Electricity Consumers Accuse TCN Of 'Hidden Agenda' Against Aba Power

Electricity Consumers Accuse TCN Of ‘Hidden Agenda’ Against Aba Power

1 year ago
2 mins read

Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria (ECAN) has accused the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) of acting in bad faith by disconnecting Aba Power from the nation’s sole transmission line last Friday over N896 million it owes government agencies in the power sector.

In a statement in Enugu today signed by the association’s chairman in the Southeast Zone, Engr Joe Ubani, and the secretary, Comrade Chris Okpara, the organisation said: “It is self-evident that Aba Power is clearly targeted for the punitive action by the national transmission network company”.

READ ALSO: Industrialists Back Aba Power, Flay TCN, Market Operator 

Reacting to the explanation by the Market Operator of the Nigerian Electricity Market, Dr Edmund Aje, that nine electricity distribution firms and three generation companies will soon be removed from the network for what Dr Aje called an attempt to inject discipline into the system, the consumers association said: “it has become crystal clear that the TCN and its market operator are driven by a hidden agenda.

“Dr Aje stated that the companies will be punished through partial disconnection from the network, yet in the case of Aba Power it has been complete, total and full disconnection, thereby throwing nine out of the 17 local government areas in Abia State into darkness.”

READ ALSO: TCN Threatens Defaulting Discos, Gencos After Aba Power Clampdown

These are not ordinary LGAs, explained the association, but the very places which drive Nigeria’s medium and small manufacturing economy.

“The whole nation”, it declared, “has not been able to understand why the TCN has merely threatened to sanction the erring nine DisCos and three GenCos through partial disconnection and is still giving them time to pay up, but in the case of Aba Power the TCN plunged almost the whole of Abia State into an indefinite blackout with immediate effect.”

It observed that “it is curious that the Market Operator and the TCN should begin the disconnections campaign with Aba Power which is the newest electricity distribution company in the country, as it became operational only last year whereas the other 11 DisCos became functional in 2013.”

Aba’s debt of less than N1 billion to government agencies, according to the association, is far the lowest in the power sector.

“There are Discos that do not pay more than 15% of their obligations to the TCN and the Market Operator, yet they have never been cut off completely from the national grid,” said ECAN.

The TCN, the group continued, once in a while cuts off one or two feeders of non-paying DisCos from the network as a punishment, but not the entire DisCos.

“Even though Aba Power has never received Federal Government subsidy, unlike the other electricity distribution companies which have received over a trillion naira since inception as subsidy,” argued the electricity consumers, “Aba Power was able to pay N50 million to the Federal Government agencies in the power sector in March, apart from N500 million to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company for electricity supply.”

ECAN said it was the hidden agenda against the new DisCo that caused the TCN to write a letter on April 19, 2023, to Aba power to settle its debt with the Federal Government bodies within 30 days and still wrote a letter the same day to the Market Operator instructing it to disconnect Aba Power from the network within hours.

The electricity consumers association pleaded with the President Muhammadu administration to wade into the crisis in Abia State “generated by the disruption of power supply in the interest of equity, national development and national security.

“There is already a strong feeling that the TCN could be so discriminatory against Aba power because the DisCo serves the Southeast which has over the years suffered marginalisation”, the group said.

“Abia’s economy has now grounded to a halt and the intelligence community and the security apparatuses that rely on constant power supply for effective operations are suffering profoundly.”

It recalled: “The TCN and the Market Operator were so much in a hurry to push their secret agenda against the Abia people that they could not allow the Muslim faithful in the state to enjoy their well-deserved holidays during the Eid-el fitri, after 30 days of fasting and intensive prayers”.


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