October 3 2019

Nigeria, Norway collaborate on power sector expansion

Source: Punch

The Federal Government is partnering the Government of Norway to work out measures that will help in the expansion of Nigeria’s power sector.

With Norway’s 99 per cent total electricity supply coming from hydropower generation plants, both governments, during a meeting in Abuja on Monday, focused more on how Norwegian investors would help develop Nigeria’s hydropower sources.

It was also learnt that Norway, which currently has about 77 companies in Nigeria, plans to increase its investments by bringing in more investors to Nigeria, particularly in the power sector.

These were made public at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power when the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Jens-Petter Kjemprud, and his team paid a courtesy call on the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Agba.

Agba told journalists that the team from Norway shared invaluable experiences with the ministry, adding that this would help progress Nigeria’s power sector.

He said, “They are here to share experiences from what they have gained and what knowledge they’ve got, since we are growing our power system and this will help us to progress further. Norway is a great country with so much potential power-wise that can be beneficial to Nigeria.”

On whether investors from Norway would invest in Nigeria’s power sector, the minister replied, “We looked at that and he mentioned a few of them and how efficient some of their companies are in Nigeria.

“We will look at them and see which are to be useful to us and certainly if we find them very useful, we shall encourage them to participate in our development process in power.”

Also speaking on whether Norway would bring investors to Nigeria, Kjemprud said, “Very much. Currently, we have 70 Norwegian companies active in Nigeria but not that heavily engaged in the power sector.

“But as the minister rightly said, we have a long history of generating electricity. In fact, we do 99 per cent from hydropower. And we believe that we have some comparative advantage and a number of companies who would like to work with Nigeria in developing and strengthening the power sector.”

The ambassador said his country had great expertise in hydropower generation, adding that industries in Nigeria would benefit from this when both countries work to develop Nigeria’s power sector.

He said, “Norway is a highly industrial nation and we built our industries on the fact that we first developed our hydropower sector to supply the Norwegian industry with cheap, efficient and stable power.

“We have discussed. Nigeria has a huge market and huge possibilities of expanding its industries but it needs to be competitive and that’s where hydropower comes in as one alternative.”

The meeting had the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, Usman Mohammed, the Permanent Secretary, FMP, Louis Edozien, and other senior government officials from both countries in attendance.