Friday, July 25, 2014 12:26 am
Abuja – Nigeria’s government on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the U.S Government to fast track the development of the country’s power sector.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, signed on behalf of the Nigerian Government, while the U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, signed on behalf of the U.S Government.
Entwistle said the agreement, which was part of the “Power Africa Initiative’’, recently launched by President Barack Obama, sought to support economic development in Africa through access to electricity.
“U.S President Barack Obama recognises the importance of electricity to the economic development of emerging economies.
“Last year, he launched Power Africa to bring combined expertise of 12 U.S Government agencies to partner with the private and public sectors.
“This will significantly increase the amount of electricity available to sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria.”
He said the agreement would allow the U.S to work closely with the Nigerian Government to develop the various sources of energy, including solar, gas, and biomass.
“In Nigeria, Power Africa supports the strengthening of the energy sector through credit enhancement, grants, technical assistance and investment promotion efforts,” he said.
The envoy expressed optimism that the transformation of Nigeria’s power sector would serve as a catalyst for the development of health, education, transportation and attainment of the MDGs.
Earlier, Nebo said Nigeria was chosen as one of the first six African countries to benefit in the first phase of
“Power Africa Initiative” because of its strategic and economic standing in Africa.
He said the agreement was facilitated by the Federal Government’s reforms in the sector and called on all stakeholders to support the initiative.
The minister commended the U.S, especially its agency for International Development (USAID) for its contributions to the development of key sectors in Nigeria over the years.
He expressed optimism that the MoU would go a long way in improving power supply in the country as well as development of other sectors of the economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the MoU would involve the construction of some gas-fired power stations and renewable energy industries.
The minister also signed another MoU with a private U.S energy company, Global Edison Corporation, with a view to developing the energy sector.
He said that the agreement would ensure the establishment of solar panel manufacturing companies in Nigeria. (NAN)