Vanguard (Lagos)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: FG Signs N157 Billion Deal With General Electric

Photo: Vanguard
Electricity in Nigeria

General Electric, GE, has signed an agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria to invest N157 billion ($1 billion) in Nigeria over the next five years.

The funds will be invested in a factory in the South East region of Nigeria and will help pursue Nigeria's diversification objectives.

According to the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, the investment will support the country's industrial revolution plan.

He said, "No nation has moved from being a poor nation to a rich one by exporting raw materials without a strong industrial base. Nigeria has the raw materials and market to become not just number one in Africa but among the top 10 globally."

Yemi Kolapo, Special Assistant to the Minister of Trade, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, in a statement, disclosed that the initial investment would be N39.25 billion ($250 million) followed by incremental spending of at least $1 billion in the following years.

She said, "The deal is expected to create 2,300 jobs and make Nigeria the regional hub for GE's manufacturing service and innovation in Africa.

"The days for exporting raw materials and jobs are gone. This is a new Nigeria, and a new Africa."

She, however, failed to disclose what will be produced in the factory, but noted that the factory will be built in a free trade zone in Calabar,

GE has been increasing its exposure to Nigeria, Africa's second biggest economy, which is growing at around 7 percent, but faces major infrastructure bottlenecks.

The company signed an MoU with Nigeria in March to help beef up the West African country's woefully inadequate power grid.

Nigeria aims to develop 10 gigawatts of additional electricity-generating capacity over the next decade, but it is estimated to need $100 billion of investment in the next decade.

A lot of MoUs are signed with Nigerian authorities that go nowhere, but the trade ministry was confident.

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