FG Cuts TCN’s Budgetary Allocation By 96%
Although the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, is still a public asset in the privatised power sector, the Federal Government has allocated only N1bn to the company in the 2015 budget.
This amounts to just four per cent of the N24bn allocation in this year’s budget.
Indeed, total budget appropriation for the power sector ministry and agencies fell by N53.6bn in the proposed budget just as the Federal Ministry of Power gets the highest allocation of N2.5bn.
It was not immediately clear why the TCN budget was cut so drastically given the need for new investment in the transmission network.
Data obtained from the proposed budget which was earlier sent to the National Assembly for consideration showed that the ministry and its agencies would have to squeeze N8.811bn as their appropriation for personnel, overheads and capital development funds in 2015.
The ministry had said in November 2013 that it is retiring into policy making after major power utilities were privatised, but appropriated N62.4bn for itself and its agencies in 2014.
Top ministry officials said some funds due in the fourth quarter was yet to be released.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had recently said there was need to cut down government expenditure to help cushion the effects of the crude oil price slump in a country where its major financing has been anchored on the oil sector.
The TCN got the highest allocation in the previous budget with N24.9bn for its network expansion projects. However for 2015, TCN will be getting N1bn which is just N1.285bn more than the combined allocations to the new Electricity Management Services Ltd, EMSL, and the National Power Training Institute, NAPTIN.
However, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, NBET, which act as a guarantor for power procurement between the private electricity distribution companies (Discos) and the generation companies (Gencos) had the lowest allocation of N194m.