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Canada electricity deal cancelled

15 November 2012, 11:38

Abuja - A $23.6m contract with a Canadian firm to overhaul power transmission in Nigeria has been cancelled as its award violated due process, officials say.

Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) last July signed the management deal that would have seen it reorganise the Transmission Company of Nigeria, with the aim of eventually privatising part of it.

But presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said that the deal has been scrapped because it "failed due process review".

"What has been observed when the president ordered a review of the award of contract for the engagement of the management contractor was that there were violations of due process," he said.

The contract, awarded by state-run privatisation agency, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), did not pass through the federal cabinet for approval as was required and the huge amount involved was above the privatisation agency's approval threshold, Abati said.

"So it is on the basis of that that this management contract has been set aside," he said.

Nigeria currently supplies below 4 000 megawatts of electricity.

President Goodluck Jonathan has laid out plans to privatise electricity production and distribution in the nation of some 160 million people. The country's electricity grid would remain state-owned, but privately managed.

Electricity workers fearing layoffs have protested over the planned overhaul.



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