Nigerians may soon have the cause to smile with more hours of electricity supply as the wheeling capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is expected to have increased to about 10, 000 mega watts (MW) by the end of the year.
The Hon. Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri stated this while fielding questions from journalists after inspecting the on-going transmission substation building project in Biliri town of Biliri LGA of Gombe State which is at about 90 per cent completion.
The Biliri transmission project is a World Bank project executed through TCN.
The federal government received funds from the World Bank for the implementation of Nigeria Electricity and Gas Improvement Project (NEGIP).
Some of this financing is allocated to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for the construction of four proposed transmission substations at New Kano in Kano State, Biliri in Gombe State, Kabba in Kogi State, and Abor (9th Mile) in Enugu State.
The Minister, who expressed satisfaction with the level and quality of work done by the contractor, noted that the Biliri power project is expected to add 96 megawatts (MW) to the wheeling capacity by December, 2018 when the contractor assured of completing the project.
“As you have been told by the representative of TCN, this is a world Bank two-year lifespan project which has advanced to completion stage. To finish the project, 2 x 60MVA transformers with all associated equipment, control room and all other facilities already procured are to be installed.
“It is a project expected to boost electricity supply in Gombe and neighbouring states when completed as it will increase the wheeling capacity of TCN by 96 per cent.
“This is not the only project slated for commissioning between now and the end of the year. There are several of them spread across the country, that are either completed or are about to be completed, and will be commissioned in the coming weeks.
“TCN’s wheeling capacity today, through concerted effort, has risen to between 6 and 7 thousand megawatts from about three thousand. So by the end of the year, all in all, TCN’s wheeling capacity will rise to around 9 to 10, 000MW,” the Minister explained.
Stressing that the government will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that it achieves its tripartite objective of incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply for the people, Shehuri said, “When we came in there were over 2, 000 containers stranded at the port which were imported carrying critical equipment that would improve the transmission and distribution systems in the country. For whatever reasons, they were held at the ports for periods ranging from 4 years to 10 or even more.
“But we reached an agreement with the Nigerian Port Authority, the Customs and all other relevant agencies that in the interest of the Nigerian people this equipment must be released, with an agreement to settle whatever differences later. That is why in most cases government does not tax some of the equipment being brought in to improve power in the country.
“The number has reduced drastically, and I think as at the last count, there were just less than a hundred of such containers left to be cleared.
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