15 February 2012 – In a meeting with Nigeria’s power sector ministry a number of US based companies, including General Electric, expressed interest in investing in a stake in the country’s power sector. General Electric suggested it could, in partnership with other private sector investors and the Nigerian government, generate about 10 GW in the country.
The US delegation included the US Export-Import Bank, which assured funding for projects concluded and sealed for execution. Many of the companies that were part of the US delegation expressed strong desire to participate in off grid power generation while some expressed interest in taking advantage of the privatisation process to take over a number of the generation companies in Nigeria.
The meeting in Nigeria forms part of an energy trade mission by the US assistant secretary of state (African bureau), ambassador Bill Fitzergerald to Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria. The trade mission is looking at potential investment projects with the aim of enhancing these countries’ ability to generate electric power.
“The objective of the trade mission is to make significant progress on increasing US private-sector investment in power infrastructure projects that have the potential to increase overall development in these countries by significantly reducing the cost of doing business,” Jim Wilson, senior coordinator for trade promotion and commercial policy in the US bureau of African affairs said.
The trade mission’s plan includes determining, “if U.S. power developers would be able to invest in generating facilities and fuel supply that help address the needs in Africa for reliable and affordable electricity.”
“Each country selected for this trade mission presents significant opportunities for investment in electric power. The four governments have all been taking measures to make the regulatory and legal environments in their nations more attractive to private investors,” Wilson said.