The Federal Government has bowed to pressure and began a review of the N3.9 billion management contract given to Canadian company Manitoba over the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) took charge of TCN early last year in a $24.7 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 took over its functions of a transmission services provider, system operator and market operator.
The contract has been mired in controversy, leading to the resignation in protest last week by erstwhile TCN board chairman Hamman Tukur, who said the company was taking unilateral decisions to the detriment of the Nigerian government and the electricity sector.
Tukur alleged that “Manitoba was given all sorts of power to the extent that certain decisions taken by Manitoba cannot be challenged by anybody.”
Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja at the swearing in of Tukur’s successor, Minister of Power Chinedu Nebo said government has now began a review of the contract so as to whittle down Manitoba’s “over-hyped” powers.
“The board has so far reviewed the Schedule of Delegated Authority earlier issued to MHI, the management contractors for the utility company. It is therefore expected that the concern of the Nigerian public regarding the over-hyped powers of MHI would now be an issue of the past,” Nebo said.
“I am also aware that the board has also considered and made recommendations on some amendments to the management contract with a view to making MHI more responsive to the changing needs of TCN,” he said.
Nebo said Tukur resigned “on the grounds of age,” leading to appointment of Alhaji Ibrahim Dahiru Waziri as new TCN chairman.
Tukur said by allowing Manitoba appoint the company’s chief executive officer, President Jonathan had ceded his constitutional responsibility to the Canadian company.
He said he made representations to the TCN board and to Jonathan on the situation but that they did nothing to check Manitoba.