28 December 2013, Abuja – The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, has been allocated the largest share of total budget proposed for the power sector, a breakdown of the 2014 budget proposal has shown.
With a total budget proposal of N62.4 billion allocated to the sector, TCN is allocated N24.9 and closely followed by the supervising ministry which got N21.8 billion.
With the massive increase expected in power generation which is projected to hit 10,000MW in 2014 and 20,000MW by 2016, government has emphasised the need for a robust transmission grid, as the grid currently remains a weak link with a wheeling capacity of about 4,800MW.
According to the federal government, about $3.4 billion is required up to 2016 to bring the transmission grid to be able to evacuate all generated power.
However, government is presently working out the funding of TCN long-term expansion plan from a mix which will include the Transmission Development Fund, International Development Banks and multinational agencies, as budgetary allocations alone cannot achieve the desired result.
Also, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), which is tasked with ensuring electrification of off-grid communities in the country, got a fair share of the allocation with a total of N8.2 billion to take the third spot in order of priority in the budget breakdown.
However, the Nigeria Electricity Management Liability Company (NELMCO) got the least share of N799 million out of the N62.4 billion allocated to the power sector in the 2014 budget.
In comparison with the estimated N500 billion PHCN liabilities which the agency is assuming, the amount is far from being adequate.
*Juliet Alohan, Leadership