News / Africa

General Electric to Invest $1 Billion in Nigeria

FILE - Due to Nigeria's decrepit national power grid, a man refuels a small generator in central Lagos, Nigeria, August 2010.FILE - Due to Nigeria's decrepit national power grid, a man refuels a small generator in central Lagos, Nigeria, August 2010.
x
FILE - Due to Nigeria's decrepit national power grid, a man refuels a small generator in central Lagos, Nigeria, August 2010.
FILE - Due to Nigeria's decrepit national power grid, a man refuels a small generator in central Lagos, Nigeria, August 2010.
TEXT SIZE - +
Heather Murdock
— American energy giant General Electric says it will invest $1 billion in Nigeria, promising to more than triple the country’s electrical output over the next 10 years. This comes as Nigeria seeks to reform its dilapidated and corrupt power sector.
 
Nigeria is a country that runs on generators. Most people don’t have access to electricity and those that do have it sporadically. On CNN last week, President Goodluck Jonathan said by the end of the year, the country’s daily electrical problems will be more or less solved.  
 
Clement Nwankwo, the executive director of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Center in Abuja, said that maybe the president just doesn’t realize how bad Nigeria's electrical system is.
 
“It’s possible the sound of his generator is far away from his house and office, so he doesn’t know when the switch is made between generators and public power supply, but there is very poor power supply to the generality of homes in Nigeria,” Nwankwo said.

Battling corruption

Nigeria’s power sector is notoriously corrupt, he said, adding that every Nigerian leader claims to be able to stop the blackouts in a single year, and nothing changes.
 
However, Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga said this time will be different.  
 
General Electric’s investment includes partnering with private Nigerian companies and taking over one of Nigeria’s major power plants, building turbines, a new factory and exploring Nigeria’s abundant natural oil and gas supplies.
 
Aganga said the plan will work because it not just about generating megawatts, it's about boosting the national economy and encouraging investment.

“This is the beginning of much more to come. That is a clear message to the country, a clear message to Nigerians and a clear message to the international investor community. It’s not just about power. It’s more than that. It’s about manufacturing,” said Aganga.

Crucial investment

GE says $250 million will be invested immediately and the rest of the money will be spent on upkeep, training and salaries. In a speech Thursday in the capital, GE Chairman Jeff Immelt said the projects will create more than 2,000 jobs in Nigeria and nearly all of them will go to Nigerians.
 
“The time is now. The place is Nigeria. The how is the local team. Now the focus on everything is the execution,” said Immelt.

In the Nigerian development world, the “execution” of projects is usually where things can get stalled by corruption or violence.  
 
Last year, legislators produced a report that detailed how public funds got stolen by oil officials and fuel companies. The money was intended to subsidize the cost of fuel for average Nigerians, but instead, $6.7 billion disappeared. Much of it went to companies that did not work in the fuel sector at all.
 
In the Niger Delta, where the oil is and where GE’s new plant will be, oil companies say they lose as much as a billion dollars in revenue a month to oil theft and sabotage.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Pedus from: Australia
February 01, 2013 1:52 AM
We all know that Nigeria has the necessary human and material resources to survive, but at the same time, the leadership of the country at all levels have embraced corruption to a degree that it could potentially cripple the development of the nation. What GE plans to do in Nigeria is a welcome development, but real progress will be made when past and present leaders are made to return the national loot, which runs into billions of dollars.

One billion dollars is a huge amount by all account, but we have Nigerian leaders (past and present) who have this amount in their scattered bank accounts, and the question any sensible person would ask is: how can one man or woman be this rich and can he or she account for the source? People gamble into politics in spite of the associated risks (in Nigeria) because they, for the most part, want to share in the national cake and not because they have the best interest of the country at heart. My prayer is that God will provide Nigeria "leaders" not "rulers" and make the inhabitants of that land "victors" not "victims".

In Response

by: Michael
February 04, 2013 7:22 AM
Corruption is the major problem confronting that nation called Nigeria.Unless that is eradicated,the noble objective of Electricity company can never be actualized.Those notorious and untouchable corrupt gurus will never allow it to see the light of the day if they are not settled.It is an aberration not to give or accept bribe in that country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid