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‘Removing TCN boss may stall $1.66bn transmission projects’

Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed is the Managing Director/CEO of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)
Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed is the sacked Managing Director/CEO of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)

The Nigerian Power Consumers Forum (NPCF) has said removing the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Gur Mohammed, may stall the $1.661 billion multilateral agencies-funded projects targeted at expanding bulk power transmission to 20,000 megawatts (MW).

A statement issued by the General Secretary of NPCF, Michael Okoh said the arbitrary removal of the TCN boss by the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, defeats the objectives of due process in the federal government’s establishments and the power sector reform being championed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It noted that the minister in December 2019 summarily removed heads of agencies at the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) and Rural Electrification Agency (REA). These actions were reversed days after.

“It’s against a circular issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha on applying due process, and it was clear that he (Mohammed) had done no wrong for the minister to remove him.”

The Forum urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct a reversal of the action to save the power sector from the budding dictatorship.

TCN under the supervision of Mohammed reduced the grid system collapses by 60 percent through the implementation of innovative strategies.

“He has also improved TCN staff welfare, providing PPEs and safety kits, to the point that the unions label the two salary increments he has done in three years for the staff as UG1 and UG2,” said NPCF.

NPCF also recalled that TCN has been revived by Mohammed after it crashed under Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Limited (MHINL) management contract, which was never the real MHI of Canada, to reform TCN.

“With UG Mohammed at the top of affairs, the public utility firm has been reformed within three years and had attracted $1.66bn investments to expand TCN capacity to 20,000 megawatts (MW) by 2023 through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP).”

NPCF said the MD of TCN, never frustrated the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative (PPI). “TCN Management did not oppose the Siemens project. This is proven by how TCN prepared the final proposal which the Minister submitted to the State House in April 2020,” it noted.

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