TCN Intensifies Effort to Expand National Grid
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said it was currently working to expand the national grid as part of efforts to improve power supply in the country.
This was disclosed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mbah, in a statement, where she explained that the capacity of the national grid has improved under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, especially with the record of four all-time peaks in the sector in 2020, and two recorded in January 2021 so far.
The Public Affairs GM further explained that TCN grid network has the capacity of 8,100 megawatts even as it continues to work towards completing ongoing projects to further increase its capacity.
She clarified that the National Control Centre (NCC), an arm of TCN, is responsible for ensuring grid stability and its dispatch instructions are guided by the Grid Code, which it strictly adheres to, with a clear understanding of consequences to the nation’s grid.
Despite the role played by the NCC, she clarified that TCN does not distribute electricity to electricity consumers and cannot also switch off consumer feeders. Its jurisdiction on the network is from 330 kilovolt (kV) to 132kV power lines. The company cannot switch off consumers feeders as it is not within TCN’s jurisdiction, she maintained.
“The fact is that electricity cannot be stored; therefore, power generation, transmission and distribution occur simultaneously.
“What determines what is put on the grid is what the distribution companies are ready to off-take, this equally regulates what the generator would generate, which is why the DisCos are required to nominate what they would off-take a day ahead.
“It is important to note that whatever happens on the downstream network impacts on transmission and generators.
“That notwithstanding, it would be wrong to attribute most localized outages and load-shedding of consumers feeders to TCN. Discos can only off-take what is generated, while Gencos can only generate what Discos can off-take.
“Each of the 11 DisCos has its own challenges which may necessitate outage in certain places per time,” she said.
Tinubu Travelled Abroad to Rest, Will Return Soon–Aide
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The office of the president-elect has confirmed that Mr Bola Tinubu has jetted out of Nigeria for a rest in the United Kingdom and France ahead of his swearing-in ceremony slated for May 29, 2023.
An online platform on Wednesday reported that the winner of the February 25 presidential election travelled to Europe for urgent medical attention.
But in a statement issued by one of his aides, Mr Tunde Rahman, it was emphasized that the former Governor of Lagos State only left the country to have a rest in London and Paris before going to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.
It was disclosed that Mr Tinubu travelled out of Nigeria on Tuesday night via the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja Lagos.
“After a very exhaustive campaign and election season, President-elect, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, has travelled abroad to rest and plan his transition programme ahead of May 29, 2023 inauguration.
“The President-elect left the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, for Europe on Tuesday night.
“The President-elect decided to take a break after the hectic campaign and election season to rest in Paris and London, preparatory to going to Saudi Arabia for Umrah (Lesser Hajj) and the Ramadan Fasting that begins Thursday.
“While away, the President-elect will also use the opportunity to plan his transition programme.
“He is expected back in the country soon.
“We enjoin the media to stop publishing rumours and unsubstantiated claims and to always seek clarifications from our office,” the statement said.
INEC Declares Labour Party’s Alex Otti Abia Governor-Elect
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The candidate of the Labour Party in the governorship election in Abia State, Mr Alex Otti, has been declared as the winner of the exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The former banker polled a total of 175,467 votes to defeat his closest rival in the poll, Mr Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered 88,529 votes.
The Abia State governorship election was earlier declared inconclusive by the electoral umpire due to issues arising from over-voting. The collation centre had to be moved to Abuja from Umuahia, the state capital.
The governor-elect, in a short post via his verified Twitter handle, reacted to the development by saying, “See what the Lord has done.”
Mr Otti left the banking industry a few years ago after serving as the managing director of the defunct Diamond Bank, which merged with Access Bank. He left his office in the bank to pursue his political ambition in 2015, but he failed until he succeeded in 2023.
Cash Scarcity: NLC Orders Workers to Embark on Strike
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed public sector workers in the country to embark on strike beginning from Wednesday, March 29, 2023.
President of the union, Mr Joe Ajaero, gave this directive at a media briefing at Labour House in Abuja on Wednesday, March 22.
He also directed affiliate unions of the NLC to be on standby for a picketing exercise across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nationwide.
The union leader said the directive became imperative following the expiration of a one-week ultimatum given to the apex bank to make cash available for Nigerians.
The scarcity has heightened with plans by the central bank to mop up the old Naira in circulation. The apex bank recently said it had removed N2.3 trillion from circulation between October 2022 and February 2023 while printing fewer new notes.
Business Post reported that between October last year and February 2023, the cash in circulation dropped to N982.09 billion from N3.29 trillion.
This is one of the factors that has extended the scarcity of the Naira and have also prolonged it into March.
Despite the Supreme Court judgement on March 3, 2023, that the old Naira remain legal until December 31, 2023, new notes have not reached many households with the old notes and new notes difficult to acquire.
With the cash in circulation dropping and the currency in commercial banks’ vaults or that of the CBN rising, Nigerians still find it difficult to access the money deposited in their accounts despite the ruling that the new and old notes should co-exist for 10 months.
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