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I can’t remember when I last had a good sleep – TCN MD

Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Abdul-Aziz Sule, says he can’t remember the last time he had a good sleep due to the rigorous nature of his job.

Speaking while hosting a group of Civil Society Organizations, the Arewa Youth Alliance for Progress and Development and Nigeria Citizens Watch for Good Governance, Sule cleared the air on certain operational procedures of the transmission company.

The leaders of the coalition from Kaduna and Lagos states respectively, Alhaji Aliyu Muhammed and Comrade James Ishaku, sort to know why the Niger Republic, a neighboring country has regular power supply while the country supplying the light, which is Nigeria, does not.

They also sort to know the actual role played by TCN in the matter.

Replying, the managing director thanked them for the visit and praised them for showing maturity in the face of myriads of problems.

“TCN is a government company, unlike the GENCOS and DISCOS that are private. So everything we do here is to improve the lot of Nigerians; we owe them that responsibility: but for now, ignorance rules the sector. Gentlemen, there are few African countries that can be compared to Nigeria; Niger republic itself is not bigger than Kano – a state in Nigeria.

“What happens is that the River Niger runs through that republic which is our main source of water supply to the Kainji Dam; if Niger constructs a Dam, our source of water supply will be cut off; so we have to supply them with electricity which they pay for anyway.”

He pointed out that it was necessary to meet their electricity needs in exchange for that gesture.

On the bigger question of the role of TCN,  he said, “TCN neither generates nor distributes electricity; our job is to transmit. I am a committed patriot having grown up from the ranks. It is from TCN I got married and had my children; so I always put in my best at all times. When it comes to ensuring regular electricity supply to Nigerians, you can count on me.”

“As managing director, I can’t remember when I had a good sleep. Yet, I sit here and I get strange letters from amorphous organizations requesting for even what normal and recognized government agencies cannot.”

Abdul-Aziz who is a first-class Electrical Engineering product, however called for cooperation in moving the power sector forward.

“We can do more with the cooperation of all stakeholders involved, not just the TCN management,” he said.

On security, he told his audience that TCN spends a lot in several states of the federation to secure vital installations.

“We used to work with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps alone; now we have involved members of the community to help in protecting these installations.”

“This is a big problem; and we have to put in extra hours of work to halt the menace; you know what it means, you are at home in the dead of the night and you are told of outbreak of fire in one of the transmission lines!.

“You can imagine what was going on in my mind; don’t forget that the budget has already been passed and now, you have an emergency situation—not budgeted for-to deal with”.

On adequate funding, he told his visitors to go and find out what the yearly budget of Ministry of Power is.

“What we get is sometimes not enough to buy one transformer. There is a lot to be done; we need money to fix repairs, for logistics, tackle emergency matters and also monitor our installations; we could have done more with budgetary increase.”