Govt denies signing electricity agreement with Congo

Prof Chinedu Nebo08 April 2014, Abuja – THE Federal Government has again dismissed media reports that it entered into an agreement to import electricity from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who said this in Abuja, explained that no such agreement had been entered into or signed. He clarified that the whole idea of developing the large dam was in line with an African Union, AU initiative to link the entire continent for easy power purchase and sale across countries.

Some media organisations had reported recently, quoting the new Minister of State for Power, Hon. Mohammed Wakil, that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), had been signed by both countries for Nigeria to purchase electricity from the Central African country, which is developing a huge dam.

Nebo, had however dismissed this report a fortnight ago at a state-of-power press briefing in Abuja, which he held jointly with Wakil.

At the event, the Minister clarified that the whole idea of developing the large dam was in line with the AU’s initiative.

According to Nebo, Nigeria joining countries like South Africa to indicate interest in the dam is purely futuristic, and Nigeria would not be caught napping by the time it is fully developed. He said Nigeria, with a growing need of power, could either purchase through the same route or sell same depending on its need.

The Minister, who was surprised that a section of the media would cling to and celebrate the story, even after his elaborate response alongside the Minister of State, to whom it was attributed, reassured the public that everything was being done to ensure that Government delivered on the mandate for adequate power supply.

His words: “Let me say from the outset that we are not importing electricity from the Democratic Republic of Congo. No such agreement and no such memorandum of understanding has been signed.

“However, there is a big dam. They call it the Grand Inga dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo that the whole of African Union is interested in developing. And so, the Republic of Congo is asking countries, in case we go on with this and the funding and financing is found, will you be interested in procuring power in the future?

“And Nigeria is saying, well, if South Africa has signed on, if every other country is signing on, just like an insurance policy, let’s begin talking with them. There is no agreement and there is no MoU. But it is good for the country to think futuristically – that even if we produce 40,000 megawatts today, it will not be enough.
*Chris Ochayi – Vanguard

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