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$7.5b US Power Africa Initiative: Minister's Briefing Excites Investors

By Ibrahim-Gwamna Mshelizza
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The Nigerian Power sector is set to benefit from the $7.5b Power Africa Initiative launched in South Africa last year by President Barrack Obama . This was the fallout of recent trip to the United States by the Nigerian Minister of State for Power, Hon Mohammed Wakil.

The minister at a Power Africa B2B Summit organized by the US Commerce Department in Miami Florida had listed many investment opportunities available in Nigerian conventional and renewable power sector.The presentation was made under the overall auspices of the Power Africa Initiative which was designed to mobilise investment fund from the private sector to power the African continent.

Reports from the event indicated that Investors were impressed with opportunities in solar wind and other areas of Nigerian energy market which most of them said to be working preparatory steps to enter Nigerian market. Some of them had raised questions about renewable energy policy for electricity generation,incentives for investment and feed in tariffs among others.

The reports listed some of the firms which attended the event and showed interest in the Nigerian energy market to include Chadbourne & Parks,Global Energy group, Greenberg Traurig, M. Gill & Associates and business partners of MBD Business Centre,Miami as well as those of Global Business Resources,USA.

A follow up business discussions were also held in New York where many firms not able to attend the Miami event also engaged the minister on such issues as security of investment ,waivers and tax issues as well as policy framework .

Speaking on the visit, Hon Wakil said most investors he met at the Miami event were positively disposed to investing in Nigeria especially in the areas of renewable energy such as wind ,solar and hydro power.

"I met many investors and I have been getting positive feedback from many of them. In the next few weeks,some of them will be in Nigeria for exploratory investment visits. Some are interested in establishing solar plants while others are interested in wind farms", the minister said.

The minister said the would be investors were impressed with existing incentives designed to attract investors such as risk guarantee,the waiver regime for renewable energy equipments ,favourable policy framework among others,assuring that " Nigeria as one of the six focus countries will benefit massively from the Power Africa Initiative.

"The visit has helped to further open up the Nigerian energy market to potential investors under the auspices of the Power Africa Initiative. Many business leaders I met accept that Nigeria ,as the biggest economy in Africa and with ongoing power sector reforms ,is the place to invest", the minister noted.