The Transmission Company of Nigeria has suspended the evacuation of electricity to eligible customers, it was learnt on Thursday.
In July 2018, the immediate past Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, announced the introduction of the Eligible Customer policy, explaining that it would accelerate power supply to industries and heavy consumers.
Fashola, who is the current Minister of Works and Housing, had stated that the policy was introduced in pursuant to powers conferred by Section 27 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act.
The policy allows power generation companies to sell electricity directly to consumers without passing through the distribution companies, while TCN is the evacuator of the power in most cases.
But in a letter dated August 3, 2021, from TCN, signed by its Market Operator, E.A. Eje, the transmission company notified eligible customers that it had suspended the transaction.
In the letter, which was sighted by our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday, TCN explained that the suspension was based on the directive of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The letter was titled, “NERC’s Directive to Suspend Eligible Customer Transactions Without the Commission’s Approval”, with reference no TCN/MO/003/071/002/2021.
It read in part, “Following a letter from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission dated 7th July, 2021, the commission ordered the suspension of all eligible customers’ transactions without its approval.
“In a subsequent meeting with the commission on 30th of July, the commission further directed the suspension of all eligible customer transactions without its approval.
“In this the letter, NERC directed TCN to forthwith stop all eligible customer transactions pending the conclusion of the review and approval of the respective applications for eligible status by the commission.
“In this regard, we write to formally notify you that the MO/TCN is abiding by this directive and will credit all affected eligible customers associated energy to their host Disco. We advise that all eligible customers follow up their license application with the commission.”
Officials at the Federal Ministry of Power confirmed that the directive was from the regulator of the sector.
Also the commission stated that it had to approve eligible customers, as its officials told our correspondent that the matter was being addressed.