The Northern States Governors’ Forum and the General Electric International, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday for the construction of five solar plants that aim at generating 500 megawatts of electricity in some parts of Northern Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum and Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima signed the agreement on behalf of the Governors while General Electric’s Senior Executive, Western Europe and Africa, Mr Armand Pineda and the President/Chief Executive Officer, General Electric, Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo signed on behalf of their company in a brief ceremony which was held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
The General Electric which has 120 years experience in power generation, is to build five solar power plants base on the MoU to be located in Borno, Kebbi, Nassarawa, Niger and Taraba States which each of the plants expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity totalling 500 megawatts across the 5 States.
The electricity is meant to stimulate economic activities and social services in the affected States through boosting agricultural food processing, small scale businesses in addition to supplying electricity to schools and hospitals.
The Governor Kashim Shettima said at the signing ceremony: “The 19 Governors of the north jointly created this approach. We want to go beyond lamentation to provide solutions and we all know that power is key to industrial development. With power, we can create jobs, stimulate our economies and make life better for our people.’’
He added: ‘’The General Electric has over 120 years experience in energy solutions and they have been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years, we cannot have a better partner than GE. We shall do our part as Governors, this I will assure you. We are deeply committed to this agreement.”
The Governor Shettima highlighted the challenges of poverty, unemployment, poor access to education, poor healthcare amongst other underdevelopment indications threatening the north while concluding that the power can provide a vehicle for the north to reposition itself for a better future.
Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi, the CEO, Northern Nigeria Global Economic Re-Integration Programme, said he took up the challenge put forward by the Northern Governors as a result of strong passion and commitment to the aggressive development of the north as so far shown by the Northern Governors since Governor Shettima became the forum’s chairman in 2015.
Reaffirming their commitment to the MOU, General Electric’s Senior Executive, Western Europe and Africa, Mr Armand Pineda and the President/Chief Executive Officer, General Electric, Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo both pledged that they would work round the clock to realise the project for the benefits of citizens of the 5 States.