Nigeria has signed a deal for Chinese companies to build a $1.3 billion power plant, the finance ministry said on Sunday, part of efforts to end chronic electricity shortages that are a major brake on growth.
The plant would be a boost to the country’s current 4,500 megawatt electricity capacity and is scheduled to be finished in four years. A loan from China’s Eximbank will pay for 75 percent of the planned 700 megawatt , while the Nigerian government will provide the rest.
“This project will create thousands of jobs for Nigerian engineers, technicians and artisans during the construction phase … It will also boost the economy,” Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in a statement.
Despite holding the world’s ninth largest gas reserves, Nigeria only produces a tenth of the amount of electricity as South Africa for a population three times the size.