For Improved Electricity in Nigeria: Should A Canadian Firm Run The Power Transmission Company?

The Nigerian power sector is faced with transmission problems, no doubt. Residents are grappling with the inadequate transmission capacity which is hurting the power sector deeply and is making many electricity-dependent activities in the country stagnant.

Achieving stable power supply is still a far-fetched dream in the country as the necessary management and infrastructure to handle power supply and its transmission is unavailable.

A Punch News report today states that a Canadian firm, Manitoba Hydro International, has demanded the sum of $23.72m (about N3.72bn) from the Federal Government to run the Transmission Company of Nigeria for three years.

Manitoba, whose financial bid for the management of TCN, one of the successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, was opened on Tuesday, emerged the sole bidder since the second firm, Power Grid of India failed to meet the technical requirement.

The National Council on Privatisation chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, had on March 26, 2012, approved that Manitoba be invited for simultaneous opening of its financial proposal and commencement of contract negotiations as the management contractor for TCN.

Speaking at the financial bid opening, the Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, asked the Canadian firm to review the management fee downwards.

Consequently, a six-man team was constituted to handle the negotiation with the prospective management contractors.

Nnaji said, “They are not going to get rid of TCN workers, but they will bring in a few people to work with the TCN people, and more importantly, they will bring their expertise.

“We anticipate that in the next one month, they will start. They will bring in speed, be able to anticipate issues and problems and address them proactively. This is what we don’t have in the public service.”

Bringing in a foreign company to handle power transmission issues has been received with mixed reactions. While some people such as the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, believe that the contract with the Canadian firm will “help reduce electricity losses during transmission; provide for the achievement of certain predetermined targets that will improve grid security and general performance; and have reward and penalty clauses as incentives for success,” others believe that it would lead to loss of jobs for Nigerians.

It is obvious that Nigerians have handled power transmission for many years and have failed woefully at it. For various reasons ranging from lack of adequate infrastructure to fraud to political and bureaucratic bottlenecks, power supply has never been stable or properly transmitted.

However, the situation has risen severally that when foreign firms are contracted to handle jobs previously undertaken by Nigerians, most of the citizens end up losing their jobs. That is the fear of most Nigerians. However, if this contract is awarded to the Canadian firm, would power supply and transmission improve?

What is your take?

News Source: Punch News

46 Comments on For Improved Electricity in Nigeria: Should A Canadian Firm Run The Power Transmission Company?
  • cathy April 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    whatever mehn!!!!!!!!!!

  • kori April 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I think we should give the same support and money to a Nigerian firm and they’ll perform just as well as the Canadian firm. Alternatively, the foreign firm should be required to partner with a domestic firm in its bid. if not, the foreign firm may provide the services without providing training to Nigerian citizens. we’ll then always have to rely on them

    • The Amaha Online April 4, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      You my dear seem to be the only one with sense. Everybody else is like, let’s whatever, its a free-for-all. When will Nigerians start watching out for their own interests for Chukwu’s sake? If the Nigerian govt enforced JVs with Nigerian owned companies in these types of dealings thereby ensuring that at least 40% of the in-flow of capital, jobs, CSR initiatives and FCF stays within the country, then things will make more sense. But then again…we ARE talking about the Nigerian govt. How a population of so many educated people at home and abroad keep making these hooligans, brigands, dundee-uniteds, sycophants and bloody criminals our public servants is the greatest mystery.

      • Ready April 5, 2012 at 4:52 am

        I disagree with your assessment, and here’s why. The TCN is only 1 of 16 PHCN successor companies. In my opinion, if 1 company lets go of a few hundred (maybe thousand) workers, Nigeria as a whole is still better off because we get increased power supply which is the goal. In addition (and this isn’t some theoretical ish), a lot of new industries and opportunities will open up and absorb this few (at most) thousand people in fields that were previously improbable due to the power dearth issue. Many don’t see the forest ’cause they’re too busy looking at the trees. Big picture, people.

    • tina April 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      is it not the same nigerian firm that has been in charge what have they done.NOTHING!!!! their own is jst to eat nigerian money and wipe their mouth. so privatising electricity will be a good idea

  • theresa April 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    i live in manitoba so i guess i support this bid

  • eesha April 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Totally in support of this canadian thingy, at least they’ll do a great job of managing power than our own people.

  • Lucinda April 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I am glad that the Nigerian government is finally taking alternative steps to solving this power issue. Lets just hope all the money being spent pays off and that Nigerians will finally be able to enjoy stable electricity!

  • John genesis April 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    God bless naija.

  • OGO April 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm


  • chinny April 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    mtcheww rubbish, they will just thief the money and nigeria government will do nothing. They should create a domestic firm that would create new jobs and still give us full power, what are we sending our engineers to school for. I swear I used to think We nigerians were smart, but for some reason we chose stupid ones to run our government.

