USAID to Sponsor 1350-mMegawatts Combined Cycle, Natural Gas-fired Power Plant in Abuja
By: Princess Adaora
United States Trade and Development Agency, USTDA, has awarded a grant to NNPC Gas and Power Investment Company LTD (GPIC) to provide technical, economic and financial analysis necessary for the development of a one thousand, three hundred and fifty-megawatts combined cycle, natural gas-fired power plant in Abuja.
The project which will utilize indigenous gas resources to address the growing demand for power in Nigeria, may be the end of electricity problems in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
GPIC selected a U.S company, Continuum Associates LLC to conduct the study while GE International Operations (Nig.) Ltd will contribute to the project.
Signing on behalf of the United States, at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, USTDA’s Acting Director, Thomas R. Hardy, said the feasibility study will provide the informed analysis needed to address critical energy generation in Nigeria, build upon USTDA’s commitment to working with Nigeria partners to develop and expand the nation’s domestic gas sector.
U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, who witnessed the signing, described the day as a special one for the two nations as it showcases an enduring bilateral relationship that binds the United States and Nigeria.
According to her, the project will now join dozens of other high-profile energy sector projects that USTDA is supporting across the country.
Signing for Nigeria, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said, USTDA’s grant could not have come at a better time as the grant offers a vista of opportunities to concretize arrangements to provide stable power supply to Abuja and Northern Nigeria in the foreseeable future.
In their separate speeches, GE’s Managing Director GE Gas Power, Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa, Mohammed Mijindadi, and Continuum Associates’ Chief Operating Officer, Sandeep Baidwan, who also witnessed the grant signing ceremony, said the plant will be a critical boost to improving Nigeria’s energy deficit and provide the much-needed power for the country.
It is worthy of note, that since 1992, USTDA has funded more than sixty five activities in Nigeria, which have leveraged nearly thirteen billion U.S dollars in financing and the project is expected to advance the United States government’s Power Africa, Prosper Africa and Doing Business in Africa Initiatives.
11,000 Nigerians equipped in nine trades in 2019…ITF
Skills acquisition has been described as the solution to stemming the tide of criminality and unemployment.
The Industrial Training Fund’s sponsored 2019 National Industrial Skills Development Programme, NISDP, ended in Abuja and stakeholders agreed that skills acquisition can breed a new generation of entrepreneurs, in order to transform the economic landscape of the country.
Speaker after speaker at the closing ceremony advocated that if a reasonable transformation of the nation’s economy is desired, then, youth empowerment should not be left for the government alone.
In his speech, the Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, disclosed that since the inception of the programme, over two hundred thousand Nigerians have been equipped nationwide and eighteen thousand from the Federal Capital Territory assuring that three hundred persons each will be trained in the thirty six states of the federation in the 2020 edition of the programme.
According to him, in 2019, eleven thousand Nigerians were equipped in nine trades which were eighty percent practical and twenty percent theory with their starter packs for all the trades.
Secretary to the Government of the federation, Boss Mustafa, represented by Principal Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, Andrew David Adejo, commended ITF for creating skills for Nigerians to fight poverty and unemployment to ensure drastic reduction in social vices.
On his part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adebayo, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Nasir Sanni, assured the ministry will be in the fore front of achieving a domestic economy for self-reliance and argued that the only way to diversify the economy of any nation is through skills hence youths skills empowerment is of paramount importance to the nation.
Other speakers on the occasion, including the minister of state, ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Maryam Katagum represented by
Adewale Bakare, the minister of state, FCT, Hajia Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, represented by the Director Youth Development of the Federal Capital Authority, Hajarat Titilayo Alayande, among others called for synergy on skills acquisition to bring about the needed development and admonished the beneficiaries to take advantage of the opportunity which complements other government’s efforts at stimulating and improving production.