Unbundling of TCN will improve access to electricity – Experts  

“The Siemens contract as at today remains elusive as we do not know what is going on."

Unbundling of tcn will improve access to electricity - experts  Some power experts have commended Federal Government’s decision to unbundle the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), saying this will improve access to electricity.

They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

BRANDPOWER reports that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), on May 3, unbundled the TCN into two separate entities, raising hopes for a more efficient and reliable national grid, potentially leading to increased and improve access to electricity.

NERC, acting under the provisions of the Nigeria Electricity Act, ordered the establishment of an Independent System Operator (NISO) to take over the market and system operations functions of TCN.

According to the order, TCN will retain its transmission service provider licence and continue to maintain power transmission infrastructure across the country.

Dr Akinrolabu Olukayode, Chairman, Customer Consultative Forum of Festac/Satellite Town, described the unbundling as a welcome development to further improve the power sector.

According to Olukayode, the attempt is striving at ensuring a balanced system where the monopoly enjoyed over these few years by TCN is dissolved to allow for new hands who will inject fresh ideas, devoid of monotonous inclined perennial failure as witnessed in recent time.

“The effectiveness of power transmission will largely be determined by the quantum of synergy between power generating channels and structure for maintenance of the grid.

“The generating plants should be energised to full capacity scale,” he said.

The expert urged government to set 60 per cent capital funding to subsidised expenditure on procurement from the budgetary allocation and offer shares for public subscription to keep the sector lubricated.

He said that TCN was partially progressive but undue government influences created rooms for bureaucracy which made its operations ladddened with hiccups.

Olukayode said that there was need for government to declare a state of emergency in power that will usher in fresh hands to rid the system of saboteurs.

Also, Mr Samuel Ilori, National Coordinator, All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, described the unbundling of TCN as good and welcoming, while advising government to do due diligence and avoid the replica of what happened in distribution companies.

Ilori said that the unbundling is expected to improve service delivery and effectiveness, adding that many of the equipment and substations in the sector are moribund and obsolete.

He said that injection of money and expertise to the area of transmission might help stem the tide of incessant collapse of grids and allow what was being generated to be distributed.

“My advise is to scrap the privatisation of the distribution companies in 2013 by President Jonathan administration.

“If proper foundation was laid then and things were done according to the laid down rules of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) then as headed by Mrs Bolanle Onagoruwa, we will not be having this mess.

“The Siemens contract as at today remains elusive as we do not know what is going on.

“Government needs to declare state of emergency in the sector to be able to set it on recovery path, ” he added.

A power expert, Mr Toluwalase Godwin, said the new operator would manage electricity demand and supply, ensuring the delivery of electricity where and when needed, without bias, at the lowest cost possible, while ensuring reliability and avoiding grid instability and collapse in the process.

“This means that NISO will be responsible for dispatch management, international transmission, capacity management, and wholesale market in the near future.

“Potentially signalling the near end of life for Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, which currently oversees some of NISO’s functions,” he said.

He noted that this development is moving to a more liberalised market where NISO would be increasingly responsible for capacity auction, real-time energy market, ancillary services procurement, day-ahead market, spot market, reserve management, pricing and settlement.

“The separation of responsibilities between entities allows for a concentrated focus, with transmission services management predominantly revolving around technological aspects, while system operations are entrenched in energy economics.