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The Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Gur Mohammed, has said that the power sector must be run like a business where consumers are ready to pay for Nigeria to have stable power electricity supply.

The TCN boss spoke in Kaduna at the weekend, during a policy dialogue on power, an event organised by the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP).

According to him, uninterrupted power supply is possible in Nigeria, ‘but requires investment, which requires that consumers should pay’.

Mohammed said: “If you go to places like Burkina Faso, for example, the cost of electricity is two times more than what we have here, and the people pay.

“I want to tell Nigerians that, generally, electricity has to be run like a business and that means we have to pay for electricity for us to have it. This idea of people not wanting to pay, and feeling that electricity is a social service, should stop; that culture should stop so that we can expand the grid and provide stable electricity.”

Mohammed noted that the government inherited a power sector that had challenges in power generation, transmission and distribution, but has been able to fix generation and transmission to a large extent.

He added: “When the government of President Muhammadu Buhari came on board, all the value chains in the power sector had problems, from generation, transmission and distribution. Generation was hovering around 3,500 megawatts, the same with distribution and transmission, capacity was not more than 5,000 megawatts.

“But as at today, if you look at transmission capacity, even as at December 2018, it was around 8,100, meaning that significant improvement has taken place…”

The national electricity grid has recorded its first collapse in the year.

The grid collapsed more than 10 times in 2019, causing power failure across the country.

The system was said to have collapsed around 12:37 on Thursday resulting in power outage in some parts of the country.

The development was confirmed in a tweet by Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC).

“Dear Customer, present outage affecting all is a TCN System Disturbance on the grid. Power to be restored as soon as available,” the company said.

“Dear Customer, the outage which occurred at 1237hrs is due to a TCN system collapse affecting Lekki, Ibeju & environs. The team is working to restore power. Please, bear with us.”

More to come …