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TCN Fails To Reconnect Aba Power After Collecting N120m

1 year ago
2 mins read

The Market Operating unit of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has failed to reconnect Aba Power Power to the national grid after collecting N120 million part of the N896 million owed by the utility firm.

This action shattered the hope and expectations of individuals and organisations in Abia State that they would get reconnected to the national grid after more than one week of total blackout in the Aba Ring-fenced Area.

The expectations arose from the N120 million that Aba Power, Nigeria’s newest electricity distribution company which commenced operations last year, paid to the market operator on Friday as part of the N896 million that the distribution firm owes Federal Government agencies in the power sector.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: TCN Plunges Abia Into Indefinite Blackout

According to sources close to both the TCN and Aba Power who did not want their names published in the media because they are not allowed to speak to the press, top officials of the organisations held a series of meetings in Abuja last week on the reconnection of the distribution company where a payment schedule agreement was reached.

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

Aba Power, based on the agreement, would pay an initial N120 million, and thus get restored to the national grid, while further payments would be made later.

The sources confirmed that the N120 million was transferred to the Market Operator bank account on Friday morning.

“The news of the payment gladdened the hearts of all Abia people, especially manufacturers and such other stakeholders as real estate investors who expected to have light during the weekend after one week of a blackout,” said Chief Alphonsus Udeigbo, President-General of the Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association, whose 22,000 members on Friday at a news conference demanded that the TCN reconnect Aba Power within 24 hours or else they would shut down the Federal Government-owned Alaoji Power plant on the outskirts of Aba which supplies electricity to the Southeast and South-south.

“It is surprising that the restoration has not occurred, meaning the TCN breached the terms of the agreement, just as it breached the 2010 Nigerian Electricity Market Rules by yanking off Aba Power from the grid without abiding by the 30-day notice it gave the company and by shutting Aba Power down without putting it on notice.”

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

Nine distribution companies and four generation companies plus the Ajaokuta Steel Complex Company in Kogi State have been threatened with punishment for owing federal agencies in the power sector, according to Ben Caven, an engineer, who headed the transmission, generation and engineering divisions of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).

“But none of these organisations has been treated like Aba Power,” remarked Engineer Caven, who was also deeply involved in the design and building of the generation and transmission networks of defunct NEPA.

“The TCN has removed only three feeders out of at least the 60 at the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, and it was done only this weekend.

“But in the Aba Power case, which is owing far lower than any GenCo or DisCo, it is a complete shutdown, and it began over one week ago.

“The irony is that all the indebted firms were notified of an impending punishment on April 19, 2023, but the punitive action against Aba Power commenced a few hours later, and not after the 30-day notice given by the TCN.”

Aba Power managing director Patrick Umeh, who is also a former commissioner with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has expressed surprise that the TCN has continued to throw Abia State into darkness after company paid “a significant amount at a particularly difficult time in Nigeria when until recently the people couldn’t access either petrol or the local currency, a situation that hampered our customers’ ability to pay for electricity bills.”

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

“If our ringfence remains without light, the situation will affect our ability to meet our obligations to the TCN and other power sector participants.

“The current situation is an ill wind that blows no one any good, therefore, the TCN has to reconsider its position,” Umeh added.


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