Nineteen northern governors have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with General Electric for five solar plants to generate 500 megawatts of electricity.
The Borno State Governor and Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, signed the agreement on behalf of the governors.
General Electric’s Senior Executive, Western Europe and Africa, Mr Armand Pineda and the President/Chief Executive Officer, General Electric, Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo signed on behalf of their company.
The ceremony held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, a statement by Shettima’s Special Adviser on Communications, Isa Umar Gusau, said.
The statement explained that based on the MOU, the General Electric would build five solar power plants respectively in Borno, Kebbi, Nassarawa, Niger and Taraba states, each of which would generate 100 megawatts of electricity.
“The project which is a pilot phase, is being coordinated by the Northern Nigeria Global Economic Re-integration Programme.
The Programme was newly created by the northern governors to serve as vehicle for the economic recovery of northern states through international relations on infrastructure, manufacturing, agricultural value chain stimulation and trade and make the region a global player in agricultural export in line with the vision of the late Premier of the region.
Gusau added that the governors’ forum engaged the services of Malam Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi, a former chief economic adviser to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, as chief executive officer of the programme.
“The 19 governors of the North jointly created this approach. We want to go beyond lamentation to provide solutions and we all know that power is key to industrial development.
“With power, we can create jobs, stimulate our economies and make life better for our people.
“The General Electric has over 120 years of experience in energy solutions and they have been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years. We shall do our part as governors.”
Reaffirming their commitment to the MoU, General Electric’s Senior Executive Armand Pineda and President/Chief Executive Officer Lazarus Angbazo both pledged to work hard to realize the objectives of the project.