NERC to sanction TCN, others over illegal account


Power Plant

Issues seven days ultimatum
THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday came down hard on the Market Operator (MO), a division of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for failing to obey a regulatory directive to close down a controversial account.

NERC is now threatening to invoke disciplinary measures against TCN and the Market Operator over the illegal account and has issued Notices of Commencement of Enforcement Action on the Market Operator for operating a unilateral bank account.

The notice gave the erring MO seven days ultimatum to take remedial actions by winding down operation of the unilateral bank account and report compliance, failure which it faces disciplinary action from the Commission.

MO issues market settlements and invoices due to the market participants and service providers in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). TCN on its part is currently under contract management of Manitoba Hydro International of Canada, a licensee of NERC.

TCN licence empowers it to manage the Market Operator (MO) and the System Operator (SO), which is responsible for the wheeling of electrons (electricity) from generation to electricity distribution companies.

The Ministry of Power stirred controversy when it appointed some staff in the Market Operator division as a separate management.
In response, TCN removed names of the elevated staff from its payroll.
The Market Operator, which incidentally partly manages cash flow in the electricity market reacted by opening a separate bank account other than the one known to TCN.

The matter was subsequently brought before the Commission at its August 19, 2015 regulatory meeting.
Parties were consequently issued directives on August 27, 2015, to take remedial actions which they are yet to comply with.

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