• Saturday, April 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

TCN must stay on track

businessday-icon

 The supervisory board of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which was constituted in December, was finally inaugurated last Tuesday. This is a welcome development as it is expected to bring some sort of relief to electricity consumers because the contracts signed with Manitoba Hydro International can now be implemented.

The board is expected to work with Manitoba for the realisation of robust grid with very minimal incidence of system collapse, just as it is also expected that anytime soon quality, reliable and efficient electricity will be delivered to Nigerians. These are government objectives for the power sector in the country.

The responsibility of the TCN is to provide open access for power evacuation to all participants and ensure full evacuation capacity and reliability at minimum technical loss. It is also to ensure equitable load allocation to consumers.

At the moment, the transmission capabilities are inefficient and grossly inadequate. This situation is further compounded by the fact that it is a radial transmission structure, which does not allow for system reliability. The transmission lines are bedevilled by irregular maintenance and lack of facility upgrade, vandalism of transmission infrastructure, non-functional dispatch facility and high technical losses.

We are of the view that Manitoba Hydro International, the contractor that is saddled with the responsibility to carry out the maintenance job, should be allowed without interference, political or otherwise, so that Nigerians would be able to make objective assessment of what the power supply situation is now and in three years time when the contract would have terminated. It only when the company is given a free hand to operate that its ability to handle such project could be ascertained. We recall that the labour union had kicked against the contract saying that if the money given to Manitoba is given to the Nigerians in TCN, they would straighten the crooked transmission lines and engender efficiency in their operations.

With the TCN board now in place, the political intrigues that have characterised the $23.7 million contract entered into with the government by the Canadian company over the management of the more than 4,000km transmission lines have been put to rest. We need to continue increasing our available capacity, but proper funding channels must be identified and explored. If not, our situation may not be better than what it is.

We congratulate the board members, but they must realise that their appointment is to render selfless service to their fatherland, not to satisfy their ethnic or religious blocs. One important point they must note is that efficient power supply is critical to the economic growth and development of the country.

To mitigate some of the industrial challenges the company current faces requires adequate funding. The board must look for independent sources for the funding of the various projects slated for execution, improvement of capacity, installation of harmonic filters at PCC, use of technology (for instance, smart metering), regular maintenance of line trace, and regular application of preventive maintenance.

The board cannot afford to fail the country in this onerous task as its failure would mean that the country would crawl for a long time to come.