Nigeria Thursday recorded a milestone in its investment drive when the Federal Government and the General Electric (GE) company of the US sealed a US$ 1 billion deal to boost the power sector in the next five years.
Local media reports said that the Trade and Investment Minister, Olusegun Aganga, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of the Nigerian Government while the Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GE, Mr. Jeff Immelt, led other top executives to endorse on behalf of the company.
Aganga explained that GE’s proposed investment in Nigeria was based on the country’s positive macro-economic indicators.
The new deal also takes care of additional investment in the service workshops in Port Harcourt and Onne in the South South Rivers State.
The deal, which comprises US$ 250 million capital expenditure and over US$ 800 million incremental spending on local sourcing of goods and services, is expected to create 2,300 jobs and make Nigeria the regional hub for GE’s manufacturing, service and innovation in Africa.
It will also support the company’s power generation, oil and gas production and exploration activities.
Under the agreement, the growing profile of the South South Cross River State as a preferred investment destination was underlined with a plan to establish a manufacturing, assembly and training facilities in Calabar, the State capital.
GE has also taken concrete steps to actualise its recent promise to work with Nigerian companies to build power plants to generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity in the country.
Also Thursday, the firm sealed a landmark agreement with Geometric Power Limited for the construction of a 450mw power plant in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State for $500 million.
The joint development agreement was sealed by top management of both firms in Abuja led by Immelt, and promoter of Geometric Power Limited and former Power Minister, Prof. Bart Nnaji.
Immelt said the investment was a demonstration of the company’s confidence in the Nigerian economy.
The company says it intends to provide one-year to four-year training programmes locally and internationally for repair engineers, welders, fabricators, machinists and special processing.”
The President and CEO of the company in the country, Lazarus Angbazo, assured that Nigerians would make up 90 per cent of the staff and management of the manufacturing facility.