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Confusion as Disco, TCN, Ekiti Govt Disagree Over Planned Outage

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A disagreement between the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Ekiti State Government over a planned outage on the Osogbo-Akure-Ado-Ekiti 132kV transmission line is confusing residents and stakeholders.

It all started with a statement, on Thursday, by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) announcing a scheduled outage from July 1, 2024, to install Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) on the transmission line.

The notice titled, Outage on Osogbo/Akure-Ado – Ekiti 132kV line, says, “Please be informed that the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN is scheduled to carry out critical maintenance work on the 132kV Akure Osogbo transmission line.

“The planned work involves the installation of Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) and other activities. This will require an outage on the affected network for safe working space.

“Customers in the affected areas will experience service interruptions during the period of the planned outages. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this may cause and kindly solicit your patience and understanding.”

The Ekiti State Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities was quick to register its strong displeasure with the notification and the planned outage.

The Commissioner for Public Utility in Ekiti State, Professor Mobolaji Aluko, in a letter addressed to the management of TCN, BEDC, and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Sunday, demanded an immediate suspension of the outage plan and called for an emergency meeting.

His letter titled, “Re: Notification of power disruption/outage in Ado-Ekiti and Akure for two months (July, August 2024) for nine hours each day (8.00am to 5.00pm)” was addressed to the MD/CEO of TCN, MD/CEO of BEDC and the Chairman of the NERC.

The letter reads, “Our attention has been called to public notifications, both in print and jingles in English and in Yoruba, of the intention of BEDC under advice by TCN to disrupt power supply to the transmission stations in Akure and Ado-Ekiti – and in effect to adversely affect the Ekiti State and Ondo State areas – for nine hours each day (8.00am to 5.00pm) from July 1, 2024 to August 31, 2024.

“No direct notification/communication was made to the Ekiti State Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) on this matter, nor was approval sought and obtained from the Ekiti State Electricity Regulatory Bureau (EKSERB), saddled by law with the full authority to regulate the electricity industry in Ekiti State.

“The planned disruption of electricity for three-eighths of each day for sixty-two days, amounting to five hundred and fifty-eight hours (558) total and twenty-three days of outage in these two months amounts to an unacceptable economic, financial and social price to be paid by the citizens of Ekiti State, and we totally reject such a plan.”

The letter demanded an “immediate suspension of the plan and called for an emergency meeting with the regional heads of TCN, BEDC, and NERC.

“The meeting is slated for Tuesday, July 2, in the commissioner’s office at the Government Secretariat, Ado-Ekiti.”

Aluko said, “The meeting would help all stakeholders devise an alternative and far less adverse plan to achieve the same stated aims.”

We request prompt attention to this matter while we are eager to work collaboratively toward a sustainable solution that will benefit both citizens of the state and the Ekiti State Electricity Supply Industry.”

However, things took a more confusing turn when the TCN stated no such outage request had been approved.

The statement, issued by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, on Monday says, “A publication by the BEDC regarding a proposed outage on Osogbo-Akure-Ado-Ekiti 132kV line for the purpose of installing OPGW commencing on 1st July, 2024 has been brought to the notice of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

“TCN Management hereby informs the general public that no such outage request has been approved.”

This conflicting information has left the public uncertain about the impending power disruptions.

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