Who: Canadian firm, Manitoba Hydro International, focused on transmitting electricity and natural gas to utilities companies and governments; New MDs of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Abubakar Tambuwal Atiku, T.O Uwah, M.M Gumel.
What & When The Nigerian government’s contract with Canadian firm Manitoba expired on July 31 and the contract wasn’t renewed. Manitoba has now handed over management of TCN back to the government.
Manitoba signed a three-year contract with the government in 2012 to manage TCN, which is the sole power transmission firm in the country and is owned by the government. The contract was then extended by one year in July 2015.
Why There’s been no official statement about why the government cut its deal with Manitoba, but in June the House of Representatives intended to probe the firm over reports of poor performance and claims that the firm’s expatriate management was taking outrageous sums of money for salaries by inflating the exchange rate. However, the probe has not yet materialised.
Outlook The government may run the firm for some time as a stopgap and then concession it to private investors later. One report says the State Grid Corporation of China has already shown interest. It should be noted that Nigeria may lose a US$300 million World Bank grant if TCN fully falls back to government management. A permanent government takeover could be regressive for the power sector because the sector was privatised in the first place in 2013 given how badly it was doing under the government’s monopoly, Power Holding Company of Nigeria.