By Jonathan Ugbal
The Nigerian Government has charged the distribution companies (DISCOS) to come out clean on their challenges in distributing generated power and stop frustrating the citizenry.
The Head of Civil Service of the federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita gave the charge Monday in Calabar while addressing journalists during the commissioning of the new 60MVA and 132/33kV power transformer at the Calabar Transmission Substation located at Essien Town where she said that said the was an answered prayer for Cross Riverians as, “it is going to improve the socio-economic growth and development of Cross River State.”
“The upgraded substation is expected to improve electricity supply,” Oyo-Ita said and called on the distribution companies to invest more on the distribution network.
She averred that: “The distribution companies should now invest more in the distribution network because that is where the problem lies. There is a lot of power that is being generated by generating plants and transmitted by transmission plants but the Discos do not have the capacity to transfer this power to the end users.
“Some of the distribution companies are not investing such that they could transfer this power to the end users. Nigerians will never appreciate the large amount of money being invested in power generation. So, we are appealing to the distribution companies to go back to the drawing board.
“If they know they don’t have the financial or the technical wherewithal, let them come out and be sincere and stop frustrating Nigerians and painting government in a bad light. And so my appeal to the distribution companies is that with all these large investments, we are seeing all over the nation, they should take power distribution more seriously.”
She said the installation of the distribution power transformers was a milestone, adding that power supply would now improve significantly in Calabar Municipality, Calabar South, Odukpani, Bakassi, Ogoja, Ikom, Yakurr, Itigidi, Ugep, Obudu and environs.
Furthermore, Oyo-Ita who appealed to the TCN to demolish illegal structures under power lines, disclosed that; “the implementation of the Transmission, Rehabilitation and Expansion Program (TREP) is on course,” adding that support from international donor agencies would stabilize power supply and expand national grid to 20,000MW in the next three to four years and that the $486 million support from the World Bank was approved in February this year.
The transformer was installed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). And, the General Manager (Public Affairs), Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, said in a statement that the capacity of the Calabar 132/33kV substation prior to the inauguration was 180MVA and following the inauguration of the 60MVA transformer, the substation has been upgraded to 240MVA
Meanwhile, the NATIONAL ACCORD Newspapers reports that the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of TCN, Usman Gur Mohammed said that in the last one year, TCN engineers had installed several transformers, using in-house capacity, adding that the company would commission over 90 transmission projects before the end of this year.
He appealed to the state government to foster a better relationship with TCN “to forestall the ugly incident in which the Ministry of Environment locked TCN staff in police stations for performing their constitutional duty of clearing our right of way. Trees planted on TCN right of way are removed to safeguard life and property. It is illegal to plant on TCN right of way.”
Traditional rulers and opinion leaders of Essien Town at the occasion made several requests read on their behalf by Paul Okon Asuquo, among which are the need for a new transformer to be installed for the community which has been in darkness and the employment of their youths in various fields of endeavors welfare packages for the community chiefs among others.
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