18 March 2013 – Canadian company, Manitoba Hydro International, has been issued with the schedule of delegated authority that enables it to take over the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on behalf of Nigeria’s federal government, the Guardian of Nigeria reports.

TCN emerged from the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) as a product of the merger of the transmission and operations sectors on April 1, 2004. Being one of the 18 unbundled business units under the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the company was issued a transmission licence on July 1, 2006. The operations of TCN include the key three functions of Market Operator (MO), System Operator (SO) and Transmission Service Provider (TSP).

The schedule of delegated authority is the instrument that gives Manitoba full authority for running TCN. With the signing of the contract in July 2012, August 2012 was to be a transition period while the schedule of delegated authority was to have been issued in September heralding full take-over.

With the authority now at last having been vested in Manitoba the company says that throughout the term of the contract, one key objective will be to reorganise TCN such that the transmission service provider becomes a separate entity from the market operator and system operator and thereby allowing it to become a privatised commercial company.

But Manitoba’s travails and its rocky road to implementing its contract in Nigeria have become a metaphor for the risks of doing business in Nigeria. The US$23.7 million three-year management contract was signed with the company in July 2012. But scheming within government circles to continue to control the office of the market operator known as the power house or the financial room of TCN, led to several attempts to manipulate the contract.

The Guardian learnt that the issuance of the schedule of delegated authority was largely motivated by the new minister of power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who has never hidden his preference for doing the right thing since he was sworn in.