Posted by News Express | 29 November 2016 | 2,355 times
The Northern States Governors Forum and the General Electric International, on Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of five solar plants, aimed at generating 500 megawatts of electricity in some parts of Northern Nigeria.
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, Dr Lazarus Angbazo, signed on behalf of their company, in a brief ceremony which took place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
Based on the MoU, General Electric which has 120 years of experience in power generation, is expected to build five solar power plants to be located in Borno, Kebbi, Nassarawa, Niger and Taraba states.
Each of the plants is expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity, totaling 500 megawatts across the five states.
The electricity, according to them would stimulate economic activities and social services in the affected states through boosting agricultural food processing and small scale businesses, in addition to supplying electricity to schools and hospitals.
The project which is in its pilot phase, is being coordinated by the Northern Nigeria Global Economic Re-integration Programme, newly created by the northern governors, to serve as vehicle for the economic recovery of northern states.
This is to be achieved through international relations on infrastructure, manufacturing, stimulating the agricultural value chain and trade, so as to make the region a global player in agricultural exports, which would be in line with the vision of late premier of the region.
The governors’ forum led by Mr Shettima, engaged the services of Malam Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi as Chief Executive Officer of the Programme.
Kurfi was Chief Economic Adviser to late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua and has wide contact with leading development companies and financial institutions across the world.
“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.
“The General Electric has over 120 years of 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 said at the MoU signing ceremony.
The Northern Governors’ Forum Chairman enumerated challenges of poverty, unemployment, poor access to education, poor healthcare, among other under-development indicators threatening the north, while concluding that power can provide a vehicle for the north to reposition itself for a better future.
Kurfi on the other hand, said he took up the challenge put forward by the northern governors, as a result of strong passion and commitment to aggressive development of the north, so far shown by the governors since Shettima became the forum’s chairman in 2015.
Re-affirming their commitment to the MoU, General Electric’s Pineda and Angbazo, both pledged that they would work round the clock to realise the project for the benefits of citizens of the five states. (Channels TV)
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