FG blames zero budget to PHCN for power outages

PHCN26 June 2013, Abuja – The zero allocation to the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and the 17 successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in the 2013 budget appropriation is partly to blame for the frequent system collapse in the grid in recent times, a technical panel set up by the federal government has said.

Chairman of the committee, Engr. Fatai Olapade while presenting its report to the Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, also identified ageing workforce, inexperienced hands, and over grown trees as some of the causes of system collapses.

Olapade said: “You know we are in the rainy season. There are some trees that grow so fast like the Indian Bamboos. They grow so fast that when wind blows they can touch the lines and cause transient faults. Most of the operators are old. Some of them are inexperienced and they should be trained. But all other issues are purely technical, like communications.”

Prof Chinedu Nebo, in his remarks said the disbursement of the Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO, has commenced to the electricity distribution companies, DISCOs, and Generation Companies, GENCOs, to enable them solve their financial challenges.

Two weeks ago, the minister constituted a committee to look into the causes of the disturbing frequency in system collapse, which throw the entire country into darkness.

Late Monday night, the TCN announced a drop of 1,598 mw in power generation, blaming it on vandalisation of major gas pipelines linking the power plants.

The statement, issued by the TCN, said the total power generation as at 2pm yesterday stood at 2,290mw.

It read: “Because of the critical importance of the vandalised pipelines to power generation, the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) is working seriously to isolate the vandalised portions of the pipelines in order to effect repairs.”

Spokesman of TCN, Dave Fabiyi, said the disruption affected Rivers, State Independent Power Station adding that one of the vandalised gas pipelines took supply from the Okoloma gas plant while the other took supply from Escravos.

– Daily Trust

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