By Bamidele Obafemi
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) and General Electric (GE) today signed a framework agreement to collaborate in addressing the infrastructural needs of Nigeria, with emphasis on the power and transportation sectors.
GE, a global leader in the design, manufacture, supply, installation and maintenance of technology and services for the power sector, confirmed its commitment to facilitate the generation of 10,000MW of additional power in Nigeria over the next decade in line with its existing agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), signed in March 2012.
Transcorp Ughelli Power Plc (TUP) is a subsidiary of Transcorp, a publicly quoted and diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in the hospitality, agribusiness and energy sectors. TUP won the privatization bid for 100 per cent acquisition of the Ughelli power plant.
The framework agreement, which was signed following a closed door meeting with Jeffrey Immelt, GE’s global chairman and Tony Elumelu, CON, Transcorp Chairman, will enable GE and Transcorp to explore a partnership for the refurbishment and expansion of the Ughelli power plant in Delta State. The wide ranging agreement allows for the provision of technical support and equity investment in the power plant.
Other areas of collaboration include projects in the transport sector, specifically in the area of rail. Commenting on the partnership agreement, Elumelu, said, “Heirs Holdings recently hosted Dr. Rajiv Shah, the USAID Administrator in Lagos to discuss how the US government can partner with the Nigerian private sector to boost power generation in Nigeria. The agreement we have just signed with GE is a positive step toward the realization of this goal. “As an Africapitalist, I believe in long term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth. Our partnership with GE comes on the heels of last week’s launch of the East Africa Exchange by Heirs Holdings and Berggruen Holdings, and further signifies our commitment to sustainable economic development, for Africa, by Africans.” Elumelu added, “Power and transport are two major areas we know can turn economies and drive development. This is ultimately what we want to see happening in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, Immelt confirmed GE’s focus on Nigeria as a key market saying, “We chose to partner with Transcorp because it is an African company with an investment philosophy that will drive change here and in the rest of Africa.” He also noted that Nigeria is at a critical turning point in its development and its infrastructural needs are immediate and pressing.