  • Sequoyah April 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Abegi they should give the thing to Martians if that is what will solve the problem of electricity in Nigeria. You cant imagine how embarassing it is for those of us who live outside the country, especially in the midst of fellow Africans.

  • the canadian April 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    if its gonna help the people… then sure…

  • timi April 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I think its commendable that the TCN be managed by the canadian firm.They will bring in efficiency and proactive approach to power transmission in Nigeria.The major problem with Nigerians is that we are a selfish bunch,many nigerian workers will sabotage transmission just to keep themselves relevant.If a plan is not working;try something else.Nigerians have been managing this sector since I was bad and they have not made any diffrence with all their engineering degrees.I say give it to the canadians and kick out any Nigerian who is in the way of progress.

  • lorenz April 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    The question is: shey light go dey? if e go dey, why not? forget sentiments.

  • Austine Da Whizchap April 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Its Gonna Be The Same Old Story…..No Be Naija We Dey! Even if I Believe In BellaNaija and Her Good Works, Mee Don Give Up Hope For Naija Tey Tey!

  • Baby Dee April 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I don’t bloody care who they give the contract to. All we are saying is LET THERE BE NON-STOP ELECTRICITY dammit!

  • fish hook April 4, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    All this is happening because everyone is relying on the crude oil. the year the crude oil evaporates the corruption and sleaze will end. And then there will be several Boko Harams.
    Better to fix Nigeria now. As a matter of fact, it is time Nigeria became more generous with its emigration and citizenship issues to allow foreign inflow of intellectual and financial capital fro abroad. Most nations now are multi-racial in their citizenships.

  • Shut up coolcat April 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I hate Jonathan with a passion. I cant believe i voted for that clueless illiterate.

  • mekhi phifa April 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Is dt supoz 2b a ques?
    Ds Old guard in NEPA or PHSN or wateva it is now will neva want Bart Nnaji man succeed. But their cup don full.

    Bottom Line is anything Foreigners lay their hands on in ds country turns out Gold let’s not be Patriotic ds time ds is reality eg. Telecommunication with MTN in particular.
    All I can do now is 2imagine dt in Power industry……*still wishing*

  • Agber terwase April 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    All Nigerians need is light no matter who generate and distribute it. Eh sorry i have not contacted the almighty power holging coy. Well i dont need to afterall i have not seen light for more than 2 months. God save Nigeria.

  • Victor Cole April 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    What we need in nigeria is qiality service that is devoid of political and beaurocratic bottleneck.It is obvious that the canadian firm will not tolerate the home grown inefficiency in the system but at the end of the day with improvement in power generation; transmission won’t be an issue. Remove all the people within & outside the PHCN that has been sabotaging the efforts of the FG and the masses will be better off. There will be more manufacturing coys, more jobs etc. Prof Barth, please deliver b4 2015

  • nessie April 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    t’s look @ tƕe brighter side of dis. Som ppl wil definitely lose dia jobs and some ppl will get new jobs. Lε̲̣̣̣̥
    t’s hope dis power problem is put to a stop.

  • clairebaby April 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I really don’t care if the company is foreign or indegenious, what matters is that this embarassing issue of epileptic power supply is solved. Its high time we solve this enduring problem. Hopefully, the company will create more jobs for nigerians.

  • adejok April 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Yes let them run since our own workers have failed us

  • Me2me April 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Make them come abeg. Better them than China. UK for make sense but we will pay thru our arses

  • Williams April 4, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    I dont understand the language that many nigerians will lose their job.which job what are there doing for long,most of them have spent over 30 year there and no change pls pay them off and give chance for change.

  • Olutunji April 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Mentally colonized Nigeria! When will you start taking decisions about your own progress? Are you cursed to be a perpetual slave? If the canadians’ll deliver us from the age-long power drought, then they’re welcome.

  • folorunsho ibrahim April 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    great nigeria.we want a better innovation. Plz let their be change .in dis country.will poor are really suffering let their be dis have seen and finally observed .our leader has used our money and resourse.4 their benefit.plz great nigeria let
    give d foreigner .chance.

  • Wahl April 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Abeg make them come. We go pay them. We no mind..

  • dimpled freak April 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    4real who gives a crap if its bloody aliens that take over,
    How Nepa aka PHC has effected my life:
    1.walking out of my house looking like a hobo cus i cant use the bloody iron
    2.not being able to heat up my food with modern technology like a bloody microwave.
    3.getting dressed in the dark cus theres no light
    4.not straightening my hair wen i want
    5.missing the ends of my movies/programmes because once taken light the dstv needs 2 reboot irself
    6.having a dead phone
    7.the HEAT!!! AC and trying 2 survive on 1 stupid fan that make the room hotter rotting in my fridge expensive electronics being destroyed with crappy light
    i beg bring on the marshans!!!

