Nigeria: FG, Chinese Group Sign U.S.$500 Million Expand Transmission Network Deal
The federal government Tuesday entered into an agreement with a Chinese power firm, Xi’an Electric Company Limited, to execute a $500 million electricity transmission projects aimed at expanding and upgrading Nigeria’s weak transmission network within two years.
While Xi’an Electric Company Limited, which is owned by China XD Group would execute the project, it was however, expected to be financed by the China-Exim Bank on a low interest concessionary loan terms, and at the same time, designed and supervised by Manitoba Hydro International (MHI), the federal government’s appointed management contractor for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chinese firm for Nigeria, while the Group General Manager, Mr. Ji Jun Hua, signed for his company in Abuja, to immediately kick-start the projects, considering government’s passion to strengthen the nation’s electricity transmission network.
Nebo stated that the $500 million transmission network loan was negotiated for Nigeria by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, during President Goodluck Jonathan’s last state visit to China, noting that Manitoba had been involved in the whole process.
He explained that under the MoU, the Chinese Group would liaise with relevant government agencies to execute outlined projects, according to agreed specifications and timelines and that XD Group would be solely responsible for funding of the projects through the government of China.
Meanwhile, Nebo’s scheduled inauguration of the reconstituted board and management of TCN yesterday, could not hold, following the absence of the federal government’s appointed pioneer chairman of TCN supervisory board, Hamman Tukur. The absence of Tukur, a former chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission (RMAFRC), without official reasons, at least from the ministry of power meant that Nebo could not officially set-off the management and board of TCN; which forced him to reschedule the inauguration for today.
While other members of the board had waited for Tukur for hours without him showing up, Nebo then declared: “Ladies and gentlemen, please bear with us but we cannot officially inaugurate the reconstituted board and management of TCN because the chairman of the board is not here. We have to do this on account of exigencies and I plead with you that this meeting has been postponed; we will reconvene tomorrow to inaugurate a properly constituted board of TCN.”