Mr Olusegun Aganga
The Association of Electricity Consumers of Nigeria (AECN) has called for a greater utilisation of several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the power sector signed between the Federal Government and leading international firms while former Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji held sway.
The government variously signed the agreements with US Exim Bank, General Electric, Daewoo and Siemens amongst others between July 2011 and August 2012.
President of AECN, Gani Makanjuola, in his reaction to the recent Joint Development Agreement (JDA) signed between the Global Chairman of General Electric of the United States, Jeff Immet, and Chairman of Geometric Power, Nnaji for the building of a $450 million 500megawatt (MW) power facility in Aba, Abia State asked other power firms to follow suit and leverage such existing trade agreements in the sector.
He said in statement in Abuja that although major Nigerian power firms like Dangote, Transcorp and Honeywell were taking advantage of such agreements with GE to develop Nigeria’s power sector: “yet, commendable as the agreements are, they are a far cry from what the situation should be.”
Makanjuola stated: “In November, 2011, the Federal Ministry of Power signed an MoU with GE to assist build power stations to generate 10,000MW in Nigeria. In other words, the agreements already signed are nothing near the production of 10,000MW.
“Professor Nnaji was, within the one year he served as the Minister of Power, able to get the American Export-Import Bank to provide credit for firms in the Nigerian power sector worth $1.5 billion, the largest amount of credit US Exim Bank has ever granted to any sector in Nigeria within one year.
“Both foreign and local firms operating in our electricity sector which make use of American products and services should quickly tap into the opportunity created by the MoU with US Exim Bank.”
He noted that: “The amount this bank has agreed to extend to firms in the Nigerian power sector is a fortune by any standard anywhere, and it is not only big firms like Geometric Power, Transcorp, Honeywell and Dangote that should be reaping the benefits.”
Makanjuola also requested firms in the local electricity market expand their reach to other MoUs which the ministry signed with other world leading firms like Siemens of Germany, Daewoo of South Korea and Electrobrazil of Brazil, adding: “In the MoU with Siemens, the German firm would lead a fresh and different effort to build power plants to generate 10,000MW.”
“It will, in addition, build a workshop in Nigeria, the first time it would build a facility like this in West Africa, just like GE which has accepted to build an assembly plant in Nigeria, the first of such plant in Sub Sahara Africa. Both Electrobrazil and Daewoo have also accepted to assist build 10,000MW power stations in the country.
This is a good strategic move because it is in the country's long term interests to diversify its sources of technology and development partnerships,” Makanjuola explained.
He consequently called for enlightenment on the "operationalisation of the MoUs such that members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (NACCIMA) as well as the Association of Independent Power Producers of Nigeria will be properly briefed on the framework.