THE Federal Government yesterday in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a consortium of American investors in renewable energy, Motir Seaspire to deliver in the next five years, a project of 1,200 mega watts of solar-powered electricity in Nigeria.
Signing the deal, valued at $4 billion in partnership with world's largest private renewable energy developer, New Generation Powers, the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo noted that the project was in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, stressing that when completed , the project will not only alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians but create more employment opportunities.
At the signing ceremony Jafer Hasnain, Partner of Motir Seaspire observed that their mission is to 'build bridges between Nigeria, the United States and West Africa in the area of renewable energy specifically solar power in a manner that benefits the people of Nigeria and improves Nigerian energy infrastructure, with the proven global and local expertise of Motir-Seaspire and New Generation Power.
Expressing confidence on the delivery of the project, chairman of New Generation Powers, Charinjeev Bucharia , Chairman, New Generation Power, USA, said," We are extremely excited and committed as part of the energy solution provider for Nigeria."
President and Chief Executive Officer of Motir Seaspire, Emmanuel Irono, a Nigerian in Diaspora, affirmed that the proposed solar technology to be installed is of guaranteed U.S standard and that the team has a portfolio of over 5 billion US dollars that could be accessed over a period of 5 years into its integrated renewable energy projects.
He said that the initial 1,200MW will be realized in the next two years, adding that the local content component of 80 percent Nigerians will make the country the hub of its activities in Africa.
"As a compatriot, the concern for providing employment to the teeming populace will be a plus to the company's quest for provision of training for the Nigerian workforce in the power sector in general and renewable energy in particular."
Responding after signing on behalf of Nigeria, the Honourable Minister, Professor Chinedu Nebo expressed who his excitement that a compatriot is making the giant stride of harnessing the vast potentials of energy in solar, stressed that studies have shown that Africa is greatly endowed with solar that is put at over 3 times the capacity of all other renewable energy sources combined.
He commended the American Group for taking the bold step, insisting that the government would do all within its powers in fast tracking the project and also promised to assist the Group to leverage on the Power Africa initiative of President Barrack Obama in the area of funding for the project.
"We must support this project, as it will be in tandem with Mr. President's long time wish for Nigeria to enjoy its abundant solar potentials especially those in rural areas, as it is envisioned that through a project like this, they would be linked to micro or mini grid system," he noted.