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.
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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More