‘India has technical know-how to play key role in Nigeria’s power sector’
In an interview with Paula Eseghene, India’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. B. N. Reddy, spoke on what his country can do to drive Africa’s most popular nation’s power sector in particular and development in general.
Why did you decide to exhibit in this year’s Future Energy Nigeria and not the previous years?
I think I need to clarify the presence of Indian companies in the power sector in Nigeria. It is not their first time, perhaps is the first time India as a country is partnering in a particular exhibition. It is not that these companies are coming to Nigeria for the first time. These companies in the power sector have been present for about a decade.
And the power sector is one which has enormous potentials to grow in Nigeria and Indians for the past decades have developed their experts and they have the manufacturing facilities. Those out of India are able to bring the products, quality products which can give better satisfaction to the customer. I will say the India chamber of commerce, a leading chamber, has been able to put together 50 Indian companies in the power sector to come to Lagos, Nigeria.
What can you say about Future Energy Nigeria and how long will you want to continue to exhibit with it?
I think this is a very long one, I think every policy maker will want to believe that power is the backbone of every industrial work. Without power generation, apart from meeting the domestic needs in the household, it is also required in a big way for industrialization of the country. So given this background, i am very confident that in Nigeria, the power sector, the production currently is close to 7000MW and to exhibit with the Future Energy Nigeria.
I think whatever Nigeria is going through now by involving the private sector, the companies will expand the generation of power. Though generating only will not help, we also need transmitters and we also need to distribute the power, for which we need an entire array of companies which are able to handle this, and by doing so it also requires components which go into the bowl, transmission and distribution and then the transmission lines, the substations which are the transformers; they eventually distribute to the households. In terms of potentials I can say Nigeria has recognized that Indian companies have come in a very big way here.
They recognize the market that exists in Nigeria. In the last few years, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Indian government are working on how we can contribute to improve power generation.
Do you think this will increase the Indian economy in any way?
I will like to believe that it is not a one one traffic, it is a two-way traffic. Such interactions among the companies, among the private sectors in India and Nigeria will be very helpful to assist both countries, the economy of India, certainly Nigeria. As you embark on rapid industrialization, i am aware of the plan and the economy and which plans have been launched by the federal government.
I will like you to specify your expectations.
Well, I have the pleasure of visiting some of the booths, some of the exhibitors who came from India. My expectation is that they are expected to offer a good alternatives to products which are already there, but I am seeing some products coming to Nigeria for the first time in the power sector, and I am sure entire focus seems to be on bringing quality products, bringing in new technology and customer satisfaction. In all these dimensions the Indian companies are working hard to see that these objectives are maintained in a very objective manner. But having said this, let me rewind a bit here, as they said many Indian companies came to Nigeria in early 2000, with a view to essentially selling their products, but i am very happy to inform you that some of them have actually become major investors in the power sector and they have also started establishing their manufacturing facilities in Nigeria. As you know, the most important objective of the federal government of Nigeria is to woo investment from abroad and the power sector is one. The investment has started coming in from India such as manufacturing of the components in Nigeria.
Can you shed more light on the India and Nigeria collaboration, as regards energy?
Well, as they said that power sector largely is in bad state as well as the private sectors, in the year 2014 we had a high level delegation from India of policy makers and senior government functionaries who are all in the power sector in India and they have held a series of meeting in Nigeria with counterparts. Also government of India has extended a 100 million dollars concession credit line for exclusive use. It is a need identified by the government of Nigeria in the power sector for states. Kaduna, Cross River and Enugu are the three states identified by Nigerian government. In two of the states, works are ongoing.
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