From VenturesAfrica. Story by Emmanuel Iruobe.
Against the backdrop of sketchy power facilities and fast-approaching elections, Nigeria’s government signed a memo of understanding with TBEA Co Ltd of China to fast-track the development of transmission lines and substations in Nigeria.
Power transmission infrastructure is critical to continued growth.
Mohammed Wakil, Minister of State for Power, urged China to go beyond developing and building transmission lines and sub-stations and fulfill its earlier promise of setting up a transformer manufacturing company in Africa — Nigeria, that is.
He also asked China to provide adequate training for the local Nigerian workforce.
Nigeria may be Africa’s biggest market but it still faces severe infrastructural deficits, especially in the power sector. Individuals and businesses are forced to generate their own power, inflating the cost of doing business in the country and fueling potentially negative environmental impacts.
Nigeria has struggled to generate less than 6,000 megawatts of power whereas South Africa, a smaller and less populated African country, has maintained a steady power profile of about 50,000 megawatts, about equivalent to two-thirds of total power consumption on the continent.
Power reforms remain a priority and a key performance indicator for whatever government takes over the Nigerian government after the elections in March.