Going by the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s (TCN) 2020 objective, some of the 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) operating in Nigeria may be forced out of the industry. TCN has pushed for the recapitalisation of DisCos to separate the wheat from the chaff in the new year.
The transmission firm plans to restructure the capital base of the distribution companies operating in the country.
The power sector in Nigeria was privatised in 2013 and the supply of the electricity was divided into several categories: six generation companies; 12 distribution companies covering all 36 Nigerian states, and a national power transmission company.
Why it matters: Since the power sector was privatised by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2013, the electricity supply hasn’t improved much, and every business continues to provide electricity for themselves mostly with petrol and diesel generators.
The Managing Director of TCN, Usman Mohammed, was of the opinion that the distribution companies within the country were not effectively disbursing their responsibility, so recapitalisation would improve their operation.
He said the capacity to duly supply electricity efficiently was lacking among the power distribution companies. Mohammed also opined that the recapitalisation of the power sector would attract investors to boost development.
“We are working to see that all the projects that we have under the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme will pick up and they will continue to be implemented in a sustainable manner.
“We are going to actually push for the recapitalisation of Discos in 2020. We believe that by doing that we are pushing the power sector to sustainable growth and development. The power sector has to attract investments.”
“The only way we can attract investments is to ensure that the power sector is sustainable. This means that every party is working and the regulator provides what is called a cost-reflective tariff consistent with the position of ECOWAS.”
Mohammed also stated that “So we need to recapitalise the Discos for them to have commensurate investments to fix their networks and provide meters so that they can reduce the Average Technical and Commercial losses in their system for electricity to work.”
TCN not waiting for DisCos: In his statement reported by Punch, Mohammad said TCN would continue to expand the grip without waiting for improvement and development in DisCos’ operation.
“If you look at the current situation that we are now, of course, the transmission will continue to expand. We will not wait for the Discos. It takes a long time to build a transmission infrastructure than Discos’, which is easier. Therefore, we are looking at transmission as the enabler.
“Out of the 738 interfaces that we have with the Discos, only 421 have protection on their side, the remaining 317 do not have protection on the side of the Discos. This means faults in the houses of people can easily hit the TCN transformers and damage them.”
FG needs to stop funding power: According to Mohammed, the government can’t afford to keep funding certain operations of the power sector.
“The industry can only work when all the players are working. If transmission doesn’t work, it will bankrupt generation and distribution.
“If distribution doesn’t collect the money, nobody gets money and this means the government has to continue to finance generators through payment assurance. But for how long are we going to continue to do that? So we have to fix distribution.”
Gains and pains of recapitalisation: The recapitalisation plan shows that TCN doesn’t believe the current distribution companies can deliver on the needed improvement of the electricity supply. However, despite the good intention of the exercise, it might force some companies which are unable to meet the requirement out of the market.
Covid-19: Governors to discuss distribution of vaccines today
Governors of the 36 states of the federation will today meet to discuss the sharing formula for the recently delivered Covid-19 vaccine.
The Nigerian Governors Forum has announced that all 36 Governors will meet today to discuss the distribution of the recently arrived 3.9 million Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX programme.
This was disclosed by the NGF in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF Secretariat.
The NGF disclosed that the meeting, which would be held virtually, will commence by 5 pm.
“The meeting is of a single-item agenda, which will discuss the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution in the country,” he said.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported on Monday that 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
- The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) also released guidelines on registering for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria.
Royal Academy of Engineering invests over £3.5 million in Nigeria, others
The academy has awarded over £3.5 million in 37 projects in Nigeria and across 13 African countries.
The Royal Academy of Engineering has awarded over £3.5 million to 37 projects in Nigeria and across 13 African countries to promote better training and sustainability and diversify economies.
This was disclosed by the Academy via a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Thursday to mark the UNESCO World Engineering Day 2021.
It stated that the Academy’s interest in partnering with partner academic institutions’ projects focused on realizing sustainable development goals.
One of such projects, according to the statement, is the renewable energy project recently embarked on by Engineering students in the University of Abuja, Nigeria.
It stated, “A new awardee of the HEPSSA programme, the University of Abuja, in a project titled “Renewable energy utilization: Accelerating diffusion of solar power systems”, seeks to address the problem of access to affordable and clean energy with a view to enable accelerated diffusion solar power systems.”
Commenting on the progress achieved in Africa, Nigerian born Engineer in the UK, Yewande Akinola MBE, who is also a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering GCRF Africa Catalyst Committee, said:
“While we see immediate improvements in skills and innovation through these programmes, the real win is establishing a framework for lasting change. This will equip communities in Africa to anticipate and plan for the challenges posed by climate change, urbanisation and economic development. The continent is transforming rapidly, and those engineering its future need the skills to think on their feet.”
Stressing the need for strategic partnerships and buy-in of stakeholders, she said, “By developing strong alliances between local partners in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, we can enable learning, collaboration and sharing of best practice, which in turn will build skills to boost innovation. But there is much more to be done, which needs the continued support of investors and partners.”
She added that the Academy aimed to support the development of a diverse and future fit workforce across the continent.
“It is estimated that fewer than 10% of engineering posts in Africa are currently occupied by women. GCRF Africa Catalyst has worked with Women in Engineering (WomEng) to promote gender diversity across a wide spectrum of professional experience.
“WomEng’s work with Eswatini’s Registration Council for Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Allied Professionals has resulted in seven registered female members where they initially had none. A HEP SSA project with the Institute of Engineers Rwanda also helped to increase the number of female internship applicants from 5% to 2018 to 25% in 2019,” she said.
Highlights of achievements of the Africa grants:
- Over 2000 professionals trained by Professional Engineering Institutions across sub-Saharan Africa.
- Over 530 student industry placements since 2013. Number of students obtaining industry internships increased from 40% to 90% over the course of one project in Zambia
- Diversity & Inclusion initiatives have driven equal gender participation in programmes. A project from the Institute of Engineers Rwanda helped to increase the number of female internship applicants from 5% in 2018 to 25% in 2019.
- 50 individual course curricula reviewed and improved as a result of industry-academia partnerships.
- Almost 50 UK organisations and 400 in-country bodies involved as project partners so far.
What you should know
- Launched in 2016, with support from the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the Africa Catalyst initiative allows Engineers to focus on issues of specific importance to their relevant jurisdictions while facilitating good governance practices.
- The Royal Academy of Engineering is showcasing its impact on enhancing collaboration, education, and diversity in engineering in sub-Saharan Africa, delivered through its Africa grants programmes ahead of the second UNESCO World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on the 4th of March 2021.
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