Chinese firm plans to build a 20,000 megawatts electricity generating plant in Nigeria, Minister of Power Prof. Chinedu Nebo said at the weekend.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo, also at the weekend, said the government has approved $3.7b to boost power transmission to 20,000mw.
It was not, however, clear whether the cash is in support of the proposal by the Chinese firm.
Sambo spoke in Canada during a meeting with the Nigeria-Canada Association Greater Toronto Area.
Nigeria generates less than 4,000mw of electricity which Nebo, who spoke during a meeting with a British business delegation led by the Lord Mayor of London, Roger Crifford, described as abysmally low.
The minister said Nigeria needed to generate 200,000mw to achieve the same energy per capital as South Africa – Africa’s largest economy.
Nebo said flared gas will power the plant, which one of the biggest power generating companies in China is proposing to build.
He said the power sector, with its huge potential, has sufficient space for many investors, including in renewable energy, coal to power, among others.
Nebo said: “One of the largest power generating companies in China is talking to us. The market is open. We are looking at Europe and Asia and beyond.”
He added that a South Korean firm is also working with the Federal Government to build 1, 000mw of solar energy annually for the next 10 years as part of the energy mix component of the power sector reforms.
The minister said: “We need a robust energy mix. For security purpose, as a nation, it is not expedient to have a source or two. We need a good mix of power. We now have wind turbines; solar power too is being commissioned, but we are still far (behind), considering our potentials.”
“Apart from GE (General Electric), the Asians are more in a hurry. That’s why we are urging investors from the UK to buy into the power sector. Those who take the first initiatives now stand to benefit more as had happened in the telecoms sector.”
Lord Mayor Grifford told reporters he was disappointed that UK investors were not particularly involved in the Nigerian power sector. He promised to look into that on his return to his country.
Sambo, according to a statement yesterday by his Senior Special Assisant, Umar Sani, spoke to a group of Nigerians on happenings in the country in infrastructural and social development.
Sambo said the Jonathan administration was committed to the provision of the necessary infrastructure and that efforts were being made in power supply, transportation, aviation , ICT , agriculture, healthcare services, educational advancement and good governance.
He urged Nigerians in the diaspora to come home and be part of the new horizon. He appreciated the contributions of those in the diaspora to national development and said that it was in recognition of their contributions that a diaspora bond of N1 billion was set up and requested them to key into it.
The President of the Nigeria Canadian Association, Fabian Nwoha, expressed the association’s desire to contribute positively to the nation’s development.
But he pointed out that they were reluctant due to the reported negative incidents and other vices.
He reminded government of its promise to provide a consular office in Toronto to ease emerging diplomatic issues.
Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada Dr. Ojo Madueke hailed the Canada Nigeria Association, saying it represents the future of Nigeria and hoped that its members would export their talent and know-how into Nigeria.