The Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Usman Gur Mohammed, has said that the failure of Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to invest in the power sector is one of the major challenges faced by the sector in country.
According to him, the lack of long term investment in the sector has made power supply in the country a nightmare, adding that the country has one of the worst distribution networks in Africa.
Mohammed, who spoke during the signing ceremony of the Mou between Power Analytics & Solutions, an indigenous investor, and CEC Africa Investment, a major investor in the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, in Abuja, insisted that until big companies take advantage of the privitazation window by the Federal Government and invest in the sector, power supply in the country will be far from being sustainable.
Mohammed said: “The sector is about investment. The reason DISCOs and Power Generating Companies, GENCOs, were privatised is because government does not have the funds to sustain and expand the network. Therefore anything we are going to do to bring investment into the sector, we are happy to do it. And the kind of investment we are looking at is the kind of investment these people are bringing in, with this MoU.”
Continuing, the TCN boss said: “The MOU of today will add more megawatts to the grid. Currently with the addition of Azura, we have over 2000 megawatts stranded capacity we can’t feed to the grid. And this is because of lack of capacity by the DISCOs. If you look at the investment that TCN is doing it cannot be sustained by DISCOs. Currently about 40 percent interface between TCN and Discos are actually supplied directly from TCN network to the customers.
“Even the expansion we are doing is not going to be covered, you know we stimulated the grid IG 33 kV and we have come out with injection of N4.2bn, the DISCOs need to raise N2.2bn to be able to absorb the load we are bringing. But how will they be able to do that when there is no long term investment in
DISCOs?” he said.
Speaking at the MoU signing, the Director of Power Analytics & Solutions, Tony Ezeani said the company was bringing in over $2bn into the AEDC.
A c c o rd i n g t o h i m, “The MOU is both for financial and technical support. What we want to do is to invest with CEC, take over and expand the distribution network,” he said.
Also, the Managing Director, CEC Africa, Emmanuel Katepa, said the sector needs collaborative efforts to make it function optimally.
According to him, AEDC has of recent recorded lots of success stories despite the challenges.
“It is one of the best DISCOs in the country,” Katepa said.