General Electric (GE) will triple its sales of gas-fired turbines to emerging markets (EM) such as Nigeria, over the next three years, said GE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt.
“There’s tremendous investment in networks” to get gas from producing regions to the populations and industries that rely on the fuel, Immelt said.
GE is expanding in frontier markets and regions like Nigeria and Africa as it seeks growth opportunity amid slower-than-average economic growth in developed nations.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in Nigeria will increase 7 percent this year up from a projected 6.8 percent in 2013, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates.
Last year GE signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority NSIA or SWF – with seed capital of $1 billion – to co-develop and finance infrastructure projects in the Healthcare, Aviation, Transportation and Power sectors.
Under the agreement, GE and NSIA will seek infrastructure opportunities to collaborate on, where NSIA’s role as a financial investor and GE’s role as an original equipment manufacturer will complement each other to achieve objectives through partnerships with public and private sector entities, NSIA Chief Executive Officer Uche Orji said.
GE would be a technical partner to the NSIA, and may contribute as much as 15 percent equity in some projects, Orji said.
GE has also made an investment commitment of $1 billion into Calabar, Southern Nigeria for a planned manufacturing and assembly plant, expected to create 2300 jobs, 300 of which will be direct GE hires, while the remaining would be indirect jobs created through GE suppliers that will support its expanded operations.
Additionally, the company plans to set up a training institute on site to build employee capacity and capability.
“We are committed to strengthening our local presence in Nigeria through this investment in Calabar. The facility will significantly increase the local content of our operations in Nigeria by supporting the burgeoning power sector and providing manufacturing capabilities for the oil and gas industry,” Lazarus Angbazo , President and Chief Executive Officer of GE , Nigeria, said.
The manufacturing and assembly factory aims to significantly increase the local content of GE’s operations in Nigeria by increasing local ownership of equipment, in-country project execution expertise and use of local legal, financial and engineering services.
Furthermore, annual spending on locally sourced goods and services is expected to increase from $4 million to over $60 million.
GE has been operating in Nigeria for over 40 years with businesses spanning across a number of key sectors including aviation, energy, and healthcare, power, water and rail transportation.
However in the past 2 years the company has renewed its focus, built new service facilities, and employed more people. Its footprint consists of over 350 employees, offices in Lagos and Abuja as well as service facilities in Port Harcourt and Onne.
By: PATRICK ATUANYA