    • theDesignBender April 5, 2012 at 11:47 am

      lol!!!@ 4real who gives a crap if its bloody aliens that take over!

  • Suuisaidl April 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    If this is what will solve the power outages then I say “Let’s get it!” My only request is that majority of the company’s employees be Nigerian, so that after a few years we will be capable of handling the sector independently.

  • Partyrider April 4, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Even if the company Is from Jupiter as long as electricity will be distributed perfectly…enough of this madness already.

  • jen April 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    the Canadian firm should be allowed to manage the power transmission company. as far as they employ a fair amount of Nigerian workers and actually do what they promise, all will be well.

  • haba! April 5, 2012 at 12:29 am

    plz give us light! im done using candles and also i wana charge my Black Berry in peace!

  • NNENNE April 5, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Who cares where the new company is coming from.All we need is an efficient power supply system.The so called Nigerian Engineers have been managing our energy system since I was born without progress.Even if they have the technical know how, greed and corruption sabotaged all their efforts. I say give the contract to people who know how to micro manage.If Nigerians feel bad, the competition is on.The line has been drawn.Let them show us how.After all, the contract is only for three years.No more sentiments.Let the best shine.Quota system is part of the reason Nigeria is the way it is today.The mediocre gets the job,while the real brain leaves the country.

  • nich April 5, 2012 at 4:19 am

    once there is constant power supply, with or without the govt, the people will prosper……….nigeria is already a shame to this world, if nigerians handle it, it would be the same old story…

    the money the canadians are demanding, is it not the amout that your governors are stealing everyday,,,,,,

  • pynk April 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

    they should wipe out NNPC. If you look at the power grid, the problem is gas supply. It isnt anything else. This like many things in Nigeria, few pple are benefitting off the failure of the system.

  • Baby Dee April 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Seriously BN, this story barely stayed on your home page for 24 hours!! Not even a cascaded link on the front page? See, this is part of what we are talking about. Sheesh…….

  • tracks April 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    What is the big deal if Manitoba is a canadian company. What is important right now is electricity for all. Come to think of it, its the masses that suffers lack of suply. Politicians are the gamlers they really dont care about constant supply afterall they all own a standby gen. The govt should facilitate the contract signing. The country as been too long in darkness.

  • jerome April 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    MH is a very reputable firm. however, it is the not the firm or the cost of their service that should bother us as citizens at the moment, but the acknowledgement that there is a systemic failure. The other day some top TCN personnel were relieved of theier duty, and i ask, whose fault? just the same way one is wont to ask whose fault for all the avalanche of problems NIgeria is facing in al spheres? in footballl and other sports we call for a foreign coach and stuff. in medicine we want to look to foreign hospitals even when we know our doctors are sound as they come. maybe it is tim we speak of a foreign president! the thought of that would make many shrink, but why not?! and maybe we might as well speak of foreign citizens to replace “all” of us. The problem is within and one only we can solve if we must achieve sustainable development. The time to begin is now.

  • Sir Khalid May 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

    If we want to move forward in economic and electricity production senses, let these people take over…..its true ppl wl become jobless, bt wat good thng did they ever do in office?, sack and probe all of em, death sentenve for all corrupt thieves….it pains me more, im an electrical engr student nd we r taught quality stuff… No1 really cares who gives us the light

  • Checklist e-Mag May 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Even if Angel Gabriel were to run it, I won’t bother my head.

  • Feriday July 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    it’s had to believe, in 21st century a country like nigeria stil lieving in ackness. job here or there, i believe whenn there is stable Eletricity in nigeria there will be many investors in the country. Eletricity is the power to all business, that will even increas many ways of selves relience business. i think and i feel that the criminals in nigeria are the ones in the street but the Governmets themselves. i am very sure we need someone like Pres. Rolings of Ghana in Nigeria.

  • Samuel A. Manka June 1, 2013 at 6:56 am

    I must say that I believe that Manitoba Hydro International will solve the electrical distribution problems in Nigeria. I am a resident of Boston, Massachusetts, USA and have experience working for local utilities. I believe in finding someone who knows how to make things work properly. I do this almost every day, not only with utilities, but with properties I own as a landlord. If I were in charge of Nigeria, I would certainly sign for tho contract to improve the electrical system. I have worked for utilities on projects that eventually had to result in loss of jobs long term. Although I felt badly about that, I was assured that these employees were going to be retired with their pensions. They were simply not going to be replaced. In Nigeria, I don’t know how employment of the existing workers will work out, but everyone needs to look at this as something very good and progressional for the Nation of Nigeria.

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