The Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, has said that at no time has the country’s electricity generation capacity reached a peak of 5,000 megawatts, MW.
This contradicts President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim during his third Presidential media chat last November that the combined average power generation capacity from all the power plants in the country moved from less than 3,000 MW in 2007 to a new peak capacity above 5,000 MW.
The President had listed the 5,000MW power generation capacity as one of his administration’s major achievements under the Power Sector Reform agenda.
“Power is one area Nigerians appreciate we are moving. We are yet to get 24 hours of light in our cities, but you would agree with me the difference is clear,” the president told the panel of interviewers, which consisted of Muhammed Abubakar of Nigerian Television Authority, NTA; Martins Oloja of the Guardian; Ikedi Isighuzor of Vanguard and Gbemi Olujobi of the National Mirror.
“We moved, in 2007, from about a little below 3,000 MW production average.
“Now, we are generating more than 5,000MW (of electricity).
“But because of weak transmission infrastructure, we cannot evacuate,” the president said.
As at the time President made the claim, TCN, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, successor company in charge of monitoring electricity transmission data in the country, had given 4,321.3MW as the country’s power generation capacity as at August, 31, 2012.
President’s Spokesman, Reuben Abati, and the Special Adviser to the Minister of Power, Garubadeen Mohammed, did not respond to calls and emails sent to them seeking clarification on the source of the President’s controversial figure.
But, the Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs of TCN, Dave Ifabiyi, said on Wednesday during a telephone chat from Abuja that at no time had the country’s power generation capacity neared 5,000 MW.
“There was never a time like that (5,000MW generation capacity), never. The highest peak generation of 4,517.6 MW was achieved on December 23, 2012,” Mr. Ifabiyi said.
The TCN spokesman, said in a previous statement, that a new peak power generation capacity of 4,502.2 MW was achieved on December 21, 2012, an improvement on the 4,454.1 MW achieved on December 19.
He attributed the achievement to the commitment of the President to fulfill his promise to Nigerians on improved electricity supply.
Mr. Ifabiyi dispelled any insinuation that the TCN was probably not transmitting all the generated electricity when he said that transmission and distribution companies would continue to harness “every available generation to ensure delivery of stable electricity supply” even as more National Integrated Power Projects, NIPPs became functional.
This is not the first time President Jonathan would be making a public statement that turned out to be false.
In his Independence Day broadcast to Nigerians on October 1, the president had claimed that “In its latest report, Transparency International (TI) noted that Nigeria is the second most improved country in the effort to curb corruption.”
The claim turned out to be false.
Following a PREMIUM TIMES enquiry, Transparency International stated that it “does not have a recent rating or report that places Nigeria as the second most improved country in the fight against corruption.
The latest Transparency International Corruption Index report later released placed Nigeria as the 35th most corrupt country in the world.
The president is yet to apologise to Nigerians for that goof, just as he may not apologise for this.
TCN to Improve Operations
The TCN Chief Executive Officer, Olusola Akinniranye, said the company would not relent in its efforts to ensure that the transmission grid functions effectively for greater efficiency.
Mr. Akinniranye said part of that effort is to restore the Benin-Egbin 330kV line as well as complete the new transmission/distribution interface projects to further enhance the company’s power evacuation capacity.
He appealed to electricity consumers to continue to partner with TCN in protecting electricity installations and forestall vandalism, which he said was constituting a major setback to efforts to improve electricity supplies.