News / Africa

Canadian Company Assumes Control of Nigerian Electrical Grid

An official of Nigeria Power works on power lines in Lagos, Nigeria, July 22, 2011. An official of Nigeria Power works on power lines in Lagos, Nigeria, July 22, 2011.
x
An official of Nigeria Power works on power lines in Lagos, Nigeria, July 22, 2011.
An official of Nigeria Power works on power lines in Lagos, Nigeria, July 22, 2011.
Heather Murdock
ABUJA — A Canadian power company is set to take over operations of Nigeria’s government-owned power transmission company next week. Energy officials say this is a major step towards privatizing the energy industry - a move they hope will end the power shortages that cripple the Nigerian economy. 

Nigerian officials say a lot of the country’s power is lost in transportation. Dilapidated and mismanaged electrical grids waste about a forth of Nigeria’s electricity, which is roughly six times less than what the country needs to grow industry and power homes.

Right now, most people here do not have access to electricity. Those who do have it often only get a few hours of power a day. Anyone who can afford a generator has one.

The director general of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Abubakar Sani Sambo, says beyond hurting industry and public health, electricity in Nigeria is a security issue. He says some young people turn to violence because they are unemployed and Nigeria needs more electricity to create more jobs.

“You also have darkness that in the night perpetrates evil," Sambo stated. "So security problems are being heightened by lack of power.”

Sambo says privatizing the power industry in Nigeria is essential to getting more electricity into businesses and homes.

On July 30, Canada’s Manitoba Hydro International takes control of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, a state-owned entity. It is a move industry regulators call a “critical milestone in the road map to power sector reform.”

Johnson Isaac Ondoma, an environmental consultant for both private and public builders in Abuja, says corruption and lack of rule of law in Nigeria has a way of destroying well-intended government programs.

However, he says that does not necessarily mean that this plan will fail. In the past decade, the privatization of the telecom industry has made mobile phones affordable enough for most Nigerians.

“If, in the long run, there is total privatization and the company runs independently we will get it right. We’ve seen it in the telecommunications industry, when telecommunication was deregulated,” said Ondoma.

The Energy Commission's Sambo, says privatization is a difficult process because it meets resistance from public energy employees - 40 percent of whom could lose their jobs in the coming years, as more private companies take control of the power business.

Regulators say Manitoba has three years to make the company “technically and financially efficient” and the Canadian company is required to provide training for staff already in place.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Douglas Duncan from: UK
July 27, 2012 1:20 PM
Nigeria Energy Awards seeks to address and recogonise companies in the fore front of Energy Efficeny in Nigeria.

www.nigeriaenergyawards.org


by: Linda Pedulla from: Canada
July 26, 2012 6:03 AM
L & M Pedulla Electric is a family owned and operated company, the owners and employees of the company truly believe in taken pride in there work, and believe that family brings added value to the customers


by: PEDUS from: AUSTRALIA
July 25, 2012 4:13 PM
This is a step in the right direction because national security and economic growth is inextricably linked to availability of the needed infrastructure. There is no doubt that efficient and sustainable power generation and distribution to all households and businesses in Nigeria would be a welcome relief to households and capable of spurring economic growth through enhanced investor confidence.


by: Anonymous
July 25, 2012 1:26 PM
The picture here looks prety much like the one from Hanoi,Vietnam.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid