Legislators urge suspension of power tariff hike as government sacks TCN MD

* Senate President Lawan says power firms lack capacity to deliver, calls for review of assets sale 

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
As part of ongoing measures in enhancing the performance of the all-important power sector of the nation’s economy, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has approved removal Dr. Usman Gur Mohammed as the Managing Director (MD) of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

Engr. Sale Mamman, Honourable Minister for Power, in a statement by Mr. Aaron Artimas, his Special Adviser Media and Communications, disclosed that Dr. Mohammed’s removal was with immediate effect while Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz is to replace Mohammed in an acting capacity.

The Minister said: “As part of continuing measures to reposition and improve the performance of the power sector in the country, the Minister of Power Engr. Sale Mamman hereby announces major changes at the TCN.

“Accordingly, the Managing Director of the TCN, Usman Gur Mohammed, has been removed from office with immediate effect.

“He is being replaced with Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz as the Managing Director in acting capacity.”

Engr. Mamman also confirmed the appointment of four Directors of the power company in an acting capacity.

According to the statement, the four new Acting Directors of TCN are Engr. Victor Adewunmi, Executive Director, Transmission Services Provider; Engr. M. J. Lawal, Executive Director Independent System Operator; Ahmed Isa-Dutse, Executive Director Finance and Accounts; and Justin I. Dodo, Executive Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, Nigerian Senate President, has called for the immediate review of power assets sold by the nation’s previous administration to private individuals.

“I think the time has come to review, and probably reverse this privatisation because if we stay as it is today, for the next ten years there will be no power in Nigeria, as the situation is.

“So we need to be decisive about the power sector,” said Lawan in an e-mailed statement as reported by Bloomberg.

According to the Senate President, the privatised power firms have shown that they have no capacity to provide power to Nigerian consumers.

Report indicates that the Nigerian Senators have equally called for an investigation into billions of Naira given operators in the sector by the government since the firms were sold.

The Federal legislators have urged the government to suspend a planned electricity tariff increase expected to come into effect July 1, 2020.

Power shortage in Africa’s largest crude producer is common with residents who get an average of 9.5 hours of electricity a day.

It was further learnt that the lack of access to reliable energy supply is estimated to cost $29billion a year in economic output, analysts at FBN Quest noted in an investment note sent to clients May 13.

“Nigerians spend an estimated $14 billion a year on small-scale generators,” according to FBN Quest.

Businesses suffer an average of monthly power outage of 239 hours, equivalent of about two weeks, with self-generation putting pressure on household pockets.

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