Abuja, Nigeria — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 28 October 2011 – Canada has become the next country hoping to buy into the Nigerian electricity market, which is still caught up in reforms sweeping through the country’s power sector.
Canadian high commissioner to Nigeria Chris Cooter said here that there was global awareness that something massive was unfolding in the power industry in Nigeria.
Cooter and his deputy Jean Gauthier met power minister Bart Nnaji earlier this week to seek specific areas where Canada could take part in Nigeria’s power plan, according to a release from the power ministry.
Nnaji has stressed the sensitive nature of the industry, saying the federal government would encourage state governments but discourage mutation of state-run power stations that could possibly be mismanaged and draw back gains on power supply.
“We are guarding against mistakes of the past while addressing other institutional lapses through the strengthening of National Power Training Institute and ensuring that World Bank commitment to the issue of bulk trading is not lost,” said the minister.
Canada is interested in the bulk trade and wants to focus also on hydropower, where it is thought to have high comparative advantage.
Nnaji said Nigeria was ready to take on Canadian partners for two hydroelectricity projects, Mambilla and Gurara, which were expected to produce combined power of at least 3,300MW.
The Mambilla project alone is expected to cost over US$1 billion.
Cooter announced that Canadian companies were scheduled to visit Nigeria and join other multinationals bidding for different aspects of the power industry.
“The air indicates that something is enveloping Nigeria’s capacity to lead the world,” he told the minister when they met in Abuja “We are here to compliment these efforts to resolve your electricity challenges and galvanise your industrial leadership of Africa."