TCN Suspension: Ikeja Electric Moves to Avert Blackout

By Dipo Olowookere

Urgent steps are being taken by the management of Ikeja Electric Plc to avert any possible disruption of services to electricity consumers under its network.

Last week, federal government, through a market operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), ordered the disconnection of three electricity distribution companies from the national grid over non-compliance with the conditions of market rules.

The three firms, who were accused of owing N231 billion energy service debt and have failed to renew their security cover, are Eko Distribution Company, Enugu Distribution Company and Ikeja Distribution Company.

According to the TCN, the DisCos were given the room to address the situation, but have refused to respond within the stipulated time.

Responding to this, Ikeja Electric, in a statement on Friday, denied not giving the issue raised by the market operator attention.

The electricity company said it wrote to the market operator to seek for extension of time to submit the Bank Guarantee to provide sufficient time for its bankers to process the requests through the bank’s credit committees and other relevant approvals procedures.

However, the firm said it would continue to work hard to ensure its customers continue to enjoy electricity, while efforts would be made to resolve the issues.

“Our attention has been drawn to the publication issued by the Market Operator (MO) suspending Ikeja Electric (IE) from the electricity market.

“By way of setting the records straight, it is important to state that IE provided a security cover to the MO as stated in the said publication.

“However, the MO by its letter dated 13th June 2019 and received on Friday, 21st June 2019 advised IE to increase the value of the Security Cover within 2 business days.

“In view of the very short notice period, Ikeja Electric submitted a duly acknowledged letter to the MO on Tuesday, 25th of June 2019 seeking for extension of time to submit the Bank Guarantee to provide sufficient time for it Bankers to process the requests through the bank’s credit committees and other relevant approvals procedures.

“We are therefore at a loss at the MO’s order, signed on 26th June 2019 and published today.

“Notwithstanding the above, IE assures all its customers and other stakeholders that everything will be done to ensure that there is no deliberate disruption to services.

“We will continue to engage the Market Operator – who plays a critical role in stabilizing the Market and the Sector – to resolve the issues raised in the publication,” Ikeja Electric said in the statement.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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