- Ventures Africa
The American firm, General Electric, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Northern States Governors’ Forum for the construction of five solar plants in some parts of Northern Nigeria.
The plant is expected to generate 500 megawatts of electricity.
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, the Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum announced that General Electric, which has 120 years experience in power generation, is expected to build five solar power plants to be located in Borno, Kebbi, Nassarawa, Niger and Taraba States.
According to him, each power plant will generate 100 megawatts of electricity totalling 500 megawatts across the 5 states.
Shettima, signed the MoU for the Northern States while Armand Pineda, GE’s Senior Executive for Western Europe and Africa, and Lazarus Angbazo, the President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Nigeria signed on behalf of their company in a brief ceremony which was held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
The “500-megawatt plant” will prompt agricultural food processing activities. For instance, Agric Corridors, an innovative strategy that holds the key to Nigeria’s search for sustainable food security faced, some setbacks.
Agric Corridors’ enterprise performance was low due to the following challenges (1) Epileptic power supply (2) Inadequate supply of water and lack of processing and storage facilities.
GE’s intervention can foster power generation for food processing and ensure constant water supply for agricultural services.
Shettima said: “with power, we can create jobs, stimulate our economies and make life better for our people; children in schools can be taught with modern technology for educating pupils and hospital can have access to an uninterrupted supply of electricity to promote the health sector.”
He also said that the 19 Northern Governors are fully involved in the program. He stressed that they want to go beyond lamentation to providing solutions and power to industrial development to show the governors’ commitment.
The late Premier of the Region, Ahmadu Bello, whose vision was for the Northen States to be a global player in agricultural export is not forgotten.
To this end, Mr.Tanimu Kurfi was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Program.
Mr Kurfi, a former Chief Economic Adviser to the late President Umaru Yar Adua, has varied experience with leading development companies and financial institutions across the world. He would be the liaison officer between GE and the Northern States.
Mr Pineda and Dr Angbazo both promised that they would work round the clock to realise the project for the welfare of the citizens of the five States.