The Federal Government has signed a $463m power distribution lines upgrade contract with a Chinese consortium.
While making the announcement in Abuja on Thursday, the government explained that the contract would be financed by the China Exim Bank, as it had both off-shore and significant on-shore content.
The Special Adviser for Strategic Communication and Media Relations to the Minister of Power, Bolaji Tunji, disclosed this in a statement, which stated that the deal would enhance the availability of electricity to homes and businesses nationwide.
The statement said the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was between the FGN Power Company, the special purpose vehicle responsible for implementing the Presidential Power Initiative on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Power, and a Chinese consortium.
It said the consortium consisted of China Civil Engineering Construction and TBEA Energy.
It read in part, “This agreement is aimed at upgrading the distribution lines infrastructure under Lot Three of the PPI, which encompasses the regions served by Jos, Kano, Abuja, and Kaduna distribution companies.
“The signing ceremony took place during the 3rd Belt and Road Initiative event held in Beijing, China. A similar MoU was signed between the Transmission Company of Nigeria, CCECC and TBEA to establish a super grid for the power sector.”
The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, and his team were hosted by these two organisations, particularly CCECC, which had been operating in Nigeria for the past 42 years, according to the statement.
It stated that the presentation was conducted by Global Chairman of CCECC, Mr Liu Wiemin, and TBEA Global President, Mr Huang Hanjie.
The statement further disclosed that the Nigerian delegation to China was led by Vice President Kashim Shettima, accompanied by Adelabu; Minister of Works, David Umahi; Transportation Minister, Sa’idu Alkali; Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar; and heads of various government agencies.
The Belt and Road initiative, established by the Chinese government a decade ago, sought to promote infrastructure investment and cooperation across approximately 70 countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe.
In 2018, former President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Belt and Road agreement on behalf of the Nigerian government.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Adelabu assured both companies of a long-term partnership, given the strong relationship between China and Nigeria, which was further strengthened at the BRI event.
He also outlined President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s plans to rejuvenate the power sector by addressing critical requirements and implementing impactful projects.