Engr.Dr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, the Managing Director / Chief Executive officer of the Transmission Company of Nigeria TCN
In the last two years’ fewer government agencies have suffered prolonged attacks by social critics than the Transmission Company of Nigeria(TCN)—and always on the same often rehashed subject.
In all of these, several attempts have been made to counter the tirades, amongst them conducting on-the-spot media tour of critical areas of the company’s operations for the social critics to see for themselves; to understand the difficulties in providing and ensuring regular electricity supply to Nigerians; these difficulties include the rough terrains, swampy areas, insurgency prone communities, precarious mountains and hills and not least thick forest.
In a statement by Media Consultant, Sule Ahmed Oyofo said, they were made to grapple with the menace of vandalisation which sometimes occur in the dead of the night and where accessibility was difficult.
At this point fewer policy makers would want to envy the job of the managing director for the very tasking nature the job demands because he has to be on his toes at all times to keep the nation lighted! Part of the enormous challenges faced is the gigantic stretch of its operations.
The company has the enviable task of maintaining and supervising over 18,000km of 330kv and 132kv of high voltage transmission lines traversing the entire nation; some of them run through disaster prone areas which causes rapid erosion of tower bases and natural disasters; yet these lines convey electricity to citizens and must be serviced! To effectively monitor their efficiency, the deployment of non-conventional methods is compulsory; this is where the “special procurement procedure” comes into play.
The management of TCN is not expected to fold its hands and watch the nation plunge into darkness! The job of policy makers is not all about politics; some considerations should be given to the reality they face which now appears to be manipulated by a few critics to portray otherwise responsible officials in bad light.
As if being proactive, it may well be that, it was with this in mind, that galvanized the TCN management to sign what is known as “Service Level Agreement” between it and distribution companies (Discos) across the country on zero tolerance for outages amongst other things! The simple explanation here is that in the event of emergency repairs to be undertaken, the TCN management may not need to wait for the laborious and tedious payment procedures notorious for dragging into weeks and months!
No sensible management would allow fold its hands and watch the situation deteriorate. This has been the dilemma of the management which calls for sober reflection on the part of those social critics that it is not so much about the procedure adopted to tackle emergency situations but on the successful outcome.
This is all about the security of the environment and the sustainability of the methods required to confront difficult situations. Here, the TCN management have been extremely careful in the discharge of its responsibilities especially when it is known that they transmit power from over 25 Generating Companies located at different parts of the country to eleven (11) Distribution Companies and some international customers. These are some of the sudden decision making process that confront policy makers for which members of the public should understand.
While there is no gain, ignoring truth for falsehood, nothing promotes sectionalism more than unrestrained unethical media practice.
Similarly, the NBS, through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBS) Act, CAP L I, laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 seek to bring the platforms under supervision or hold them accountable. The Director-General in a recent interview while hosting the Minister of Information described some of these social platforms as “monsters”. This is the deplorable stage the renegade elements have soiled the otherwise excellent reputation of the vehicle! The management of and distribution of electricity nationwide demands some strict sensitivity which is open to professionals in the field. It is, in part for this purpose that to give policy makers some breath of space and support, the way forward is none other than to help them remain focused.
COUNTER MEASURES PUT IN PLACE
1. A clinical examination of the Sahara reporters attack against TCN has been written. (See attached). It is planned to be circulated from tomorrow in select main stream and social media handles.
2. We should do a one page advertorial of our response to Sahara Reporters to prevent backlash from BPP. The advertorial will conceal the name of BPP—changed to “relevant government agency” to show its initial inclusion was part of the mischief of the reporters.
3. We have arranged for MD to personally appear on Arise Morning Show Programme. His personal appearance is because he is the face of the company. It is a friendly interactive session. And only him can situate the situation clearly.
4. We should organize and invite Sahara reporters and some select media and CSO’s on official tour of some of the terrain confronting TCN management for better appreciation of the task. This was done for NELMCO and Federal Ministry of Works and it was very successful. Mr. Daniel Ugo and his irks will be on this trip
5. We have discussed with Mr. Fadipe and agreed to work together. Mr. Ugo is still being expected.
6. All media outlets and CSO’s have been sensitized and cautioned not to exacerbate this situation.