The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, on Monday heaped the blame for persistent power failures in homes across the country on the electricity distribution companies.
She accused the firms of not living up to expectations.
Oyo-Ita said this during the unveiling of a new 60MVA and 132/33kV power transformer at the Calabar Transmission sub-station in Essien, Calabar, Cross River State, which was installed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
She stated that for the trend to change and for Nigerians to appreciate the huge investments in the generation and the transmission components of the power sector, the Discos must embark on massive investments in the rehabilitation and expansion of their facilities.
Oyo-Ita said, “The distribution companies should now invest more in the distribution network, because that is where the problem lies. There is a lot of power that is being generated by the generating plants and transmitted by transmission plants, but the Discos do not have the capacity to transfer this power to the end users.
“Some of the distribution companies are not investing such that they can transfer this power to the end users. Nigerians will never appreciate the large amount of money being invested in power generation. So, we are appealing to the distribution companies to go back to the drawing board.”
She, however, stated that the Federal Government was willing to offer support to the distribution companies for them to render adequate services to Nigerians.
“If they know they don’t have the financial or the technical wherewithal, let them come out and be sincere, and stop frustrating Nigerians and painting the government in a bad light. And so, my appeal to the distribution companies is that with all these large investments we are seeing all over the nation, they should take power distribution more seriously,” the HoS stated.
Oyo-Ita said the new facility would lead to the generation of large quantum of power for the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, adding that it would improve the socio-economic growth and development of the state.
She explained that the development would improve power supply significantly to Calabar municipality, Calabar South, Odukpani, Bakassi, Ogoja, Ikom, Yakurr, Itigidi, Ugep, Obudu and environs.
The HoS said the implementation of the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme was on course across the country with plans by the Federal Government to expand the national grid.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed, stated that the company’s engineers had in the last one year installed several transformers, using in-house capacity.
He added that the company would inaugurate over 90 transmission projects before the end of this year.
The TCN boss noted that the transmission and generation projects being executed by it would not result in significant improvement in power supply unless the Discos also invested in the rehabilitation and expansion of their networks.
Mohammed stated this on Monday at the inauguration of the 100MVA, 132/33KV transformer at the Alimosho Substation in Lagos.
“We have about 90 projects going on across the country and we also have new projects that are coming up, supported by international donors. We have what we call the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, which we established last year,” he explained.
According to him, the programme aims to expand the grid from 7,000 megawatts to at least 20,000MW in the next two to three years.
Mohammed stated, “We have changed the way we do the implementation of projects and we have changed the qualification criteria of selecting contractors to ensure that all contractors that are going to implement our projects will be those that have the capacity to deliver.
“The TREP provides the necessary operational flexibility and reliable power delivery to the distribution companies and other class of customers connected directly to the national grid.”
He added that as part of the programme, the 1X30MVA transformer at Alimosho Substation was replaced with a 1x100MVA transformer.
Mohammed said the capacity of the substation had been increased to 230MVA from 160MVA.
According to him, communities such as Gowon Estate, Shagari Estate, New Ipaja, Ayobo, Abule-Egba, Akowonjo and Orile-Agege, which are customers of Ikeja Electric, are expected to experience remarkable improvement in power supply following the upgrade of the substation.