09 May 2016, Sweetcrude, Houston, Texas – The Federal government has announced plans to decentralise its power transmission network to enhance efficiency in the sector.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola stated that by decentralising the power transmission network, private sector investors would be granted the authority to manage segments of the grid on an agreed commercial framework.
Although the idea is still in its proposal phase, Fashola said the initiative was motivated by the country’s troubled transmission network.
The minister said the adopted roadmap of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government for the power sector was first to ensure that power generation in the country remained incremental, its transmission stable and distribution of electricity uninterrupted.
“So, in answer to the big question, ‘what is the roadmap?’ I say it is getting incremental power, in a way that every megawatt of power must be harnessed and made available to our people.
“From incremental power we may then seek to deliver steady power and from then go on to uninterrupted power,” he said.
Fashola stated that government was working to diversify Nigeria’s electricity sources to meet its plan for the energy sector.
Fashola also disclosed that a total of 907 containers, loaded with transmission equipment, have been ordered to be released to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and its contractors by Buhari.
“About 907 containers of various equipment imported at the ports and paid for, have been abandoned with demurrage, port charges and all sorts of costs by contractors who have deserted their contracts.
“Approvals have been given by the President for their release; we have met with customs, the shippers, the warehouse owners and operators all of whom have shown an inspiring sense of patriotism to release their containers.
“The containers expectedly contain all sorts of equipment, which hopefully, when recovered, will help solve some of our transmission problems,” he said.
Fashola said the directive would enable TCN to complete the existing transmission projects, which according to him would see it grow its wheeling capacity to 20,000MW of electricity within five years.
“TCN has expressed a desire to increase transmission capacity from 5,000MW to 7,000MW, 10,000MW to 13,000MW to 16,000MW and 20,000MW over five years from this year.
“We have demanded […] an implementation plan for each stage; including the detail quantities, design, way leave, cost and everything that will facilitate efficient project implementation.”
Fashola further explained: “We are also looking at technical possibilities that support the decentralisation of the grid while keeping them interconnected. This will help us take up offers of private investment that ensure investors can ring fence and collect revenues wheeling charges for the power they help to transmit or transport.”
“Today, they (TCN) can only transport 5000MW,” he concluded.