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House urges FG, find lasting solution to nationwide power supply collapse

electricity

By Tom Okpe

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to find lasting solution to the issue of power distribution and supply across the country.

The House at plenary on Tuesday, through Ministry of Power and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), also, mandated the Committee to oversee the implementation of resolutions of the House and report back to the House within one week.

These resolutions were sequel to adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Uyime Idem, (PDP, Akwa Ibom).

Moving the motion, Idem expressed worry over the frequency and incessant interruption of power supply across the nation in the past weeks.

This, the lawmaker said has been on the increase, thus, disrupting businesses and lives of Nigerians who are equally burdened with several tariff increments.

He said the House was: “Aware that recently in the news, the Federal Government through the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Market Operator have begun disconnecting electricity distribution companies, (Discos) that are not complying with the operation codes and guidelines.

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“Cognizant that the Market Operator, a division of Transmission Company of Nigeria, has reportedly served some of Discos notices of disconnection from the national grid due to their inability and failure to comply with operation ethics.

“Unfortunately, virtually all the distribution companies in Nigeria are defaulting in one area or the other to the detriment of consumers, ranging from non-compliance to the Market Rules with respect to payment of their outstanding invoices, posting of adequate bank guarantees, and forwarding of their active Power Purchase Agreements.

“As the case may be to the MO/TCN for failure to make remittances of ancillary services bills.

“Also, aware that millions of electricity consumers in Nigeria’s homes and communities may be plunged into darkness in the coming weeks as the Federal Government through the Transmission Company of Nigeria, (TCN) and the Market Operator, (MO) have begun massive disconnection of debtor electricity distribution companies, (Discos) from the national grid.

“Unfortunately, the news is already generating unpalatable outburst as over 20,000 members of Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association, (ALPDA) and other Communities have threatened to mobilize and occupy streets if the Transmission Company of Nigeria, (TCN) fails to rescind their decision.”

The Idem noted that an extension of the grace period of 60 days given the defaulters discos wherewith they are expected to comply with the provisions of the Market Rules with respect to payment of their outstanding invoices, posting of adequate bank guarantees, and forwarding of their active Power Purchase Agreements to the MO/TCN, almost over.

“Also note that in the general interest of millions of Nigerians, this House is hereby invited to urge erring Discos to seize the dialogue opportunity to fix the crisis and ensure that they comply with the market procedures; provide security deposit when so required to serve as a guarantee of payment for all amounts due from their participants to the TCN, as well as settle, in a timely manner, any payment due.

“Further note that the Federal government through the TCN, to penalize erring Discos for failure to remit payment by either freezing their bank accounts or reprimand rather than suffer the masses that have been diligently paying for their power supply,” he added.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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