By Emmanuel Obisue
Transmission Company of Nigeria, is taking steps to mitigate the challenges of providing constant electricity across the country, amid criticisms from social circles, media expert and consultant, Ahmed Oyofo has stated.
In a public opinion piece made available to newsmen on Friday, Oyofo said the recent signing of a “Service Level Agreement” with distribution companies signals a commitment to zero tolerance for outages, streamlining emergency repairs without the delays associated with lengthy payment procedures.
He blammed the challenges on the “colossal responsibility of overseeing over 18,000km of high-voltage transmission lines”, as it also grapples with maintaining infrastructures throughout disaster-prone zones.
“In the past two years, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has faced sustained criticisms from social circles, particularly on the complexities of providing consistent electricity across the nation. Efforts to counter these critiques include on-site media tours, showcasing the operational difficulties in terrains ranging from rough landscapes to insurgency-prone areas, emphasizing the struggle against vandalism, especially in hard-to-reach locations.
“The necessity of non-conventional methods, such as “special procurement procedures,” is underscored to ensure effective monitoring of the vast network.
“As TCN strives to keep the nation illuminated, policy makers face the challenge of balancing political considerations with the practicalities of managing such an extensive operation,” he stated.
His statement added that, “The Procurement Act 2003, Section 43, recognizes the need for emergency procurement in the face of disasters or threats, highlighting the importance of swift actions to maintain vital structures. TCN’s responsible transmission of power from numerous generating companies to distribution companies and international customers requires meticulous decision-making, as seen in the recent incidents on December 21st and 28th, 2023, involving critical towers brought down by various factors.
“Despite TCN’s efforts to clarify actions taken, social critics persistently challenge the institution’s reputation. The response to a media organization’s allegations showcases the delicate balance between addressing misinformation and avoiding unnecessary conflict. The ongoing debate surrounding a potential social media bill and the National Broadcasting Commission’s role reflects the broader struggle against unethical media practices”.