Nigeria to hire French firm to audit power sector

Oct 14, 2008 02:00 AM

Federal Government has given indications that it would soon engage the French National Transmission System, Resau de Transport d'Electricity (RTE) to conduct an audit of the nation's power sector.
Minister of State for Energy (Power) Fatima Ibrahim, said this in Abuja at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing with the Republic of France to boost the nation's electricity supply. Ibrahim said the plan to conduct the audit was to establish the necessary interventions required of speedy restoration of capacities in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the country.

French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, signed the MoU on behalf of the Republic of France, while Balaraba did the same on behalf of Federal Government of Nigeria.
Part of the terms of the MoU explained that "the Federal Republic of Nigeria will engage the French national transmission system, Reseau de Transport d'Electricite (RTE) in a discussion on the possibility of conducting an audit of the power sector in order to establish the necessary interventions required for a speedy restoration of capacities in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Nigeria".

According to the agreement, "within a reasonable time, after the submission of the technical audit report by RTE, the Federal Republic of Nigeria will review the report and where necessary, may implement the report".
Besides, it indicated that "the Federal Republic of Nigeria will endeavour to consider French companies in the implementation of technical audit report, while the Republic of France will ensure that French companies under the framework of this MoU will provide quality services of international standard and at competitive prices."

Ibrahim said that the MoU was important in the furtherance of one of the most important agenda of the present administration, adding that the Federal Government acknowledges the pivotal role of adequate and reliable supply of electricity for socio-economic development of the country.
The minister added that the signing of the MoU would open the way for French companies and private investors to participate in the development of the Nigerian economy and the power sector in particular and also deepen the friendship and cooperation that had existed between the two countries over the years. She recalled that Nigerian government and its French counterpart had during President Yar'Adua's recent visit to France in a joint statement agreed to establish a partnership aimed at strengthening their cooperation in the field of power generation, transmission and distribution.

The Minister observed that in an effort to meet the needs of Nigeria in the area of electric power supply government had embarked on the Power Sector Reforms through the enactment of the Electric Power Sector Act of 2004, which had then opened up the power sector for the participation of private sector. She expressed the determination of the government of France to extend the relationship beyond energy sector and also to amplify trade relations with Nigeria.
The French Secretary noted that as at the end of the first semester of 2008, trade between the two nations was more than EUR 5 mm, adding "and of course this is something we would want to improve."

Nigeria became during the second semester of 2008 the first trading partner of France in sub-Saharan Africa.
She said, "We want to improve our investment in energy sector most especially also in infrastructure, and different types of industries which would be useful".
"Very important strategic partnership has been signed between our two presidents, including cooperation for industries for energy for training agriculture and tourism. We can cooperate and bring our capacity and our experience to the developing of your country," she added.

Source / Daily Independent
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