By Raji Rasak
Mr Sunday Makinde, an expert in the power sector, on Wednesday lauded Federal Government’s effort at improving electricity transmission network across the country.
Makinde, a former Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NIEEE), gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that prior to this development; the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) did not have the capacity to evacuate energy generated by Generation Companies (GENCOs).
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari in his New Year address to the nation said generation of electricity had now reached 7,000Megawatts (MW).
Buhari said that as at Dec. 8, 2017, the country had achieved 5,155MW of power delivered to its consumers, the highest level ever recorded.
According to the President, TCN can now distribute all the 7,000MW that can be generated.
“TCN and the Niger Delta Holding Company have added 1,950MVA of 330 down to 132KV transformer capacity from 10 transmission stations.
“Also, it has added 2,930MVA of 132 down to 33KV transformer capacity from 42 sub-stations that include: Ikot Ekpene, Aba, Alagbon, Ajah, Ejigbo, Funtua and Zaria.
“This administration is working with the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to overcome the continuing challenges of distribution,” he said.
The former chairman said that the government had succeeded in solving the problem of energy evacuation from GENCOs to DISCOs with the improved transmission network.
“Over time, we have witnessed a situation in which when GENCOs generate above 4,000mw, it will be difficult for TCN to evacuate them.
“But from the President’s speech, I am delighted to hear that our TCN has the capacity to evacuate all the energy generated.
“This is a big plus to the present administration.
“This has shown that the government is aware of the challenges in the power sector,” he said.
Makinde also commended the present administration in resolving the litigation involving some power plant projects.
According to him, if the power plant project is completed, it will contribute more megawatts to what the country is currently generating.
He, however, pleaded with the Federal Government to compel DISCOs to carry out an up to date maintenance of their equipment.
“Consumers are having challenges of getting improved power supply if the DISCOs’ cables and transformers are faulty.
“If all these loopholes can be plugged, consumers will enjoy improved power generation,” he said.
Makinde also urged Federal Government to embrace the use of renewable energy, adding that many countries were generating energy through solar and wind energies.