16 February 2015, Lagos – A consortium led by FirstGate Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Federal Government to build two separate 1,000MW gas-fired and solar plants in Nigeria.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, signed the MoU on the project with a timeline of four to five years on behalf of the government. Chief Executive, FirstGate Business Intermediaries Ltd, Kelvin Asogwa who signed the dotted lines at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, promised that the project will assist in the realisation of Mr. President’s Power Sector Transformation which is cruising at a high speed.
Asogwa said the consortium will train a total of 74,000 Nigerian youths in various technical trades, just as he disclosed that the capacity building platforms overseas will take place in South-Korea and Turkey. According to him, “the partnering overseas companies have accepted to train Nigerians after which they would be engaged when the plant must have come on stream”. Tagged Tax-Holiday, the scheme is designed as part of the MoU for these countries to train Nigerian youths he said. When asked about its financial and technical capabilities,
Asogwa said that the Group has the muscle and assured that the dream will come true, adding that the process is like a circle; from the beginning, it entails training, and later trainees will be absorbed to work in these plants. Already, the group has acquired 27,000 hectares of land in Kogi State, he stressed. The Minister after the signing ceremony spoke about Government’s resolve to do anything that would bring more electricity that could be accessed by Nigerians.
He commended FirstGate Group for this initiative and indeed working closely with the South-Koreans who have developed solar energy technology well ahead of others. Prof. Nebo said South-Korea has developed solar energy to power a cluster of industries and trade zones adding that FirstGate would benefit immensely from the Asians in developing appropriate technology for battery storage systems and other Hi-tech uses from solar technology.
The Minister warned FirstGate Group to make haste while the sun shines by executing the content of the Agreement, stressing that MoU not realized soon will become dead. He also raised the issue of financing, as key in the realization of the project, for the 2 plants it would be in the region of 2 billion USD times 2, Nebo said. The Minister also promised to assist in the areas of licensing, permits and reports, stressing that the ministry will ensure that all these processes are hastened.