GENCOs, DISCOs, TCN heighten blame game over poor electricity supply
By Sebastine Obasi
KEY players in the electricity sub-sector, generation companies, GENCOs, distribution companies, DISCOs and Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, have continued to trade blames over the worsening electricity supply situation in the country.
In the latest blame game, the GENCOs said the DISCOs are unserious on their mandate, while also accusing TCN of inability to transmit electricity due to inadequate and obsolete infrastructure.
TCN, on the other hand, said that debt overhang is militating against the efficient power supply by DISCOs.
According to Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Transcorp Ughelli Power, some of the DISCOs have not shown seriousness since the privatisation of the sub-sector. “I believe the GENCOs have demonstrated capabilities, in some of the DISCOs, in my viewpoint, I do not see seriousness and so government should engage more with these DISCOs and see how a marshal plan can be put in place.
He stated: “It is unfortunate, may be the wrong people bought some of these DISCOs. People who have capacity should own the DISCOs.The generating companies are reeling and suffering, there is a limit to how far we can subsidise the system because that to me is what is happening today,” he said.
However, the Managing Director of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, owners of Kainji and Jebba GENCOs, Mr Lamu Audu, believes it was ironical that power generation companies like Mainstream were suffering losses due to unutilized power, while Nigeria had no power to run their businesses and for domestic uses.
He stated: “I think TCN should answer because they are the ones taking the energy from us and giving to the DISCO’s but if the DISCOs are not utilizing it they will know better than anybody else. The DISCOs can deny but TCN should have the records to tell us what is happening to the energy that we are generating, simple question. Why has the frequency been high?”’ he asked.
Also, Kikelomo Owoeye, Brand and Communication Manager of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, believes TCN cannot meet the expectations of Nigerians even if generation doubles. According to Owoeye, notwithstanding the challenges of energy theft and vandalism, most of the equipment to produce and distribute the required energy are obsolete.
He stated: “On our transmission, even if the GENCOs generate enough megawatts or gigawatts as the case may be, the equipment at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)cannot wheel out all the required supply.
“There are challenges on the equipment; most of them are obsolete,” she said.
But Bede Opara, General Manager in charge of Transmission at TCN, believes that DISCOs have not been able to pay their debts due to energy theft and other issues.
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