17 December 2012

Nigeria: FG Begins Immediate Wind Down of PHCN

Following the peaceful agreement reached last week with workers in the electricity industry, the federal government has said an immediate wind down process of the operations of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has commenced.

This was disclosed at the weekend by the Minister of State for Power, Zainab Kuchi, at a briefing to mark the end of the fifth Power Summit in Lagos, where she stressed that winding down the PHCN was a consensus by all stakeholders.

The minister explained that a committee to fast-track the wind down process would be inaugurated this week, adding that the committee to work with another committee that was set up for the same purpose a year ago which could not succeed in its assignment because of labour issues.

Kuchi said the new committee would hasten the winding down process and ensure that it was completed as soon as possible.

"The commitee will be a fast- track committee that would work to ensure that this is completed quickly," the minister stated.

Kuchi also disclosed that the contract fee for the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) would be paid to a Canadian firm, Manitoba Hydro International this week following the activation of their contract term to enable the firm commence full operations in Nigeria.

The Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 made provisions for the wind down of PHCN and the transfer of its assets and workers to 18 successor companies. Consequently, labour union leaders and the federal government reached an agreement last Tuesday for the payment of severance to the sector's workers before their transfer to a private sector- driven electricity industry.

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