By Patrick Aigbokhan
Following a recent threat by Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Ltd, management consultant for Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to withdraw from the laid-down agreement over alleged “substantial breach of contract,” the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Monday directed TCN to maintain a single account for the payment of electricity funds.
The Canadian firm had said that the market operator, which is an arm of TCN, had opened a different bank account into which electricity funds were being diverted.
In his reaction to the multiple accounts, Dr. Sam Amadi, Chairman of NERC, said that the commission had to wade into the matter in order to restore sanity to the corporate governance affairs at the transmission firm.
Amadi said, “The dispute involving the TCN, Manitoba and other people is what NERC has intervened in to ensure that the company is well-governed. It is to ensure that the governance in the TCN does not in any way affect the framework of Manitoba.
“On the issue of opening a new account, we have resolved it by directing them to close the new account and revert to the old one. On the appointments, what we are saying is that we will ensure that no appointment will distort the TCN structure until the government changes that structure.”
The NERC chairman explained that NERC had no relationship with Manitoba, but with the TCN, which it regulates.
“The bottom line is that TCN is a regulated company and therefore must comply with all the regulations. Manitoba must get people who are qualified to run the network based on the industry regulation. The parties in the TCN must comply with the industry standards and allow the manager, Manitoba, to safely manage the network. This is for the TCN to achieve its mandate, which is to increase the wheeling capacity for us to deliver up to 6,000MW of electricity by the end of the year,” he added.
Mrs. Seun Olagunju, Spokesperson for TCN, in a statement described the dispute in the firm as an internal affair that would be resolved by the company.
”Any development that needs to be made public will be sent across to you when the time is right,” she said.