The federal government has approved the sum of N600 billion for the electricity market in order to boost power supply in the country, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has disclosed.
TCN market operator (MO), Edmund Ejie, made this known yesterday in Abuja at the 3rd quarter participants and stakeholders interactive forum for 2019, with the theme: “Rules Compliance for Nigerian Electricity Market (NEM) Development and Sustainability.’’
Ejie said the intervention was at a very advanced level and added that it had already been signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the intervention is for the payment of the shortfall in electricity invoices for the entire market.
“Such whopping sum of money has never been injected into the power sector before. The fund will be ready for disbursement any moment from now,’’ he said.
The TCN market operator explained that the intervention was not restricted to a single chain in the market, saying it was holistic.
He urged the participants to get used to the market rules and all compliance codes because TCN was focused on enforcing them to give confidence to investors and to promote market efficiency.
Also at the workshop, TCN disclosed its plans to spend $5 million in digitising the company’s substations’ control rooms nationwide.
TCN managing director, Usman Gur Mohammed, who made the disclosure, said the digitisation project would enhance the operation of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) which is to be attained later.
He also hinted that the process of splitting the company and repositioning it for optimal performance was on course.
Mohammed said the forum came at a time when MO was enforcing the market rules and instilling discipline in the power sector.
Mohammed said, “Our intention is to midwife TCN in such a way that TCN will cease to exist. There will be a separate Transmission Service Provider (TSP) and the Independent System Operation (ISO) will be with the MO. I am doing everything possible for that.”
He, however, noted that the splitting could only be successful when the SCADA and the Electricity Management System (EMS) are in place.
According to him, the firm is procuring fibre-optic facilities for some critical lines towards attaining SCADA.
“Fixing SCADA will take about two years, so we have segmented it to start with the Automated Meter Reading (AMR) where all energy will be accurately metered and every market participant will have access to that, “ he said.
TCN further stated that Nigeria was learning from South Africa’s Eskom Power about their SCADA after failing in the past.
“Nigeria has failed three times and if it fails again, it will be the fourth time,” Mohammed noted.
To ensure SCADA’s success, he said TCN would be training 15 workers who would be bonded to TCN till after five years, adding that five workers each would be trained on the software, hardware and the communication aspects.
“We are going to train them anywhere in the world; even if it will cost us $3 million, we will do it,” he said.
The TCN boss said that there was the need for the operators to be proactive in recognising that regulatory and standard compliance were the key to market development.
In a presentation, a former chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, said a regulated electricity market was key to the sustenance of the power sector.
He said the present Transition Electricity Market (TEM) regime in the sector ought to ensure contractual performance since it was activated in 2015, but he lamented that only few Generation Companies (GenCos) had Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Amadi added that some Distribution Companies (DisCos) were recently sanctioned and suspended due to defaults in their Letters of Credit (LCs) to pay for energy services.
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