*Say households should get ready to pay more for electricity
The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, has commence the re-conducting of Ikeja West-Alimosho-Ogba-Alausa-Ota transmission lines.
The re-conducting project, will subsequently increase power supply to residents in Alimosho, Ogba, Alausa, Otta axis to over 664 Megawatts, MW, or 232 percent, from 200MW currently available.
The company also disclosed that Nigerians should be prepared to pay more for electricity in other to maintain sanctity of contracts.
Speaking during the groundbreaking for the replacement of old wires on the Ikeja West-Alimosho-Ogba-Alausa-Ota transmission lines, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, TCN, Mr Usman Mohammed, stated that the re-conducting exercise is inevitable.
“These lines were built several years ago and due to limitations of the amount of electricity they carry, the need for upgrade is inevitable, so we are in the process of replacement of old wires on the Ikeja West-Alimosho-Ogba-Alausa-Ota transmission lines.
“This installation will increase the current capacity of Ikeja-West to 664mw, compared to the old capacity of 200mw. The project will improve power supply to residents under IKEDC network.”
While commenting on the challenges of Right Of Way, ROW, the TCN boss stated that, ROW remains a big challenge in Lagos, adding, “Houses, buildings are currently on the most of the ROW, however the Lagos State government has partnered with TCN to help remove buildings on the ROW.
“The execution of this project will take six months. The re-conducting is also taking place at other locations like the line from Alagbon to Ikorodu down to Maryland among others.”
He noted that during the project there are likely going to be outages along the network, but plans are underway to manage them.
He further stated that, Even the issue of load rejection can be resolved because in a bilateral contracts, when they are effective, failure to take the energy is paying for capacity, hence there would be no rejection,
“We have to be prepare to pay for electricity else we won’t move forward because there is no relationship between poverty and payment of electricity.
“We have to be prepared to remove government in the middle, this issue of government guarantee everybody won’t work.
“Even Burkina Faso is having collection efficiency of 98 percent despite their location within the sub region, we therefore have to solve the problem of market issues. Nigeria has the cheapest electricity in West Africa and we can’t say we are the poorest.”
Earlier, Abdulahmed Mustapha, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Lagos State, stated that the state has dedicated a team to work actively with TCN in ensuring that all issues in respect to ROW are resolved. Land is scares in Lagos State, but we will work with you.
He said: “The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has mandated us to have a round table meeting with TCN and holistically see what we can do to reinforce strategy to bring additional power to Lagos State.
“We want to be able to support entrepreneurs businesses in the State to be able to reduce their cost of production significantly thereby making them competitive. This will also see them increase the employment capacity.
“Alimosho is the biggest LG in Nigeria, Ikeja is very critical. Whatever it will take to reduce the delay, we will see to it. We understand that power distribution is a major problem is Lagos State, one of the program we are working on during this our budget year, is what we call the acceleration of power of the DISCOs.
“We will be partnering with both IKEDC and EKEDC in bringing in meters and giving support in some areas where the ATC&C is very high and see what we can do to bring support and use as a model all over Lagos State.
“In terms of what we want in Lagos, we want a double circuit in the state, with no gap. So if we can close the gap between Alagbon, Ijora and Akanba, that will be desirous.
“We do not have a 132Kva line in Lagos island, it 11Kva that comes from Ijora. We don’t have redundancy in Ajah, if anything ever happens to that line, it will be a challenge.”
On his part, the Chairman of Ikeja Electric, Kola Adesina, also commended the TCN for the upgrade exercise.
“To be sincere, consumers are not interested in line, megawatts amongst others, all that consumers wanted is to have electricity at all times.
“We will offer all necessary support to ensure the project is delivered on schedule since consumers will experience outages in the course of the project.”