TCN: KEDCO Remains Disconnected Over Rule Breach
The electricity distribution companies (DisCos) suspended for breaching electricity market rule have been reconnected to the grid, the Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, has said.
Ikeja, Eko, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kano DisCos were suspended and were partially disconnected to enable them comply with market rules they signed on to. While Eko, Ikeja and Enugu have complied and their suspension lifted, Port-Harcourt and Kano DisCos remain suspended.
Mohammed said: “We enforce the market rule especially where we suspend a DisCo, the suspension comes with some level of explanation. The market rule gives us power to disconnect the whole supply to that DisCo but we look at the feeder that supplies the offices of the DisCos on default and we disconnect the feeders that feed them. We don’t disconnect everybody, we are also Nigerians and we are mindful of the fact that we don’t want people to feel bad about us.
“No DisCo is under disconnection except Kano DisCo. All others have complied with the rule and we have reconnected them. None of them even lasted for one week except Kano DisCo. We decided to reconnect due to Sallah celebration but we will disconnect them after the Sallah. The feeders we disconnected in Kano also feed other households, but the intention is to force them to comply with the market rule and do the right things.
“What we are doing in Nigeria is gaining the market. All the DisCos have universal licences and not restricted licences. It is not a licence that says if you are in Lagos, leave Ajegunle out and serve only Apapa. No, they are supposed to serve everybody. Secondly, the aggregate technical collection and commercial (ATC&C) losses, based on the performance agreement they (DisCos) signed included poor people and rich people. To prioritise supply to some areas at the detriment of others does not make sense because their licence is not restrictive.
“If a DisCo tells you what we are doing is affecting their business model, ask also which study they conducted that gave them that policy they are working with. We have conducted a credible study, which is called 20-year DisCo-Transmission Expansion Plan. “The plan looks at the needs of the DisCos and come up with a report that says this is how you should expand because most of the DisCos are not performing and are not even investing. To escape from their failure of lack of investment, they will say we are putting capacity where they don’t need it.
“Electricity stability requires what we call redundancy and the least you can is N-1 which means any place where they need 60KvA, you will give them 60KvA x 2 and that is what we are doing under the programme.”
He said there was nothing like giving supply to where they don’t need it. According to him, what is happening is that some of them are gaining the market.
Mohammed added: “They refused to put prepaid meters in some places, supply them energy for few hours and charging them on filthy charges (estimated billing or crazy billing). All these claims that poor people don’t pay are all lies. The reality is that we have been gaming the market, people are frustrated and when frustrated, they can use several means to punish us, including refusing to pay, and tapping the meters.
“There is no relationship between poverty and payment of electricity bill. What the poor needs is adequate power supply, meter and give him the choice to switch on/off as he pleases.”