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We Haven’t Spent World Bank’s $1.66bn – TCN

The Transmission Company of Nigeria says the $1.66bn it secured from the World Bank and other multilateral financing agencies has not been invested contrary to claims being made in some quarters.

The government-owned transmission company said the financing was raised for the expansion of the national power grid.

According to the TCN, the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project, which seeks to redress certain deficiencies and operating constraints of the power transmission system, is financed by the World Bank and is worth $486m.

“The project is in three stages; two phases have passed pre-qualification state while the third is still on pre-qualification stage,” the Managing Director, TCN, Mr Usman Mohammed, told our correspondent in an interview.

He said the pre-qualification of the Northern Corridor project being funded by the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement) was almost completed.

Mohammed said, “The project will cover the closing of loop in-between Sokoto to Kaura Namoda and Katsina.

“Environmental Impact Assessment is on-going, verification for compensation for the right of way is also on-going. The project loan is $300m.”

According to him, the Lagos-Ogun transmission project, which is worth $238m, is being financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Mohammed said the project design, EIA studies, technical studies and resettlement action plan had been concluded.

He said compensation request had been forwarded to the Bureau of Public Procurement for due diligence which is expected to be concluded in the third quarter of the year.

The TCN boss said, “The only project that we have completed its procurement is Abuja transmission project, which is $170m and it is supposed to put five new substations in Abuja and a new supply route from Lafia to Abuja.

“The contract has been signed; advance payment has been made and Letter of Credit has been opened but I can tell you that no payment has been made apart from the advance payment.

“So, it is wrong to say that we have invested $1.66bn; we have attracted money from donors and we are implementing. But we have not invested.”

He said the TCN needed sustainable financing for its projects, adding that it resorted to funding from multinational donors because they had a long gestation period.

“Most times, they have five-year moratorium period and 20 years’ repayment period. That will give us enough time to be able to do other developmental activities that will make the TCN be able to pay this money by itself,” Mohammed added.

He said that the TCN had in the last two years inaugurated several transmission substations and installed over 40 power transformers across the country.