The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is facing a major challenge in delivering electricity to Nigerians, with ageing infrastructure and frequent vandalism hampering its efforts. The company can only transmit 8,100MW of the 13,000MW, a meagre 62 percent, of electricity generated in the country, leaving a significant gap between supply and demand.
“We are supposed to be able to transmit about 15,000MW, but we are unable to meet this capacity due to weak and ageing infrastructure,” said Thomas Inugonum, TCN’s general manager for Port Harcourt Region.
TCN officials attribute the limited transmission capacity to outdated equipment, some of which is over 50 years old. This ageing infrastructure is prone to breakdowns and inefficiencies, hindering the flow of electricity across the country.
Compounding this problem is the ongoing issue of vandalism. TCN facilities are regularly targeted by vandals who steal valuable equipment, causing major disruptions and financial losses. Inugonum noted, “Vandals have cut earth-conductors of big transformers that cost about N800 million resulting in the ‘floating’ of the facility.”
“In just two months, we have lost several of our transmission lines in Odukpani (Cross River) and in Elelenwo in Rivers,” he added.
Frustrated by these challenges, TCN has called on the media and the public to help raise awareness about the consequences of vandalism. The company emphasises the importance of protecting these critical infrastructure, which are essential for providing electricity to homes and businesses.
Benneth Ezemobi, TCN’s assistant general manager, Port Harcourt Sub-Region, said, “It is unfortunate that people vandalise facilities worth billions of naira only to melt the metals to construct gates, pots, and cups. It is just wickedness.”
Despite the obstacles, TCN is actively working on improving transmission capacity. The company is undertaking several projects, including reconductoring lines and installing new transformers, to increase its capabilities. Some of these projects are expected to be completed by 2025, bringing additional power to states like Rivers.
“Currently, we have slightly less than 400mw, but by 2025, we would have been able to meet our 500mw target for Rivers,” Ezemobi added.
While these efforts are promising, it is clear that TCN faces a steep uphill battle. Addressing the issue of ageing infrastructure and finding a solution to the persistent problem of vandalism will be crucial for ensuring a reliable and efficient power supply for all Nigerians.