Nigeria’s Power Market is almost on a sick bed – TCN

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Despite several campaign promises, efforts made by President Muhammadu Buhari to revive Nigeria’s power sector and┬áelectricity market, have been nose-diving, irrespective of the several billions of dollars invested in the sector.

According to the┬áTransmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Nigeria’s electricity market is presently on a sick bed.

The TCN, said that the sick state of the power market, is because participants, particularly power Distribution Companies (DisCos), hardly comply with the stipulated rules of engagement.
TCN Market Operator, Mr. Edmund Eje, stated that the power market is currently seeking sustainability.

He, however, stated that the transmission company had resolved to enforce the market rules, which it has powers to enforce, in order to forestall an eventual collapse of the power sector.

Eje said: “Seeing how the market is nose-diving, you can see that the market is almost on a sick bed, seeking for sustainability, stability, transparency, and all that. Now the question is: what would we like to opt for?

“Is it cancellation of the privatisation, or do we apply the laws we believe that when they work the market continues? And that is what the Market Operator of TCN has resorted to doing, starting from June, this year.”

He explained that why some power Distributors were suspended by the TCN recently, was because the firms defaulted in renewing their security deposits/guarantees, and that this would have crippled the activities of the TCN and the sector, if it was not checked.

Eje added: “You cannot believe that because we have not been having access to their security deposits, most of the market participants never deemed it fit to revamp, renew, and even to know when their security deposits expire.

“And when deposits expire, it means that they are no longer secured in the market, and the entire market is also at risk. It is not about the DisCos, it is not about Market Operations or TCN, but the sustenance of the Nigerian electricity market.”

He stated: “Every other developed clime, where you hear that it is working, it is mainly because the rules are obeyed. If it is working in the United Kingdom, it is because the practitioners comply with the rules that control the market.

“Today, we want to do our own part as a Market Operator; we want to make sure that we enforce the rules. We want to make sure that any person who has signed an agreement with us, complies with the tenets of that agreement, and that is what we are trying to do right now.”

He noted that after the disconnection of DisCos by TCN, the transmission firm started receiving commendations, as other market participants noted that the move was a good way to help manage the market.

Eje said: “I tell you that since this started, we have been receiving commendations, and if only the market will be sustained through this, then it will be good for the Nigerian electricity market. That is what we are doing.

“The far reaching implication is that, if the DisCos do what they are supposed to do, you will see that the market itself is going to stabilise. The common person who can also afford his bill, will likewise pay his bill.”