VENTURES AFRICA – General Electric (GE), an America electricity conglomerate, is set to establish a power plant and an energy-training institute in Cross River, Nigeria, to drive capacity development in the country.
BusinessDay reports that the US-based multinational has fulfilled all conditions of the Nigerian government and the Cross River State to set up a power plant in the Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ).
Sadiq Kassim, GM CFTZ, said in Calabar that GE expatriates would arrive in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2013, begin construction of the planned power plant, adding that the project would create an initial 300 job opportunity.
“General Electric recently had very useful discussions with us regarding their strong desire to set up their (energy) plant in the Calabar Free Trade Zone, and to come down with their highly skilled labour,” he said.
“I am certain that GE would resume full business in Calabar during early part of next year,” he stated.
The Governor of the predominantly agricultural state, Liyel Imoke, made commitments to provide land capital for the project while contemplating on erecting the buildings GE would need for the power plant and the energy training institution.
The training institute to be built in Cross River, will see locals trained in electrical engineering and general managing, to complement GE’s resources and develop the country’s capacity.
Relationship with Nigeria
Nigeria signed a landmark Country to Company agreement with GE aimed at driving critical infrastructure projects across the oil-rich country in tandem with its goals for growth through its Vision 2020.
In the first quarter of the year, former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, inked a $10 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with General Electric (GE) to build a series of power plants with a total capacity of 10,000 megawatts, in the country.
Under the agreement, GE is to be an equity participant with a stake of 10 to 15 percent.
“In the past, GE only supply equipments, but now, they will be investing 10 to 15 percent in equity for every single project, the government will match them in such investment while the private sector will bring the balance,” Nnaji said.