Alleges ‘internal sabotage’
THE Federal Government yesterday sought to find answers to the worsening state of electricity supply in the country, as it summoned chief executive officers of the 18 successor firms to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and heads of all the agencies under the Ministry of Power.
While blaming certain elements within the power sector for allegedly sabotaging government’s efforts to improve the sector, it announced a major shake-up in the management of the sector.
Consequently, Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Akinwumi Bada; Head, Operator of the Nigerian Electricity Market (ONEM), Uzoma Achinanya; and Executive Director, Human Resources, PHCN, Olushoga Muyiwa, were all sent on compulsory retirement.
It is the second time a major shake-up would be announced in the power sector within the last one year.
Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, who announced the sack and presided over the meeting, also stated that the President would soon make a major pronouncement on the gas issue, which shortfall purportedly led to the current poor state of power supply in the country.
Though he did not link the sacked officials to the alleged sabotage within the power sector, Nnaji said their retirement became necessary as part of the renewed efforts towards achieving adequate and effective power supply in the country.
Mr. Shola Akinniranye was immediately appointed to head the Transmission Company of Nigeria, while Mr. Evaristus Mogbo was appointed the new head of ONEM.
The ONEM or the Market Operator, which is domiciled in the Transmission Company of Nigeria, is responsible for operation of the market and settlement arrangements.
These cover the administration of the metering system between generation, transmission and distribution companies; settlement of matching energy generated by source to energy delivered to each distribution company and then estimate the payments to/from the involved entities; and administration of collection from distribution companies and payments to generation companies.
On the alleged sabotage “from within,” Nnaji said: “A few persons are internally trying to tinker with the system. But we are dealing with them. We are going to vigorously pursue any hindrance to power supply and clean up the system.”
Speaking at the meeting, Nnaji admitted that the challenges plaguing the sector were many, but that government was battling them.
He said: “We decided to call the meeting because of what has been happening in the power sector. A lot of issues led to the drop in power supply. A number of plants have gas limitations while some don’t have at all.
“But gas is not the only problem we face with the plants. Some of the problems are natural, having to do with flood and the hydro-power plants. We also admit that transmission and management of the transmission stations need to be improved.”
He blamed the limited rain for the poor situation at plants like the Shiroro Power Plant.
On the issue of sabotage, Nnaji stated: “There are some people who do not want progress in the country. We need to manage these issues. We are making adjustments in the management of the 18 successor companies, TCN, the Market Operator and the PHCN.
“There will be major adjustments. We have no choice than to do this so that the country can move forward. The quality of management is essential in moving the sector forward. We cannot continue to have swings in power. We want this to change.”