The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has suspended services at the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL).

The suspension was following the failure of Ajaokuta Steel to settle N33bn owed to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC (NBET) and Service Providers.

The TCN announced its decision in a letter dated January 4, 2024, which was signed by AG, ED independent system operator, E.A. Eye.

The letter explained that the debt comprised N30,849,749,981.01 for energy and capacity delivered by NBET and N2,221,252,148.48 debt owed to Service Providers.

The letter reads, “This is a formal suspension notice to ASCL due to non-compliance with provisions of the Market Rules as of the November 2023 billing cycle, ASCL has accumulated a total outstanding debt of N33,071,002,129.49, comprising N30,849,749,981.01 for energy and capacity delivered by NBET and N2,221,252,148.48 owed to Service Providers.

“On the 20th of March 2023, the MO issued a notification to ASCL for non-compliance with the Market Rules and requested corrective actions within a specified period, as advertised in three national newspapers.

“Despite a ministerial intervention by the Honorable Minister of Power, which temporarily halted enforcement actions to allow Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) the opportunity to rectify its defaults, these defaults remain unresolved.

“Failure to rectify these defaults within the specified period will lead to the disconnection of ASCL’s network from the National Grid, in accordance with section 45 of the Market Rules.”

TCN said Ajaokuta Steel must pay off all outstanding invoices and provide a Bank Guarantee of N70,177,727.39 for MO’s invoice and N320,000,000.00 for NBET’s invoice, within 14 days from the date of the notice to avoid disconnection from the National Grid.