, Gloria Mbagu

On the issue of estimated billing, BEDC said it had devised a process that would address that concern.

“We assess the houses and also those that have meters within that area. We pick an average of whatever is their consumption and that is what we use for customers that do not have meters and are on estimation (estimated billing),” the Acting Business Manager, Ikpoba-Hill, BEDC, Ekaete Ntukidem, said.

For residents of Benin and its environs, better power supply means improved quality of life and they hope that power-sector operators will focus more on meeting their power needs.

Lafia Residents Blast AEDC Over Poor Power Supply

Electricity consumers in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital have expressed displeasure over what they termed poor services by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, (AEDC).

To this end, they told the distribution company to take their services out of the town for failing to supply adequate power.

They made their positions at a town hall meeting organised by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission,(NERC) in Lafia.

One of the residents, Rilwanu Elayo, said, “For the past two months, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company has failed to supply electricity to most parts of Lafia and this has forced residents to live in darkness and discomfort.

“The company has succeeded in transmitting darkness as consumers have been paying for darkness since April.

Another resident, Ayuba Adamu, however, said the situation was unlikely to change anytime soon.

“Despite repeated complaints both verbal and written to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company in Lafia based on the fact that I receive bills despite the blackout, nothing has been done by them on the matter,” he said.

The Nasarawa State Government, represented by the Commissioner For Works, Housing and Transport, Wada Muhammad, called on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to distribute pre-paid meters to all electricity customers as they are being surcharged.

“The only way the customers will be satisfied is when they have pre-paid meters and are sure that they only pay for electricity they consume,” he said.

“The state government has already donated land and offered to facilitate the installation of a 330 KVA transformer, which if installed will go a long way in addressing the poor electricity supply in the state.”

The NERC’s Commissioner in charge of Consumers Affairs, Mr Moses Arigu, assured the electricity consumers of their resolve to ensure that distribution companies adhere strictly to operational guidelines.

“The commission has concluded plans to open an office in Lafia for the consumers to channel their complaints for redress,” he said.

On his part, the Acting Regional Manager of AEDC, Mr Christian Chime, apologised to the consumers for the poor service delivery.

He assured them that the company had already taken note of their complaints and would soon address them to ensure improved electricity supply in the state.

He also disclosed that the company would soon embark on the installation of prepaid meters in the state.