TCN, others urge FG to recapitalize Discos

There is an urgent need for the Federal Government to recapitalise the 11 existing Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) across the country.

This was part of the recommendations made by the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Mohammed, and some experts at an event on Friday in Kaduna State.

They also asked the government to effectively fund the transmission network, in order for Nigeria to overcome the challenges of epileptic power supply.

The recommendations were made at a national discourse on addressing the power sector reforms organised by the Kaduna Polytechnic.

Experts suggested that the 40 per cent shares held by the Federal Government in the DISCOs be divested and sold to investors with technical competence.

According to them, there is a need to ensure that only capable hands drive the sector since the Federal Government cannot sustainably fund power supply.

In his remarks, the TCN boss faulted the privatisation process of the distribution companies in 2013 which led to the mismanagement of electricity distribution in the country.

He insisted that it would be more beneficial to Nigeria and the power sector if the distribution companies were recapitalised to enable competent hands to come in.

A former Director-General of Energy Commission of Nigeria, Professor Abubakar Sambo, also presented a paper on the way forward for the nation’s power sector.

He noted that although the power sector reforms have not led to significant improvement of electricity supply, there was a need to increase the electricity supply base.

Professor Sambo also called for the setting up of more generating companies, adding that more associated evaluating plants should be built with special purpose vehicles.

He stressed the need for the government to review licenses of distribution companies, entrench energy efficiency and conservation, remove obstacles to private sector investment, and enhance transmission network among other recommendations as the way forward.

Earlier, the convener of the event and Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Professor Idris Bugaje, opened the floor for discussion.

He decried the long years of neglect of the power sector and highlighted what government should urgently do if it must achieve the goal of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations by providing all citizens access to electricity by the year 2030.

Delivering his keynote address, the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, acknowledged that power reform, although well-intentioned, has not made the expected impact largely due to severe structural deficits in both transmission and distribution.

He, however, revealed that the Federal Government has developed five key focal areas to effectively tackle the challenges.

Experts who spoke to reporters on the sideline of the event called for diversification of the power generation from gas and hydro sources into others such as coal, solar, and wind.

 

Source: Channels TV

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