The Northern State Governors’ Forum and the General Electric International Company have signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of five solar plants in some parts of Northern Nigeria.
A statement by the forum said, “The aim of the project was to stimulate economic activities and social services in the affected States.”
The project will help boost agricultural food processing, small scale businesses in addition to supplying electricity to schools and hospitals.
The Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, on behalf of the Governors, signed the agreement.
While General Electric’s Senior Executive, Western Europe and Africa, Mr. Armand Pineda and the President/Chief Executive Officer, General Electric, Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo, signed on behalf of their company in a brief ceremony in Abuja.
The agreement aims to construct solar plants that will generate 500 megawatts of electricity.
Based on the MOU, the General Electric is to build five solar power plants to be located in Borno, Kebbi, Nassarawa, Niger and Taraba States, with each of the plants expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity, totalling 500 megawatts.
The project is a pilot phase, being coordinated by the Northern Nigeria Global Economic Reintegration Programme, newly created by the Northern Governors to serve as a vehicle for the economic recovery of Northern States.
The aim is that the plant, through international relations on infrastructure, manufacturing, would stimulate agricultural value chain and trade and make the region a global payer of agricultural export, in line with the vision of late Premier of the Region.
The Northern Governor’s Forum stressed the need to incorporate General Electric Company majorly for their years of experience especially in Nigeria for over 50 years.
Governor Shettima said they would play their part as Governors, because they were deeply committed to the agreement.
“The 19 Governors of the North jointly created this approach. We want to go beyond lamentation to providing solutions and we all know that power is key to industrial development. With power, we can create jobs, stimulate our economies and make life better for our people. We cannot have a better partner than General Electric. We shall do our part as Governors, this I will assure you. We are deeply committed to this agreement,” Governor Shettima said at the MOU signing ceremony.
He enumerated challenges of poverty, unemployment, poor access to education, poor healthcare amongst other underdevelopment indications threatening the North.
He added that power could provide a vehicle for the north to reposition itself for a better future.
The Senior Executive of General Electric’s, Western Europe and Africa, Mr. Armand Pineda and the President/Chief Executive Officer, General Electric, Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo both pledged that they would work round the clock to carry out the project for the benefits of citizens of the five States.