Thursday, January 23, 2020

FG injects N600b in power sector as intervention hits N1.5TR

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The Market Operator (MO) of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Edmund Ejie, has disclosed that the Federal Government has approved N600billion for injection into the nation’s electricity industry.
He stated this at the Market Operator’s Participants/Key Stakeholders 2019 3rd Quarter Interactive Forum recently held in Abuja.
According to him, the current development brings government’s direct intervention in the sector to about N1.5 trillion in recent times, “considering that the government in 2015 intervened with the sum of N213 billion and staked N701 billion in 2017, bringing the fund to N1.5 trillion”.
Read also: Kashimbila 40MW power plant to be commissioned soon – MAMMAN
Ejie said the release of the fund is “now at advance level. It has been signed by Mr. President. It is for the shortfall in the payment of monthly invoices. But when government signs such fund there is underlying protocol that must be observed in other to facilitate it.”
Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Gur Mohammed, who also spoke at the programme, said the government was considering splitting the company into two entities.
He disclosed that about $5 million is also being considered to digitize substations across the country, saying that would continue to enforce Market Rule and instill discipline in the power sector.
“Our intention is to midwife TCN in such a way that TCN will cease to exist. There will be a separate Transmission Service Provider (TSP) and the Independent System Operation (ISO) will be with the MO. I am doing everything possible for that,” the MD said.
He noted that the split may not, however, happen immediately, adding that there was need to address the lingering challenges affecting the national grid, especially the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and the Electricity Management System (EMS).
Mohammed said: “Fixing SCADA will take about two years. So, we have segmented it to start with the Automated Meter Reading (AMR), where all energy will be accurately metered and every market participant will have access to that.”
He disclosed that TCN would train about 15 staff on software, hardware and the communication aspects of the SCADA, saying “We are going to train them anywhere in the world, even if it will cost us N$3 million, we will do it.

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