FG revokes $24m Manitoba transmission contract

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By STEVE AGBOTA

Federal Government, yesterday, revoked the $24 million management contract awarded Canadian state-owned Manitoba Hydro, that was appointed by the Presidency to manage the national power transmission network, as PHCN privatization suffered a setback.

The government had been commended when the contract was given to Manitoba to manage the national power transmission network, with observers describing it as a major step forward in the ongoing reform process.

Though no immediate reason was given by the presidency for the annulment of the deal, fears were expressed in some quarters about political interference working against efforts to secure foreign investment into the power sector.

“Mr. President has cancelled the Manitoba power contract with immediate effect,” presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, said.

He did not give any further explanations. According to Mr. Abati, the Ministry of Power is expected to issue a formal statement later to explain the background to the decision.

The privatisation programme in the power sector has been a long and tortuous journey that resulted in the proposal to select a management firm to take over and run the power transmission system, a process that enjoyed the support of the World Bank. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), which handled the process that selected Manitoba for the contract had expected the firm to commence work at the beginning of September, while the transmission is still in control of the government.

Following the emergence of Manitoba, some powerful interests in the ministry of power were reportedly unimpressed with the arrangement to transfer the management of the transmission plants to Manitoba. An official of the company said the politics of the management contract began immediately it was sealed. No sooner had the contract concluded than the workers union of the PHCN embarked on an industrial action to protest against the new management.

For several weeks, the company was not allowed to settle till security operatives were deployed to facilitate the process. The electricity transmission network is a major component of the power supply infrastructure designed to help convey power from the power plants to the sub-stations for distribution to the end users. Over the years, the dilapidated transmission network across the country and its management were identified as some of the reasons that accounted for the inability of the country to guarantee adequate and stable supply of electricity in the country.

The unbundling of the PHCN into 18 successor companies, consisting of eleven generation, six distribution, and one transmission company, under the ongoing power sector reform, was part of government’s effort to ensure improvement in power supply.

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22 Comments

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  3. special interest everywhere: “no immediate reason was given?,. Question is, what about the interest of the people.?
    what about a good effort to make power supply available at least half of the day?. We know that it is difficult to convince a foreign first world company to turn over money allocated for power to be shared among stake holders, minus the people. Nigerians do not have to wait for your rehearsed explanation, if you have one, it would have come immediately along with the announcement for the termination of the contract. Go ahead award it to IBB, Atiku or one of your party heavy weights. But bear in mind that when you keep doing what you have always done, you keep getting the same result. Power generation in the country have once again dealt an absolute blow. Removing prof. Berth Nnaji was the first blow!

  4. GEJ is acting on impulse, he is corrup, confused & lacks ideas & does not have a strong character. Let GEJ tell Nigerians how many IOU’s he signed before he became the president. Nigeria is drifting towards a failed state. God please help us

  5. LET EFCC CHECK WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH PHCN IF THERE CAN BE HONEST TO US..
    THE FRAUD THERE IS NOTHING TO SAY. OUR GOVERNMENT HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER US. THEY CANNOT PUT THE REAL PERSON THAT KNOW S THE PROBLEM OF PHCN.JUST THERE FRIENDS TO MAKE MONEY.

  6. Sacking of Prof. Barth Nnaji and revoking Manitoba’s transmission contract, has shown that GEJ’s administration has no genuine plan of transforming the power sector.

  7. One step forward with clear explanation, three steps backward without reason. Interest! Interest! Personal interest has clashed again with national interest. Who is the loser? Poor Nigerians.

  8. This our epileptic manner of ineptitude, one step forward, two steps backward tells us the non cordination of government activities that’s taking us to no where and making us very unserious in all that we are doing. Was GEJ not there when the contract was awarded, were there no conditions before such controvasial and determinant issues are handled. Please GEJ, u are telling the whole World the type of person u are, be firm and resolute with very strong character, u can’t please every person. You must step on toes if u are in charge. U are the President of Nigeria, the bulk stops at ur table.

  9. GEJ wat else do hv 2 tell us d poor Nigerians dt voted U in. Controversis evry nw nd thn, at d time we started enjoin d good work of Nnaji U took d smile off d face of d helpless Nigerians eh GEJ wat else do wnt us 2 do 4u Mr. Presido, y do we hv 2 b rewarded wt darkness 4 coming out en-mass 2 vote 4u. Mr. Presido 4 d sake of d poor Nigerians b your own man, mk decisions dt will bettr lives of d ppl nd nt a few persons plz sir. Long live Nigeria Long live d ppl.

  10. Atleast we now know that the PDP represent darkness. In next general election, it,s either we vote the party out of power or we remain in darkness.

  11. This is a clear indication that GEJ lacks administrative competence and forthsightedness. He should do whatever that pleases him, knowing fully well that 2015 awaits him. Thank God nigerians are wiser now.

  12. Pls b4 u call me anything u want hear me first,the govt canseld the deal wit a reason, pls gv the govt chance b4 u rain abuses on d person of mr president n hs personality. We inadvertently bring curses on ourselves on daily bases without knowin. After JEG’s tanure another person wil man the saddle, the ofice wunt end wit gudluck. Obj said revolution wil take place in nigeria soon if notin waz done about unemployment as if he waznt president 4 8yrs. My problem wit our leaders is dat they seam to see clear hence they r out of govt.

  13. GEJ, Prof Nnaji was sacked or resigned, till date no reason is given, now the contract with canadian company is cancelled, Nigerians are waiting to know the reason and who’s company will take the job

  14. Ethelbert Opara on

    Political interference or not, Mr President still has a golden opportunity to succeed where his predecessors failed – adequate and steady power supply in Nigeria. God will keep us alife to see how it goes. Amen.

  15. Remember when Charles Bronson called it quit and left Nigeria with his Billions?, its attitudes like scares away genuine investor and people with the tech-know how. They are not allowed to either offer or accept bribes or kick back by their home govt. So who do we have in nigeria, chinese, Indians, Iranians who understands the language of bribery and corruption, at the end, they provide nothing or sub standards for the billions they collected in contract money. They argue, well after paying so so and so kick backs, I have nothing left to execute the contract. Canadian company is not going to give you a dime in bribery so they cancel the contract.
    What other reason there could be, that could not come out from the govt. 24hrs after firing the company.

  16. @Solace, you have said it all and no two ways about it, let us all non partisan politicians agree and vote out PDP in 2015 enough of their clueless leadership in Nigeria since 1999.

  17. One thing you should no is Mr President is never an honest & transparent person, mind me that he may never achiev anything in power sector, he wil also use it for his campaign 2015. Look at cangaroo politics in Rebadu report on subsidy, corrupion here & there, phd, master degree & 1st degree holders applying for “TRUCK DRIVER” what a shame to the (GIANT OF AFRICA) trillions of £, $, €, borrowd everywhere in the world stil it was not used judiciously rather it went back to their private account.when the poor cannot find it easy to put food in their belly the result will be “REVOLUTION” where the rich can no longer have a good sleep. I advice that Fg should ensue to take care of it citizens as their primary assigenment.

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