Crisis rocks N3.85bn Manitoba power deal

Manitoba_Hydro14 August 2013, Abuja – Power tussle among officials has compounded the crisis rocking the N3.85 billion management contract given to Canadian company Manitoba to run the electricity Transmission Company of Nigeria, Daily Trust has learnt.

The Federal Government handed over TCN to Manitoba Hydro International in a $24 million contract that is expected to run for three years, aimed at improving the electricity transmission system.

TCN is one of the successor companies of the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, and Manitoba is to take over its functions of a transmission services provider, system operator and market operator.

Due to the controversy that heralded the process, the contract could not take off until March when the Schedule of Delegated Authority, SODA, a document which states the general and specific terms and conditions of the contract, was released to Manitoba.

But even after that, the crisis persisted as some of the contract conditions were ignored by both the Ministry of Power and Manitoba, sources told Daily Trust.

In one of such infractions, Manitoba assumed sole control of TCN bank accounts and day-to-day running of the company but this has not translated into better electricity transmission so far. The country experienced nine system collapses in the last six months, further worsening electricity supply.

Daily Trust learnt that part of the crisis bedevilling the contract is that the TCN board chairman Hamman Tukur and Power Minister Chinedu Nebo have not been operating on the same page. Tukur prefers to report directly to President Jonathan while the minister insists on exercising control over the board.

There is also confusion as to the composition of the board. Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim on December 20, 2012 named one set of nine board members while Nebo on March 12, 2013 inaugurated a separate set of seven people into the board.

Both boards are chaired by Tukur, but the Nebo-appointed set included Manitoba CEO and excluded “essential” members such as the representatives of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, MAN, power generating companies and distributing companies.

– Daily Trust

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