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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs