Manitoba Hydro International Limited, will today take over management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)? one of the 18 unbundled companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) as part of the ongoing implementation of the Power Sector Reform.
The TCN manages the nation’s key power transmission backbone, otherwise called the National Grid and of the 18 unbundled companies only the TCN will not be privatised, rather, its management has been contracted to the Canadian company, Manitoba after emerging winner of a competitive bid organised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
The Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, said at the weekend that workers of the TCN should not expect severance pay because the company was not being privatised, but that they would understudy the Canadians whose first phase of contract is three years.
This is coming as PHCN workers at the weekend protested the takeover of TCN by Manitoba accusing government of breaching their agreement having not settled their severances, pension and gratuity issues.
But the minister had explained that government is negotiating with representatives of the labour unions only in respect of severance and other benefits for staff of 17 unbundled PHCN generation and distribution companies that are being privatised, which does not include the TCN.
“I cannot understand why the workers embarked on protests when TCN remains a government holding company which has never been put up and shall not be put up for privatisation,” Nnaji said.
He said rather than privatise the TCN, government has approved the employment of an additional 1,000 engineers and technicians to plug the shortfall in manpower needed to run the power transmission backbone according, a statement by the minister’s Special Assitstant (Media), Ogbuagu Anikwe said yesterday.