By Etuka Sunday
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) got the total of N1 billion against the N24billion gotten from the 2014 budget, a data obtained from the proposed 2015 budget has shown.
Although TCN is still a public asset in the privatized power sector, the federal government is only budgeting 4percent, which is N1 billion of its previous allocation to the significant section in 2015.
N24 billion was appropriated for transmission in the 2014 budget proposal indicating a 96 percent drop in the allocation. However, total budget appropriation for the power sector ministry and agencies fell by N53.6 in the proposed 2015 budget just as the Federal Ministry of Power gets the highest allocation of N2.5 billion.
The Ministry got over N21billion previously, which is N19.3 billion more than what it is to obtain in the 2015 Ministry’s appropriation.
Data obtained from the proposed budget which was earlier sent to the National Assembly for consideration showed that the ministry and its parastatals would have to squeeze N8.811 billion as their appropriation for personnel, overhead and capital development funds in 2015.
In 2014, the ministry which said in November 2013 that it is retiring into policy making after major power utilities were privatized, appropriated N62.4billion for itself and agencies. Though ministry
officials said some funds are still hanging in the fourth quarter that was yet to be released.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy had recently said there was need to cut down government expenditure to help cushion the effects of the crude oil price slump in a country
where its major financing has been anchored on the oil sector.
Again, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) got the highest allocation in the previous budget with N24.9billion for its network expansion projects. However for 2015, TCN will be getting N1billion
which is N765million and N420 million lesser compare with what the new Electricity Management Services Ltd (EMSL) and the National Power Training Institute (NAPTIN) allocations.
However, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) which act as a guarantee for power procurement between the private electricity Distribution companies (Discos) and the Generation companies (Gencos) had the least allocation of N194 million.
Although the ministry witnessed a significant cut in funding, its general travel and transport budget only reduced by N33million from the previous allocation of N171.6 million in 2014.
The ministry also included new items in its 2015 Materials and Services budget to include, uniforms and other clothing N1 million, Teaching aids/Instruction materials N865,853 and food stuff/catering materials supplies N91,075. Meanwhile preparing the 2015 budget for the ministry was priced at N7.5 million.
It is also proposing another N115million for resettlement at the 700megawatts (mw) Zungeru Hydro power project site after it earmarked N300million to the same project in 2014.
The Presidential Taskforce on Power (PTFP) in charge of monitoring power sector activities was allocated N92.9million which was about N900 million shorter of what it was to receive last year.