The alleged suspension of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has been described as nothing but outright disobedience to the market operation agreement rules that is binding on both parties as far as the power sector franchise in the country is concerned.
The Head, Corporate Communication, KEDCO’s Kano, Ibrahim Sani Shawai made the pronouncement sequel to the publication on Daily Trust that TCN suspended KEDCO 0n July 29, 2019, and August 6, 2019.
He said it is clearly evident that KEDCO was not given a fair hearing and due process was not followed.
Adding that the wrong suspension was issued on the tweeter handle of TCN without proper notice to KEDCO. Also, he said KEDCO was denied the opportunity to defend itself as it is obtainable in market agreement rules.
“Similarly, the intervals between the first and second the suspensions show a violation of the due process which is not in accordance with the market rule, he added
Shawai stressed that this injustice made KEDCO approach a Federal High Court in Abuja which gave an injunction retraining TCN from going ahead with the suspension but TCN had turned down that restraining order and proceeded with the suspension on KEDCO.
He said the wrong suspension given to KEDCO is unlawful and a breach of order for a matter that is before a Federal High Court in Abuja with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/939/2019. Upon this, the court gave an order granting the prayer pending the hearing and determination of the motion while adjoining the matter to be heard on September 5, 2019” he claimed
For a case like this in court TCN ought not to have continued with the suspension order pending the action of the court in that regard.
An excerpt from the court reads: ‘‘An order of interim injunction restraining the Defendant, either by itself or through its departments/organs, officers, subordinates, agents or any person claiming through, or deriving authority from it or acting on its behalf or under its instructions, howsoever called from giving effect/ further giving effect to, implementing or executing in any manner whatsoever, the SUSPENSION and DISCONNECTION ORDERS as contained in order Nos: TCN/ISO/MO/2019/005 dated 21.07.19, TCN/ISO/MO/2019.006 and TCN/ISO/MO/2019.009 dated 06.08.19 respectively (Orders), issued by the Defendant (TCN) against the Applicant (KEDCO) and all its assets/facilities (inclusive of Transmission Stations and Feeders) of the Applicant, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction.’’
With such issue, why would TCN flout the order while continuing with its attack on KEDCO and its assets?
He said there is nothing but mischief and an attempt to gag KEDCO despite the fact that the case is before the court of law.
‘’KEDCO decided to keep mum on the issues but for the purpose of record-keeping as well as the need to put things in its right perspectives, it has decided to break the silence.’’
Similarly, the issue of KEDCO’s inability to post N484.5 million to meet its N1.215 billion Letter of Credit (LC) was also raised. It should be noted that it has the capacity to increase the LC to meet the target according to the rules but KEDCO decided not to in view of certain rules and regulation governing the Power Regulation Commission.
According to the statement, ‘’ The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) gave a directive on Sept. 27, 2016 based on agreement under Market Rule directing TCN to credit KEDCO with the sum of N3.2billion for imbalance compensation and wrong meter readings from TCN respectively from their mistakes where KEDCO was over-invoiced for other DisCos’ energy consumption than as this impaired the company’s financial. ‘’
It noted that the N3.2billion comprises an imbalance of over N2.39 billion between January 2015 and June 2015 and the wrong meter reading is put at N858 million. This put together was the amount that NERC directed TCN to credit KEDCO since the directive was given in 2016. However the processes that culminated to the directive actually started in 2014. This has been a long battle and victory given but yet to be enjoyed by KEDCO and it is said that justice delayed is justice denied. The N3.2 would have yielded good interests since 2016 if it had been given to KEDCO for its investment in the power distribution franchise.
This is a directive that for more than three years is yet to be obeyed. If the market in the power sector is rule-governed, there should be no reason for TCN not to obey such directive that is guided by Market rule agreement even when they are so quick to issue out wrong suspension to KEDCO because it is within their purview to do so. This is an abuse of power and an attempt to bully KEDCO.
The failure to obey the directive by TCN which is yet to pay KEDCO the sum of N3.2b for the mistakes made by TCN is a cause for worry. TCN’s action of not wanting to take responsibilities for their actions in favour of KEDCO is a trend that must not be nursed in the market operation because he that comes to equity must come with clean hands.
The N3.2 billion is more than enough to pay the LC charges levied on KEDCO.
Charity, they say begins at home, let TCN show a good example by remitting to KEDCO its N3.2 billion or remove the LC guarantee requirement and return the balance to KEDCO to show that the same MO rules guides everyone, after all, no one can be a judge over obedience when such a person’s obedience is not complete.
KEDCO is a business venture that is primarily concerned with customers’ satisfaction and as well as the satisfaction of other stakeholders but in a situation whereby KEDCO is working hard to meet up on all these commitments, KEDCO should not be trodden upon and left to bleed with the over N10billion uncollected bills from its customers from January to July this year and the N3.2billion directive which TCN is refusing to pay for over 3 years; KEDCO is out of patience and needs this money to give our customers more packages of satisfaction.