BY DANIEL IDONOR
ANKARA, TURKEY—STRONG indications yesterday emerged that Nigeria may soon begin the production of power generation equipment, as a manufacturing outfit in Turkey is to establish a plant in Nigeria.
When set up, Nigeria will not only meet the nation’s power needs in terms of equipment but will also be servicing the rest of the West African market by exporting to countries in the sub-region.
The Minister of State for Power, Nuhu Wya, who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Ankara, Turkey, yesterday, revealed that the country was into negotiation with some Turkish power companies to begin the production of turbines and other power generation equipment in Nigeria.
This is as t he Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Patrick Yakowa, who is a member of the Federal Government’s delegation on the president’s state visit to Turkey, has expressed the hope that Turkish intervention in the power problem in the state could help it to revive Kaduna moribund textile industries.
According to Wya, discussions with Turkish hydro-electricity companies indicated that they were ready to come to Nigeria to begin immediate production and installation of power equipment.
He said: “Specifically speaking, when it comes to small and medium hydro potentials, there is a Turkish company already associated with the federal government.
“They are producing small and medium scale turbines; they are ready to come to Nigeria immediately to start generation and installation of these equipment in Nigeria. They are ready to run the plants in Nigeria right now.
“We have even agreed that they should come and establish a generation facility in Nigeria so that Nigeria will not only be generating power but will be a producer of power equipment for the West African sub region. This is what we want to achieve with this Turkish visit.”
The Minister, who praised Turkey’s expertise in power generation and distribution, recalled the Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, signed last year in Abuja between Nigeria and Turkey in terms of power delivery to Nigeria, saying Turkey would also provide the capacity building needed to drive the power sector in Nigeria.
He added: “We have got this MOU ready and we are going to have a meeting with the Minister of Energy of Turkey, along with my Petroleum counterpart.
“After that MOU, we will go ahead and meet with private sector developers of power since they have been keyed into our road map where we are now emphasising on private sector participation in the generation and distribution of power in Nigeria.
“This particular agreement is being led by Mr. President himself and it is going to take off immediately.
“We have had bilateral discussions in Nigeria. Today, we are here to conclude this agreement, sign it and put into action,” Wya declared.
He reiterated that “Nigeria is going to greatly benefit from the power advantage of Turkey because Turkish people “are not only specialist in power development; they are manufacturers and they are ready to bring their power equipment to Nigeria on long term service agreement, long time loan agreement and also direct involvement in terms of generation and transmission.
“They are going to have a long term relationship with Nigeria but commencing immediately,” he said.
On his part, Governor Yakowa of Kaduna State, who cited power as one of the major challenges facing his state, was hopeful that the involvement of Turkey would bring succour to the residents in terms of availability of power.
“There is no doubt that the federal government is addressing this and I am happy to be part of this delegation to see what the Republic of Turkey is doing.
“From what one has seen, the country is very well developed and they can come and partner with us in carrying out the transformation process of Mr. President at the federal level, but particularly in my state, Kaduna,” the governor stated.