Electricity workers reject TCN unbundling, says plan will kill sector

The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has called on the National Assembly and Nigerians to resist the planned unbundling of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to save the nation from the imminent collapse of the power sector and avoid putting the nation’s security in danger.

Rejecting the plan, they warned that it would not only crumble the sector but would also threaten national security.

In a petition to the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, the workers, said it was alarmed by the directive of the NERC to unbundle the TCN, saying the attendant consequences on the nation’s electricity supply industry.

Acting General Secretary of NUEE, Dominic Igwebike, in the petition, warned that the decision to embark on another round of the exercise was disastrous, even as he regretted that the power sector had been plunged into murky waters of unproductivity with its previous deregulation.

According to him, it is embarrassing to say that anybody in the name of privatisation will contemplate the continued disposal of critical national economic assets to private corporate organisations, who act as fronts for a few that have benefited immensely from the whole process since November 1, 2013, to the detriment of Nigerian masses.

He lamented that almost 11 years after the privatisation of the power sector, there has not been any visible improvement in terms of power supply, expansion, or investments by the new owners of the Distribution Companies (DisCos) and the Generating Companies (GenCos), despite the wide attestation by Nigerians up to the National Assembly.

He argued that the dismal performance of the sector has been attributed to the fundamental loopholes embedded in the privatisation arrangement which was designed to fail from the beginning.

Giving statistics, he said in the sector’s performance chain today, the transmission network with a wheeling capacity of 8,000MW has been strengthened to comfortably wheel out power generated by the generation companies whose average operational generation output is far below the total installed generation capacity (they are not generating full capacities).

He lamented that Nigerians have had to grapple with darkness as the DisCos reject energy wheeled to them by the TCN.

He queried why would the Federal Government want to unbundle TCN to privatise it despite the improvement made in terms of expansion and strengthened transmission network.

He revealed that 10 years post-privatisation, a dime has never been declared as profit for the government’s 40 per cent asset ownership in the privatised companies to date, alleging that yet it remains a pitiable tale of ‘Private Gain, Public Disaster’.

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