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Gas Challenges, Self-Serving Policies May Ruin GE Deal –Elumelu

Chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc and entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu, has warned that the deal between the Federal Government and General Electric (GE) will fail unless the constraints around gas are addressed and changes are made to “self-serving policies”.

Speaking at the annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, the retired banker said: “Let me cite an example, the TransAfam Power Plant that belongs to Transcorp Group has an installed capacity of 1,000 megawatts. The Federal Government made a significant investment to acquire 240 megawatts of fast power turbines from General Electric (GE).

“For context, 240 megawatts of electricity can power about one million homes in Nigeria. Yet GE has threatened to pull out of the project because our nation – with some of the largest gas reserves globally – could not provide 65 million standard cubic feet of gas needed for the comprehensive testing of the installed fast power plant.”

He lamented that while Nigeria has an abundance of idle gas fields, there is no private capital to make the needed investments for gas production in the country.

“Yet, we cannot produce gas to power our economy and 21st-century industrialisation. Thanks to a short-sighted regulatory regime and self-serving policies that keep our people permanently in the dark. This must change,” he said.

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According to Elumelu, the government must prioritise social infrastructure and invest in the rule of law to open up the economy.On the need for Nigerians to build legacies, Elumelu added: “Let history remember us not for our achievements, not for the balances in our bank accounts but for our collective efforts in building a nation that stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the entire black race.”

He said that The Tony Elumelu Foundation has committed $90 million to empower 18,000 African entrepreneurs since it began operation.

“When my wife and I committed $100 million to help democratise luck and empower our youths, through The Tony Elumelu Foundation, giving yearly non-refundable grants of $5000 seed capital to each beneficiary, now received by over 18,000 young Africans. It was not out of an abundance of wealth. Rather it was our contribution in spreading prosperity and making the world a better and safer place for all,” he added.

Source: Guardian

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