ABUJA Feb 3 Nigeria has picked an African
Development Bank power expert to run its electricity
transmission company, in an effort to rejuvenate the country's
creaking power infrastructure, the power ministry said on
President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to increase power
capacity exponentially during his four-year term and meet the
demands of Nigeria's more than 180 million people entirely
within a decade.
Usman Gur Mohammed will be on secondment to the Transmission
Company of Nigeria (TCN) for 12 months from the African
Development Bank, where he was the Principal Power Utility
Transformation Specialist for Nigeria, the ministry of power,
works and housing said in a statement.
In that period he aims to set the firm "on a path of greater
operational efficiency and effectiveness, and enhanced
responsiveness to the needs of the generation companies and
distribution companies, who are TCN's customers," it added.
Previous efforts to overhaul Nigeria's electricity
infrastructure have largely failed, and frequent power cuts are
mainly counteracted with costly private generators.
TCN was managed by Manitoba Hydro of Canada from 2012-2016
under a $24 million contract which was part of a plan to
overhaul Nigeria's infrastructure using private companies.
Despite that, Nigeria's daily power generation in the fourth
quarter of 2016 did not break 3,900 megawatts, according to the
National Bureau of Statistics, far off the 20,000 MW within four
years Buhari's party pledged in its 2015 election manifesto.
Although Nigeria holds the world's ninth largest gas
reserves, it reliably produces less than a tenth of the power
that South Africa provides for a population which is less than a
third of the size.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by