The Federal Government has said Nigeria’s power transmission capacity increased to 8,500 megawatts.

It disclosed this through the Transmission Company of Nigeria, a Federal Government’s firm, stressing that TCN was currently capable of evacuating every quantum of electricity produced by power generation companies.

Speaking on the sidelines of the just concluded Bi-annual Joint Operations, Generation and Distribution Companies planning meeting in Abuja, the General Manager, Transmission Service Provider, TCN, Ajiboye Oluwagbenga, told The PUNCH that the government was not relenting in raising Nigeria’s power transmission capacity.

The meeting, which was hosted by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, had senior officials of various power generation, transmission and  distribution companies in attendance.

The power generation and distribution arms of the sector were privatised in November 2013 and managed by private investors, while the government was still fully in charge of the transmission segment of the industry.

Reacting to concerns raised by Gencos that TCN did not have adequate capacity to evacuate the quantum of power produced by electricity generation companies, Oluwagbenga debunked the claim.

He said, “If you are talking about distribution constraints, that is there. But with generation, presently, available capacity can be conveniently wheeled. We don’t have constraints. In the few places we envisaged constraints, we are already working, preparing for evacuation.”

When asked to state the current capacity of the transmission company, he said the firm just did a simulation that showed that its capacity to transmit power had risen to 8,500MW.

Oluwagbenga said, “Let me tell you one funny thing about this sector now, if you people attended the meeting we had with Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission recently, we demonstrated by simulation that TCN can conveniently wheel 8,500MW.

“But up till now, the power generation that is coming to the grid is always revolving around 4,000MW; why? We can blame the Discos (distribution companies) partially because we believe the off-take is not there due to revenue issues.

“But at the same time, I want to ask a germane question, when we were talking about service level agreement, why is the generation arm shying away from signing an agreement of 5,000MW?

“If they have enough capacity, why can’t they come together and sign the agreement as Discos and TCN have done. Let them sign their own part of the agreement with us that they will be able to generate 5,000MW and see whether TCN will not be able to evacuate it.”

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