By Etuka Sunday
The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Gur Mohammed has said that power operators only should not be blamed for the present challenges in the industry.
Mohammed said, customers should be equally blamed, since they also contribute to the challenges.
The TCN boss spoke at the weekend shortly after the “Nigeria Electricity Awareness Walk” organised by the company and Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited in conjunction with other Nigerian Electricity Industry Stakeholders to mark this year’s Electricity Week.
Speaking on how customers contribute to power problem in the country, Mr Mohammed listed vandalism, meter by-pass, illegal connection, failure to pay bills and building under power lines as some of the ways.
“Most citizens knowingly or ignorantly are daily contributing to the crisis confronting the sector. There is also wide perception that only those working directly in the sector are responsible for the sector.
“While Sector Players like us have huge responsibility in ensuring lingering issues are resolved timely; every Nigeria have a role to play in the sustainable development of the sector.
“It is important to highlight that every citizen doing one of the following is directly or indirectly contributing to poor development of the sector:
“Vandalize power infrastructure, Build under power lines, Frustrate the acquisition of power line right of way (ROW), Frustrate construction of power infrastructure,
“Steal electricity through: illegal connection, By pass meter connections, Refuse to pay for electricity Consumed, Fails to make adeQuate plan for power infrastructure investrnent, and Involve in mismanagement of resource meant for the sector,” he said.
The MD noted that the “Awareness Walk” was organised to ensure that every Nigerians understand that he/she has a role to play in the development of the electricity industry.
He said, “this government has done very much to the sector: by extending Transmission Capacity from less than 5,000MW to 8,100MW as at December 2018 (when the last simulation Was done), Did 20 Year Least Cost Transmission Expansion Plan (the 1st time in Nigeria), Established Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program which attracted over $1.66 billion from International Donors and Increased the generation capacity from less than 4,000MW to over 7,500MW.
“Increase the distribution capacity from about 3,500MW to 5,3 75MW (highest peak in February 2019). There is need however, to sustain investment into the sector especially in distribution segment, careful investment planning, regulatory consistency and transparency,” he said.
According to him, the reform in the sector was yet to resolve under capitalization of the sector, liquidity crisis, regulatory consistency, constant supply of electricity to Nigerians and efficient power infrastructure investment planning.
He therefore, said, there was need to develop non-partisan consensus for sustainable development of the electricity industry.