The Federal Government and the United States of America have entered into partnership to build a 1,500-megawatts power plant as part of effort to boost the nation’s power sector.
According to the Punch, the two countries on Thursday signed two Memoranda of Understanding at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power in Abuja, to build a 1,500-megawatts power plant and other power infrastructure.
It was gathered that the agreements was propelled by the Power Africa Initiative inaugurated last year by the US President, Barack Obama.
James Entwistle, US Ambassador to Nigeria, who signed the documents on behalf of his country, stated that following the agreements, both countries had agreed to work together to increase access to and availability of electricity in country.
“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 for the generation and distribution companies to accelerate the electricity market development,” Entwistle said.
Speaking also at the signing, Dr. Peter Nwangwu, Senior Vice-President for Africa, Global Edison Corporation, expressed optimism that the agreement will bring to realty a 1,500MW power plant and Solar Panel Company.
“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,” Nwangwu said.
When newsmen asked Entwistle, if the agreement covers only the gas and solar power, he 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.”
However, stable power supply, which has been one of the major problem that the country has been facing with for a long time now, was supposed to take a new form following the Federal Government’s promise that it will generate more than five billion dollars from the sale of ten National Integrated Power Plants (NIPP).