Following controversies trailing the re-instatement of the contract awarded to Canadian firm Manitoba Hydro International, MHI, which was earlier cancelled by the federal government, the Canadian high commissioner, Chris Cooter, has said that the process which led to the selection of the company was fair, open and transparent.
In an official reaction from the High Commission in Abuja to the story published by this paper on Tuesday, it stated that President Jonathan had consistently emphasised that getting electricity to Nigerians was very vital to the prosperity of the country and which is why the Manitoba contract matters and hence its re-affirmation by the president.
“Manitoba Hydro, a company with extensive international experience, was selected for a three-year contract through a very transparent process to transform TCN into a financially sustainable and self-sufficient company in the power sector,” the envoy said.
“That includes stabilising the grid, reducing electricity losses during transmission, improving grid security and performance, providing management efficiencies, and providing transfer of skills and expertise to Nigeria. These are key steps needed for all the other elements of the road-map, including generation, and to getting more electricity to Nigerians.”
Cooter said that, for Canada, more electricity for Nigeria means a more prosperous Nigeria.
He said the Canadian government was working hard with the Nigerian government and the private sector to attract Canadian investment under the new Bi-National Commission.
“To that end, in January our trade minister will come to Nigeria with a delegation of Canadian business investors in many fields, together with educational institutions,” he added.
Cooter also noted that this would be the first for both countries, while expressing confidence that it will lead to a whole new level in the already existing relationship between Nigeria and Canada.
“The message I am conveying back to Canada is that Nigeria is open for business, and that the Manitoba Hydro contract proves it,” he added.