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FG threatens to sanction power firms for breaking rules

AS the government continues struggling to deliver on power supply, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has threatened to sanction erring electricity market participants, having given them notices and time to comply with the market rules.

The market participants in the power sector are the generation, transmission and distribution companies.

TCN’s Market Operator (MO), Mr Edmund Eje, in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, warned that one of the fallouts of the sanctions would be the partial or complete disconnection of defaulters from their point of connection to the grid.

According to the MO, it is natural that some of the sanctioned players may attempt to politicise the action to score cheap points and whip up unnecessary sentiments.

He, however, advised that consumers should be sensitive to the real issues, which are the efficiency and survival of the Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

”NESI is governed by rules which are absolutely necessary for the viability and sustainability of the sector. As such these rules are sacrosanct and must be complied with by all existing or new players in the sector.

”Essentially, the players in the power sector are the generators, transmission, and distribution companies.

”For all the players to interact effectively and create the requisite harmony for growth, efficiency, profitability and of course, continued sustenance of the sector.

”The rules set for governance and regulation of relationship between all in the sector must be obeyed and upheld,” he said.

Eje said that some of these rules are domiciled with the MO, adding that adherence to the Market Rule is below expectation.

He said that NESI market indiscipline was one of the major factors dealing a disastrous blow to the scalability and growth of the market.

”Participation Agreement is signed by all participants, but to comply with them is usually an uphill task for many.

”If the rules of every game are observed, there would be no need for sanctions,” he said.

On the suspension procedure, he explained that when a participant violate the market rules the MO would first notify the participant in writing, specifying the violation and requesting that corrective action be taken within a specified period.

Eje said that if the participant failed to comply with the notice, the MO may issue a notice of intention to suspend a participant’s access to the market.

”This notice will specify the reasons for the intended suspension, the proposed duration of the suspension, and the conditions for lifting the suspension.

”If the participant still fails to comply with the “Notice of Intention to Suspend’, the Market Operator may issue a ‘Notice of Suspension’, which may last for 30 business days.

”After the suspension period, the participant may apply for reinstatement by providing evidence of compliance with the market rules and any other conditions specified in the ‘Notice of Suspension’.

”The MO will review the application and make a determination on whether to lift the suspension or not,” the statement read in part.

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