Nigeria’s House of Representatives is not impressed by the performance of Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Limited, the Canadian firm contracted to manage the Transmission Company of Nigeria, saying it had failed to add any value to the power sector in its five years of operation.
In fact, the Reps had directed the management of TCN not to honour any form of financial request from Manitoba henceforth.
Specifically, the Dan Asuquo-led House Committee on Power during an oversight visit to TCN on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the inability of TCN to install an electricity tower testing facility in the country.
According to the lawmakers, Nigeria ought to have taken the initiative of setting up a testing facility since there was none in sub Sahara Africa.
Members of the Committee also expressed shock for the inability of the company to execute most of its projects despite being in possession of 50 percent of its 2016 appropriation.
The House had in July mandated the Power Committee to investigate the contract entered between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Manitoba, owing largely to allegations of Manitoba’s inability to meet its key performance indicators (KPI) under the management contract and has clearly failed to justify the humongous sums of money it has drawn in expatriate emoluments.
Asuquo said: “No penny should be paid to Manitoba, or else you’ll go to jail. Manitoba has been here for five years, and there’s nothing to show for it.
“We can see that Manitoba has not added value to our system, when they were here, our capacity was nowhere near where we are now but since they left, Nigerian engineers that understudied them have been in charge and are responsible for raising our capacity to 5,500mw.
“In view of this, they should not be paid if they come up with any request”.
On electricity tower testing facility, the Committee regretted that it’s nonexistence in the country was another way of undermining the technological growth of the country.
“It is beyond belief that we don’t have this facility since there was none in sub Sahara Africa.
“We ought to have taken advantage of that which would have saved us foreign exchange and stop capital flight since samples of the towers have to be taken abroad for testing.
“This is arms twisting us to go abroad considering the fact that we have the resources that can turn this into a huge revenue generating facility on the continent of Africa. Even allied sector like the steel rolling mills in this country stand to benefit.”
TCN was also accused of encouraging capital flight by not encouraging local contractors in its business activities.
In addition, the Committee wondered why the company could not execute most of its approved 44 projects after having 50 percent of its N30 billion 2016 budget released to it.
“TCN must from now on have a projects’ implementation strategy. Billions of naira have been released, but there is no results. We want to see results.
“Funds have been released from Eurobond and the rest, so you have no reason not to achieve results.”
However, in his response, Tom Owan, the Managing Director (MD), Transmission Services Provider (TSP), who stood in for TCN MD, Atiku said factors beyond the control of the company were responsible for its inability to execute some of the projects.
He cited social issues at project locations, contracts’ variations and the challenge of clearing equipments from ports as some of the challenges responsible.
He however assured that most of the issue are nearly resolved as activities would soon continue on the said projects.
While assuring that local contractors would henceforth be patronised, Owan agreed that the time is ripe for the country to have its own Electricity transmission tower testing facility that will boost power sector in the country.
Owan also disclosed that TCN’s target is to improve power generation to 6,000 megawatts by the end of the fiscal year 2016.