How TCN persistently dodges over N6bn fine for not meeting load-share

How TCN persistently dodges over N6bn fine for not meeting load-share

By Dupe Oloyede, Abuja

Investigation by AljazirahNigeria has shown how the Transmission Company of Nigeria ( TCN), has repeatedly avoided payment of penalties for imbalance in power transmission, despite not being able to meet its load-share target.

Each of the eleven distribution companies (DisCos) in the country are entitled to a specific percentage of power allocation on a daily basis.

So far, the debt accrued as a result of TCN’s inability to pay this penalty is to the tune of N6 billion while the total shortfall in the power sector monetarily has moved to about N808 billion.

A highly placed source in the power firm told AljazirahNigeria that this has added to the revenue shortfall witnessed in the electricity market.

According to the source, the total shortfall included the legacy debts since the existence of Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN.

The source claimed that the inability of the TCN to deliver the total amount of load-share to every disco is as a result of the deplorable state of transmission infrastructure. She said most of the transmission infrastructures in the country are outdated, citing instances of the Ojere transmission line in Abeokuta, Ogun state, which according to her was put up in the 70’s.

While citing an instance of Abuja Distribution Company ( AEDC) and Kano Disco, the source said the total daily allocation for AEDC is about 11 percent while Kano’s allocation is put at 8 percent.

Also according to the source, because of the transmission constraint in Kano, TCN is only able to transmit 5 percent, thus sending the remaining 3 percent extra power to AEDC.

“Because power cannot be stored, they will just say, ‘Abuja take power, Abuja take power’ and they give us the extra three percent. Don’t forget, we didn’t ask for it, so it is forced on us.

“So at the end of the day, AEDC pays for its allocation, pays for the extra three percent forced on it and also pays penalty for taking more than its daily allocation,”the source explained.

However, AljazirahNigeria found out that the TCN is also expected to pay penalties for not being able to transmit the entire eight percent power allocated to the Kano Disco.

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Sources within the establishment spoken with advised that the FG increases its investment in the TCN’s infrastructures and staff welfare.

“We also want to implore government to increase their investment in TCN. I will take my time to give you TCN’s bottlenecks all over the country. The staff of TCN are the same staff of NEPA so there is a need for new orientation and welfare packages. The staff of DisCos are ‘KPI driven but that of TCN are not KPI driven.’ These are part of the challenges we want the authorities to look at.

“In every private sector, there is a Key Performance Indicator KPI that drives what you do. You must perform because you will be measured by it. I’m not sure that is done in TCN,” a concerned staff said.

AljazirahNigeria could not get official reactions from the management of TCN as at press time.

AljazirahNigeria reports that the TCN was incorporated in November 2005.

TCN emerged from the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) as a product of the merger of the Transmission and Operations sectors on April 1, 2004.  Being one of the 18 unbundled Business Units under the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the company was issued a transmission License on 1st July, 2006.

TCN’s licensed activities include: electricity transmission, system operation and electricity trading which is ring fenced.