A prolonged blackout looms in parts of Lagos and Enugu states as the Transmission Company of Nigeria suspends some facilities of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company and the Ikeja Electricity Distribution PLC from the national grid. The orders issued by the TCN, were published in advertorials in national newspapers on Wednesday and Thursday and signed by E.A. Eje on behalf of TCN. Consequently, electricity intake by the two companies from the transmission company through the national grid will henceforth be disconnected.
The TCN said the order was for the enforcement of the market participation agreement entered into with EEDC and IKEDC on February 23, 2015, and March 5, 2015, respectively. With the order, the TCN said the 33KV feeder transmission stations and other interface facilities supplying electricity to sections of Enugu State, including New Heaven, Kingsway 1 and 2, will be disconnected from the national grid. It is not clear how long the facilities would remain disconnected.
TCN spokesperson, Ndidi Mbah, confirmed the dispute with the DISCOs over the regulatory breaches. She said the TCN has since written to each of the other affected DISCOs in the country to request them to come forward with their remedies in compliance with the market rules. Mrs. Mbah said a similar fate may befall others who fail to act within the stipulated deadline in the market rules.
In line with the agreement, TCN said both EEDC and IKEDC agreed to comply at all times with the provisions of Clause 3.2 of the electricity market rules, grid code, metering code, and market procedures. Accordingly, the DISCOs were expected to, among other roles, provide metering information in a timely manner and in the approved format in accordance with the Metering Code. Besides, they were to ensure that they complied 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 timely settlement of any due payment. Contrary to the provisions of the agreement, the TCN said, in the advertorials that both EEDC and IKEDC failed to maintain a security cover, thereby breaching Section 45.3.1(d) of the market rules. Consequently, based on markets rules 45.3.9, 45.3.12 and 45.3.13, the TCN on the June 24 has ordered as follows:
“(a) That Enugu Electricity Distribution Company is hereby suspended from Market Operator Administered Markets.
“(b) The restriction of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company intake from the grid through a Disconnection Order to the Transmission Service Provider to disconnect some facilities of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company until the event of Default stated in NIISO/2019/002 is remedied.”
A similar order was issued on Thursday, June 26, against the IKEDC. The EEDC said in a letter to the TCN that it had taken steps to resolve the issue when the disconnection was announced and that “this act by MO is a breach of EEDC’s right to fair hearing as enshrined in Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999”.