Canada’s state-owned Manitoba Hydro Electricity contract for $24 million has been terminated by the federal government.

The presidency’s spokesman on media, Dr Reuben Abati on Wednesday, confirmed to Channels TV that President Goodluck Jonathan has annulled the deal because “due process was not followed in the award of the contract…..and there were issues about the violation of due process” he said.

He however gave the assurance that “this does not in any way affect the ongoing privatization of the power sector.”

Manitoba was one of the transmission companies hired by the former Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji, to manage the nation’s power transmission network and was supposed to start work at the beginning of September but transmission is still been controlled by the government.

The Ministry of Power has not commented on the matter.

Interview with Dr Reuben Abati on Manitoba

Q: What happens to the recent management contract awarded to the Canadian power firm, Manitoba

Ans: I can confirm to you that it has been cancelled.

Q: You mean the contract has been terminated?

Ans: Yes the contact has been terminated.

Q: Any reason for that?

Ans: For the simple reason that the management contract was misprochured.

Q: What do you mean by “misprochured”?

Ans: By being misprochured, I mean it failed due process review. In other words, there were issues about the violation of due process…..What has been observed when the President ordered a review of the award of contract for the engagement of the management contractor was that there were violations of due process. So it is on the basis of that that this management contract has been set aside….If the approval threshold is above the power of the originating agency, it(contract) must go to the Federal Executive Council for approval. In this particular case, the Manitoba contract was awarded for 23.6 million US dollar which is above the threshold for Bureau of Public Enterprises(BPE). So BPE cannot award the contract within that threshold. It must go to FEC and it must also be referred to Bureau for Public Procurement(BPP) for certificate of no objection. There are two examples of due processs that were breached…. The new directive is that there should be a re- procurement exercise. And to show everybody that government is committed to power reform programme, this re-procurement exercise should even include Manitoba and they should apply to the BPP for certificate of no objection when the decision is taken. And the entire procurement process should be concluded within 30 days. What government is after is the principle of transparency and we will not compromise it because we are in a hurry. No. President Jonathan is committed to getting it right.