The removal of the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Gur Mohammed, may reverse key power sector reforms and jeopardize the $1.661 billion multilateral agencies’ funded projects TCN is executing to expand bulk power transmission to 20,000 megawatts (MW) in a few years.
This was made known in a statement issued by Okoh Michael, General Secretary of Nigerian Power Consumers Forum (NPCF) in Abuja.
According to the group, the removal of the TCN boss defeats the objectives of due process in the federal government’s establishments and the overall objectives of power sector reform being championed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Forum also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct a reversal of the action to save the power sector.
They said under Mohammed, TCN has been reformed within and had attracted $1.66billion investments to expand TCN capacity to 20,000 megawatts (MW) by 2023 through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP).
The statement reads: “NPCF said the MD of TCN, Mr Mohammed, never frustrated the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative. We wish to state that the claim is not correct as the minister was also misled to say TCN was causing the loss of one billion naira daily in the power sector. N1bn is such huge money that if the TCN infrastructure was truly responsible for this, the power sector would have collapsed since.”
“On the contrary, the Forum said Mohammed repositioned TCN and it is evident as multilateral donors flood to invest with cheaper loans in TCN. Under the four years management contract of MHINL, there was no single audit of TCN. The company could not raise a single dollar of investment during the period.
“It stated that a $300 million World Bank project inherited by MHINL was severely mismanaged (out of seven major contracts for transmission rehabilitation and expansion only two were successfully executed after 10 years of implementation).
“As we sp the company is owed over N450 billion in unpaid balances plus interest by the 11 DisCos. To implement TREP, TCN attracted concessionary funding from multilateral donors.
“The French Development Agency & EU Grant was $500 million dollars, World Bank gave $486 million, AfDB gave $410 million, JICA brought $238 million and a grant to deliver capacitor bank in Abuja, Nasarawa and Lagos; World Bank is bringing another $27m for the North Core Project.
“All the projects totalling $1.661 billion except the North East Transmission Project which has been kept in abeyance until security improved are at various stages of implementation, because TCN now has the best implementation structure that has strengthened the confidence of these foreign financial institutions.”