The Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, said Nigeria has the cheapest electricity tariff in the West African sub-region, and called for immediate review of tariffs.
According to him, an estimated N1.7 trillion had been spent to subsidise electricity industry in the last six years, which he said is not sustainable and cannot attract the desired private sector investment.
To him, the government needs to consider reviewing the tariff to be cost-reflective, adding that Nigerians should be reading to pay for electricity because there is no relationship between poverty and payment of electricity.
Mohammed spoke at the ground-breaking for the rehabilitation/reconducting of Ikeja West-Alimosho-Ogba-Alausa and Ogba-Otta 132kV double circuit transmission line with gap conductors, at the Ikeja West transmission substation in Ipaja/Ayobo area of Lagos State.
The TCN chief said Ikeja West is the largest transmission substation in Nigeria and that the line runs from Ikeja West to Alimosho, to Ogba, to Ota, and from Ogba to Alausa.
Also around Ikeja, we have the highest number of industries in Nigeria, therefore, the project is to ensure that there is adequate power to supply these residents and these business concerns and places.
He noted that contrary to some reports, TCN doesn’t have disagreement with electricity distribution companies (DisCos), adding the some of the DisCos are doing well while some are not and those that are not doing well are the ones, saying TCN has disagreement with DisCos. He promised to upgrade the Akangba/Alagbon transmission line.
Head, Transmission Service Provider, Victor Adewunmi, said the rehabilitation and reconducting of the 132 double circuit transmission line of Ikeja West to Alimosho to Ogba to Alausa and Ogba/Otta with high capacity gap conductor is part of the reconstruction and expansion programme of TCN.
‘’We are embarking on massive construction and reconducting of some of our weak transmission lines across the country with high capacity gap conductor for us to deliver more power. Gap conductors can deliver more power at a very high temperature of above 200 degrees centrigrade because of its high mechanical and electrical properties. This will enable us phase out the normal conductors in use.
‘’Some of the lines to be rehabilitated include the Aba/Udi I32kv line, Kaduna/Hadijia, Onitsha/Oji River, Alaoji/Aba, Benin/Irua, Okene/Ajaokuta, Akure/Ado-Ekiti, Port Harcourt Main/Port Harcourt Town, and Birnin-Kebbi/Sokoto.
‘’The company that won the contract after a competitive bid, is Electrical Solution Limited, an indigenous company, adding that TCN will not allow undue delay of the project because as the lines are being reconducted, there will be a lot of outages. We may not be able to deliver supply to the affected areas, he added.
Ikeja Electric will be the greatest beneficiary of this project because when completed it will allow Ikeja Electric obtain the full capacity of all the transformers and substations to be supplied by the line.
The Managing Director, Electrical Solution Limited, Yusuf Maihaja, said they had the experience and hope to deliver the project on schedule and within budget.
He said the company rehabilitated Afam/Alaoji 150kv double circuit transmission line, rehabilitated and reconducted Afam/PortHarcourt 150 Kv, among others.
These projects were delivered cost-effectively, timely while ensuring engineering best practices and international standard.
He sought maximum cooperation from all stakeholders including the Lagos State Government and the security agencies in order to surmount all hurdles and be able to deliver the project.
Chairman, Ikeja Electric, Kola Adesina, commended the TCN chief for his initiatives in the power value chain to serve Nigerians well.
“Nigerians are not interested in megawatts, reconducting the transmission lines or in substations or feeders, what they need is whenever they press the switch, let there be light. Whatever that will lead to availability and stability of power is what the citizens need.
“For this to happen the stakeholders in power supply value chain, must work together harmoniously with common vision and objective to deliver that power.
Our customers along this axis through which the line to be recounducted is, I don’t want them to suffer. Therefore, our customers in Ayobo, Ogba and Alausa, I don’t them to suffer, so whatever programme that would be carried, should be hastened and completed on time.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Abdulhameed Mustapha, assured TCN that the government would work with them, especially in issues of right of way. The government is ready to support any project that will guarantee power supply to Lagos residents, he added.