Friday, January 20, 2012

Nigeria woos Indian investors for power generation, others

NIGERIA and India have stepped up discussions on how investors from India can meaningfully participate in the Nigeria’s power generation drive towards taking the country out of darkness.
India, which yesterday announced that it its power generation has peaked at 185,000MW, is one of the countries eyeing participation in Nigeria’s power sector privatisation programme.
Both countries yesterday used the opportunity of the 10th International Exhibition of Electrical and Industrial Electronics ‘ELECRAMA-2012’ taking place in India to step up discussions in different areas of investment in the Nigerian power sector.
Coordinator of the Nigerian delegation to the event, Joseph Idiong, told The Guardian yesterday that aside investing in power generation, Nigeria is interested in getting Indian equipment manufacturing firms to set up business in Nigeria. Idiong, who is the Director General of the Association of Nigerian Exporters, will today (Friday) lead a delegation to a business meeting with Indian investors.
On the significance of the event to the Nigerian power sector, he said: “This is a great event and we are very proud that the Nigerian delegation is very large, the largest from Africa. This goes to show how serious Nigeria is taking power sector development. Last year, one of the co-organisers of the event, the Indo-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Association of Nigerian Exporters signed an MoU here in Mumbai  to work on trade and investment between the two countries. When this programme was coming up, they approached me to coordinate the Nigerian delegation.”
According to him, “we are discussing the possibility of intervention in certain sectors. One of such areas is the generation of power in the free trade zones.  With over 24 free trade zones in Nigeria, we are looking at getting those who are interested in coming to the country to generate power in the free trade zones, where you have customers that will buy into it. We are also looking at those who will bring in quality equipment and assemble in our free trade zones and even in our customs territory of Nigeria to produce products that would be of quality standards; those who will bring products into Nigeria that can be given guarantee and warranty, because these days we don’t have warranty on products that we buy abroad.”
Idiong said looking at the calibre of representation from Nigeria, “we are going to finish this talk, develop some insight report and send to the government of Nigeria, especially Mr. President.  Because of the strike in Nigeria, the level of representation from ministers was not what it should be, but we have been able to stand in and attract some attention. Tomorrow (today), the Nigerian delegation and the electrical manufacturers association here will have a full meeting to discuss areas of collaboration.”
Chairperson of the organising committee of the event, Indra Menon, spoke on how developing countries like Nigeria could take advantage of the Indian experience to solve their electricity challenges.
In a speech at the event, Indian Minister of Power, Sushil Kuma Shinde, stressed that even though India had increased its installed capacity to 185,000MW, the demand for power had exceeded the level. According to him, an additional 50,000MW would be added within the next five years.