FG commends GE's commitment to Nigerian venture

By The Rainbow

The Federal Government has commended General Electric (GE) for keeping up with the commitments of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)  it made last June.

The government promised to provide all necessary incentives required to make the American firm succeeded in this Nigerian venture.

Vice President  Namadi Sambo, who received GE team during a courtesy visit by its  Global General Manager and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) , Mr Jeff Immelt,  and other global partners at the State House, Abuja, said that the current administration was pleased to have them in the country.

He commended the GE for engaging other Nigerians and global partners to ensuring that the noble objective of developing the country's energy and other sectors are achieved, noting that the next step taken by the company in getting financial support was the right step.

'Financing is a major aspect needed to open the gate of development in this country. Various factors are needed to be addressed, for example the power and transport sectors, and financing is needed,' Sambo said .

He said the Federal Government was organising a global conference on financing the power sector under the aegis of National Council on Privatisation, to be held in February 2014, comprising the World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Export-Import Banks and invitation had already been sent to the company and others in the power sector.

He further commended GE for already brining $350 million to finance its operations in the country, saying 'this has proved the confidence GE has for the Nigeria' and the effort and support GE is making to develop Small and Medium Enterprises in the country, saying this will go a long way in addressing the programme of job creation and creates more market for the power sector.

While commending the company for the money it has brought to develop the power sector and small businesses in the country, Sambo urged the company to also look into the enormous advantages in the gas sector.

Earlier, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said the meeting with GE and other global partners was as a result of FG's country to country programme with the GE which a billion dollar MoU was signed more than a year ago, for assembling of turbines in the power and other sectors.

According to him, the  agreement also involves assembling of locomotives in the country and investment in the healthcare sector.

The Minister recalled that ground breaking ceremony of that agreement was performed in Calabar last June.

He was also quoted as saying that the  General Electric had                                                                                                                                              signed a deal with a Nigerian bank to invest $350 million in Nigeria’s ailing power sector, the country’s trade and investment minister said on Friday.

Aganga said the deal between the US conglomerate and Stanbic Bank would finance small-scale projects to generate much-needed electricity.

“They are making available the sum of $350 million for the generation of mini-power projects because that is going to be quicker to do and will help the economic activities in the country,” he added.

The scaled-down facilities will produce between one and 20 megawatts of electricity.

Aganga said GE would also bring 10 of its suppliers to partner Nigerian companies to help develop power capacity and transfer of technology and GE's $350 million had brought development and today the company has started to bring in its supply chain into the country.

In his remark, the GE's Global Chairman, and CEO, Mr. Jeff Immelt, commended in the Federal Government for the support the company has received pledging that the company would engage in several aspects of the country's economy for example the power sector - the NIPP programme; oil and gas, healthcare programmes and would work with Nigerian partners on other segments of their programme.

GE attended the meeting with CEOs of nine other companies and seven partner companies from Nigeria including the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo.