Energy

TCN spends N2.5bn to clear abandoned equipment

The Transmission Company of Nigeria said it recently spent about N2.5bn to clear some power transmission equipment worth several billions of naira abandoned by different contractors at the nation’s seaports.

According to the TCN, many contractors handling various power projects in the past had abandoned a lot of transmission equipment at the ports for no justifiable reason.

This is coming as the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company has said it is not part of the force majeure notice recently issued to the Bureau of Public Enterprises by power distributors.

The Interim Managing Director, TCN, Usman Mohammed, stated that the N2.5bn was spent in clearing the abandoned equipment from the ports in the last 10 months.

He said after investigations by his team, it was observed that billions of naira worth of transmission equipment was abandoned by contractors at Nigerian ports.

The TCN boss stated that his team also found out that power transmission projects were among the highest number of abandoned contracts across the country.

He said, “We found out that contractors formed the habit of collecting part payments to import equipment and when the equipment got to Nigeria, they abandoned it at the ports without providing justifiable reasons. In fact, we have spent about N2.5bn clearing stranded and abandoned equipment at the ports.”

The TCN boss said the poor execution of transmission projects in Nigeria was largely due to many unqualified contractors handling the projects.

On the issue of force majeure declaration by the Discos, the Head, Corporate Communications, AEDC, Oyebode Fadipe, said the Abuja power firm never issued such notice to the BPE over the eligible customer policy in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.

The AEDC said, “We have neither declared any force majeure nor have we conveyed such intention to the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and any other stakeholder in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. And we do not intend to do so anytime soon.”

Electricity distributors had issued a notice to declare force majeure following the earlier declaration by NERC that eligible customers could purchase power directly from the generating companies.

Force majeure refers to unexpected circumstances that can be used as an excuse to prevent a party from doing something written in a contract.

NERC last Tuesday rejected the force majeure notice, stating that it had commenced immediate regulatory measures to protect the electricity market from potentially collapsing as a result of the force majeure by the Discos.

It named the power firms involved as the Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Jos, Benin, Ikeja, Ibadan and Eko Discos, adding that only the Yola Disco, currently under the control of the Federal Government, was not part of the decision.

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