…Ground-breaking, foundation-laying scheduled for September 2022
The executive vice chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammed Haruna has revealed that, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, plans are underway to establish Nigeria’s first-class transformer plant.
Speaking during the official meeting of the NASENI management and officials of the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) today (August 18, 2022) in Abuja, Haruna said the ground-breaking and foundation-laying ceremony for the establishment of the transformer production plant in Nigeria – the first of its kind in Nigeria and second in Africa – is billed for September 2022.
According to him, the project is in line with the industrialisation agenda of the Federal Government under the leadership of President Buhari, who is the chairman of the NASENI Governing Board.
He added that the visit was aimed at putting the finishing touches in preparation for meeting the September 2022 deadline for the commencement of work on the project.
In his remarks, the leader of the delegation and chairman, Chinese Liaoning Huaye Group Development Ltd., Anshan, Ma Liming said Nigeria and China had a long-lasting relationship which led to the signing of the agreement on the building of the first transformer manufacturing plant in Nigeria. The partnership, he said, also resulted in the training of 60 NASENI engineers on transformer production line and high voltage testing laboratory plant. The third component of the project is the establishment of a solar cell manufacturing plant in Nigeria aimed at popularising renewable energy in the country.
“NASENI and China would continue to work together to ensure the attainment of the industrialisation agenda of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is the target of the three projects which will kick-start with the building of a first-class transformer plant in Africa to be located in Nigeria.
“We will work together as good partners to ensure that Nigeria has the best transformer plant in Africa,” he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, Haruna who conceived the ideas of the projects, went down memory lane on the relationship between NASENI and China which culminated in the establishment of the transformer plant in Nigeria. He said the agreement was first signed in 2013 but, due to some technicalities, the project could not take off.
He disclosed that President Buhari gave a fresh directive for the project to take off next month (September 2022).
Also, he disclosed that more than 50 per cent of the 15 per cent counterpart fund to be paid by the Federal Government on the establishment of a transformer plant in Nigeria has been fulfilled and the ground-breaking and foundation-laying ceremony of the project will be done by the president in September 2022.
Haruna said any nation interested in having a permanent solution to the issue of power supply must have its high-voltage testing laboratory which is what this project is expected to achieve for Nigeria. “Since 2019, NASENI already trained 60 engineers in these areas to ensure that when the plant effectively takes off, it will be the best and will be run by trained Nigerian engineers and scientists.
“For any nation to have a steady power supply, it must have these three important projects – solar cell production plant, high-voltage testing laboratory and a transformer production line. You cannot have permanent and steady power supply when you import all the components of electricity generation, as currently obtains in Nigeria,” he said.
The NASENI boss said the agency is deliberately driving the project in line with its mandate to provide capital goods and equipment (including machinery) to offer a solid foundation for the industrial development of the country.
“We are in this to ensure that Nigeria becomes one of the countries in the world with a steady power supply which is an essential foundation for a genuine industrialisation dream by the country,” he stressed.
In a statement by the agency’s deputy director, information, Mr. Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, Haruna also said that due to the importance of the project to the agency, 98 NASENI engineers will soon be trained in solar cell modular production in China.
“The engineers will leave by September this year. If we have the solar cell production plant in Nigeria, we will have steady light and even transmit to other African countries. The benefits of having a local solar cell manufacturing plant in the country are enormous,” he added.