28 August 2013, Abuja – The Ministry of Power yesterday signed a $500million Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with a Chinese firm, Xian Electric, for the strengthening of the components of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, projects.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said the deal was struck when the President visited China.
He said: “When the President visited China recently, the power sector was one of those that featured very prominently,” adding that it was on that occasion that the MoU was signed with the Chinese group for the development of 20,000MegaWatts of electricity.
“Today, we are signing this MoU as a direct fallout from that visit for possible investments in the transmission grid of the country. “
The MoU, which has taken effect, is for a two-year period.
The Minister of Power, Prof Chinede Nebo, said the Chinese Exim Bank gave the Federal Government a concessionary loan at a very negligible interst for the implementation of the projects, adding that beside providing the fund, the Chinese firm is also billed to bring its technical experience to bear on the project.
He said the government’s expectation was that the projects would have been concluded in two years.
Nebo said the Minitoba Hydro International, the management contractor of the TCN, is designing the project, adding that details about the project would be provided to the Chinese firm.
General Manager Xian Electric Engineering Company Limited Mr Ji Jun hua said the company would liaise with the agencies of the Federal Government to conduct feasibility studies required for successful execution of the projects.
He said the firm is expected to execute the projects according to specifications and timelines.
Hua said the contributions of the Ministry to the projects should include facilitation and acquisition of relevant data and reports towards the conduct of required technical and economic studies for the projects by TCN.
He said the Ministry would be required to land and other things for the execution of the projects.
– John Ofikhenua, The Nation