A media expert and consultant, Mr. Ahmed Sule Oyofo, has asserted that amidst numerous challenges and criticism, the Managing Director/CEO of the Transmission Company of Nigeria TCN, Engr (Dr) Sule Abdulaziz, has continued to steer and drive changes, improvements while consolidating on the various development within the company’s mandate.
In a public opinion piece made available to newsmen on Friday, Mr Oyofo, noted the Director’s milestone achievements in projects execution and delivery, stable grid management, and human resources management that optimised personnel performance and productivity.
He said that Engr Abdulaziz has not only distinguished himself as a skilled human resources manager who brought industrial harmony to TCN but has equally enhanced capacity development by strategically investing in the training and retraining of staff to bridge skills gaps amongst others.
“In the past two years, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has faced sustained criticisms from social circles, particularly on the complexities of providing consistent electricity across the nation. Efforts to counter these critiques include on-site media tours, showcasing the operational difficulties in terrains ranging from rough landscapes to insurgency-prone areas, and emphasizing the struggle against vandalism, especially in hard-to-reach locations.
“Managing the colossal responsibility of overseeing over 18,000km of high-voltage transmission lines, TCN grapples with maintaining infrastructures through disaster-prone zones. The necessity of non-conventional methods, such as “special procurement procedures,” is underscored to ensure effective monitoring of the vast network.
“As TCN strives to keep the nation illuminated, policy makers face the challenge of balancing political considerations with the practicalities of managing such an extensive operation. The recent signing of a “Service Level Agreement” with distribution companies signals a commitment to zero tolerance for outages, streamlining emergency repairs without the delays associated with lengthy payment procedures.
“The Procurement Act 2003, Section 43, recognizes the need for emergency procurement in the face of disasters or threats, highlighting the importance of swift actions to maintain vital structures. TCN’s responsible transmission of power from numerous generating companies to distribution companies and international customers requires meticulous decision-making, as seen in the recent incidents on December 21st and 28th, 2023, involving critical towers brought down by various factors.
“Despite TCN’s efforts to clarify actions taken, social critics persistently challenge the institution’s reputation. The response to a media organization’s allegations showcases the delicate balance between addressing misinformation and avoiding unnecessary conflict. The ongoing debate surrounding a potential social media bill and the National Broadcasting Commission’s role reflects the broader struggle against unethical media practices.” He added.
In response to the recent attack by Sahara Reporters on the leadership of TCN, Mr Oyofo also explained that TCN implemented countermeasures, including a clinical examination of the accusations and a one-page advertorial to clarify its stance. He stated that the Managing Director’s planned appearance on Arise Morning Show, aims to provide a transparent and clear perspective on the situation, while adding that an official tour for media, Sahara Reporters, and select Civil Society Organizations to witness firsthand the challenges faced by TCN would be good step towards fostering understanding and bridging the loopholes.
Oyofo added that collaboration with stakeholders like Mr. Fadipe and ongoing sensitization efforts to caution media outlets and CSOs against exacerbating the situation, has reflectef TCN’s commitment to maintaining focus amid external challenges.