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FG signs N55bn renewable energy agreement with GE

Prof Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power

The Federal Government on Friday signed a $350m (N55bn) investment agreement on renewable energy in the power sector with General Electric. According to the government, the investment would bring respite to electricity consumers who were not connected to the national power grid.

The Federal Ministry of Power in a statement said GE was investing $350m into the sector to ensure the provision of 100 per cent renewable energy to communities that were far from the grid. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, after the signing ceremony with GE Global Chairman, Jeffrey Immelt, at the Bank of Industry office in Abuja, called on interested investors in the sector to take advantage of the facility to develop smaller power plants.

Nebo said interested power investors could use smaller turbines in remote grids to ensure the provision of electricity to residents who do not get power from the national grid. He lauded the gesture and stressed that the lack of access to funds had hitherto prevented distribution companies from expanding their scope. The minister said the Federal Government was determined to power the rural populace through its Operation Light-up Nigeria Project, which it inaugurated in selected remote communities in Abuja recently.

In his remarks, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, described power as a catalyst to the nation’s economic development. He said epileptic power supply had impeded the level of development of the industrial sector. Aganga said GE, a globally recognised conglomerate, also extended its investments to health care, locomotives, oil and gas, among others. Responding, Immelt applauded the success of the recent power privatisation exercise, describing it as a transparent process that had improved the nation’s image globally.

He commended the ministry for creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to invest in the sector. Also speaking, the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC, Sola David-Borha, said power was a key sector in the Nigerian economy. He stated that the bank was prepared to partner with GE to ensure that the much needed financing was provided for the supply of power to the nation.

Source: The Punch – http://www.punchng.com/news/fg-signs-n55bn-renewable-energy-agreement-with-ge-2/