Canadian firm gets three year contract ..

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The Federal Government on Monday in Abuja signed a 23 million dollars (N3.68 billion) three-year contract with Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) of Canada, for the management of the transmission company of Nigeria.??

Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), and Mr Lonrne Halpenny, Managing Director of MHI, signed on behalf of the Federal government and the company respectively.??The TCN, which is one of the successor companies created from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), combines the functions of transmission services provider and system operators with that of market operator.

Onagoruwa described the new management contract as a milestone in improving the electricity sector in the country.??She said the Canadian firm, to which the Federal government had made an advance payment of $2.5 million (N400 million) for the contract, would resume work on Monday, July 30 at the PHCN headquarters in Maitama, Abuja.  ??According to the BPE boss, the Canadian firm will have eight key personnel and associated staff support.

Onagoruwa listed stabilisation and security of the grid, reduction of electricity losses during transmission and staff reorientation as some of the key objectives of the contract.

“The management contract would also provide efficient management of government investments and ensure adequate and equitable generation dispatch, according to fair merit order and sound regulatory principles.??“It will also ensure fair market settlements between electricity traders and provide for skills and expertise transfer to the Nigerian counterparts who will serve as deputy and in other positions to the management staff of the Management contractor,’’ she said.??Onagoruwa added that, to ensure a seamless transition, a workshop and briefing session between the new managers and the staff would hold on Thursday, July 26.

“The target of the workshop is to sensitise members of staff of TCN, allay their fears and secure their commitment,’’ she explained.

The Director-General’s assurance came on the heels of protests by labour unions against the takeover of the TCN by new managers under the Federal Government privatisation policy.??The workers insisted that government must resolve all outstanding labour issues before the final sale of the PHCN to private investors.??In his remarks, Managing Director of MHI, Mr Lonre Halpenny, commended the Nigeria government for a “successful and transparent transaction.’’??`

`MHI is aware of the importance of this contract with respect to the privatisation and other initiatives going on in generation, transmission and distribution.??“We understand that transmission is a very important aspect and we are aware of the challenge; it is a big challenge and we want to assure everybody that we accept the challenge.’’??Halpenny pledged the commitment of the company to “do everything it can to bring TCN into the future as a reliable, international standard operating system in Nigeria’’.??Also speaking, the Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Jean Goutheir, expressed delight that the management contract would deepen relations between Nigeria and Canada.??Goutheir said more Canadian firms had shown interest in investing in Nigeria following the recently established Nigeria-Canada Bi-National Commission.

“Reform in the power sector in Canada had led our economy to grow and grow; without power we would not have developed the way we did.’’??The envoy said both countries shared many things in common such as mining and agriculture, in addition to having the same challenge of developing the education sector.


In : Energy

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