Nigeria and the United States of America on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a 1,500 megawatts power plant as well as for the construction of other infrastructure to boost Nigeria’s power sector.
The MoU, which was as a result of the Power Africa initiative which was inaugurated last year by the US President, Barack Obama, was signed at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power in Abuja.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, who signed on behalf of the United States government, said with the MoU, both countries had agreed to work together to increase access to and availability of electricity in Nigeria.
He said, “In Nigeria, Power Africa supports the strengthening of the energy sector through credit enhancement, grants, technical assistance, and investment promotions efforts.
“Power Africa is working to mobilise affordable and long-term financing for capital and operational expenditure requirements to generation and distribution companies to accelerate electricity market development.”
The Senior Vice President for Africa, Global Edison Corporation, Dr. Peter Nwangwu, a member of the delegation to the ministry, stated that the 1,500MW power plant and a solar panel company were part of the signed MoUs.
He said, “Two MoUs were signed today for Global Edison. For the first MoU, we are building a 1,500MW gas fuelled power station and for the second MoU, we are building a 70MW solar panel manufacturing company in Nigeria, which will be the largest in West Africa.
“The significance of this is that we will be able to now power our rural areas and villages with reliable solar panels that will last for 30 to 50 years. Imported panels have given solar business a bad name but when properly designed and installed, they can be almost maintenance free for 30 to 50 years. And that is what we intend to achieve here.
On whether the MoU would focus on just gas and solar power, Entwistle said, “We are not particularly committed to any one kind of energy. What we are committed to is increasing the overall vibrancy of the power sector. So we are looking at solar, gas and others.”
Nebo, in his address, assured the team of the Federal Government’s support to ensure that the initiative succeeds in Nigeria.