The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says it has not been paid arrears of electricity wheeling charges amounting to N100 billion by the nation’s electricity market.
The Managing Director of TCN, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was speaking on the challenges facing the company, said the debt has led to a cash crunch in carrying its various operations.
“The major challenge confronting TCN is the problem of liquidity in the electricity market.
“Payment to TCN services in the market has gone down from 55 per cent to 30 per cent in the recent past.
“And with that, funding coming to TCN in the form of revenue has also reduced.
“TCN is being paid an average of 33 per cent on total invoice sent to the Market Operator between January and September 2016 which was further reduced to 27 per cent in the month of November 2016.
“The poor return on invoices has negatively affected our operations and development of the national grid.
“So far, the market owes TCN close to N100 billion as arrears of wheeling charges revenue.’’
He added that the funding constraint was also responsible lack of clearance of its containers at the nation’s sea ports.
He however expressed hope that the Federal Government would make provision in the 2017 budget to clear and move all the containers to their respective sites to complete outstanding projects.
On collapse of transmission towers, Atiku said the incidents were often due to stormy weather and vandalism in some parts of the country.
According to him, the collapse had affected some of the company’s transmission lines.
He said the affected lines included the Minna-Shiroro 132kv transmission lines, Gombe –Damaturu 330kv transmission line and the Kontagora-Yauri 132kv transmission lines.
Atiku added that TCN would not relent in its efforts at expanding the national grid, despite the challenges.
He said that TCN had also provided offshore and local trainings for 742 staff in 2016 towards improving productivity and efficiency in its operations, noting that more staff would still be trained in 2017.
“Several capacity building programmes have been executed for our system operators to upgrade their skills.
“This has culminated in the improvement of grid stability despite external challenges.’’ (NAN)