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Nigeria is now becoming an investment destination for foreign investors, as three companies yesterday signed a $480 million grant with US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

The companies are Royal Power Integrated and General Services limited, Honeywell Group limited and Benin Electricity Distribution Company.

With the grant signing, USTDA committed to fund a feasibility study for a 275 megawatt gas-fired power plant that will improve electricity access for customers across Lagos State.

BusinessDay gathered that another feasibility study will assess the viability and scale of a proposed gas-fired power generation project at the Sagamu Independent Power plant, even as USTDA is said to be providing technical assistance for an investment plan to update and modernise the Benin Electricity Distribution Company’s network.

“Nigeria is currently a destination of choice for American investors”, the United States Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, has said.

Pritzker said during a bilateral meeting with the minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, in Lagos on Thursday, that Nigeria currently has enormous investment opportunities which  American investors were willing to explore.

Pritzker, who led a delegation of about 25 US investors (mainly in the power sector) to Nigeria, said, “About 100 American businessmen indicated interest in coming with me on this delegation to Nigeria but we couldn’t accommodate all of them. We’re aware that there is an Industrial Revolution going on, which is a very good development. We would like to know more about it so we can be part of it.”

She commended President Goodluck Jonathan for initiating the NIRP, noting that American companies would leverage on it to invest in Africa’s biggest economy.

Aganga said the growing interest of foreign investors in the Nigerian economy was a testimony of the positive impact of the President’s Transformation Agenda.

“This is the first time the American Secretary of Commerce is visiting Nigeria in 22 years. Over the years, Nigeria has had a good economic relationship with the US, but today, it is more of how we can have a stronger, strategic and long lasting trade and investment partnership with the United States.

Teddy Ngu, Honeywell Group’s Head, Corporate Development and Investment, stated that “the collaboration between HoneyWell and  USTDA is coming on the heels of the successful implementation of a similar venture to jointly fund a study for the development of a multi-billion dollar gas-based industrial complex.

Ngu added that the partnership, is expected to provide substantial support to the development of the Sagamu IPP.

The Honeywell Group currently owns and operates a 15MW gas-fired power plant in Apapa and is developing a 500MW Independent Power Plant at Akute Esorun, Ifo LGA, in Ogun State.

The Sagamu IPP project, he said, is in line with the company’s strategic plans to generate 1,000MW of power through a mixed portfolio of captive, embedded and on-grid power generation projects by 2020 and an affirmation of the Group’s reputation for engaging in well-meaning, mutually beneficial global partnerships.

However, Aganga said that some other critical areas including how to mobilise capital from the United States into Nigeria, which will translate into getting more investments into Nigeria were discussed.

Source: Business Day 

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