GE signs deal with Nigeria for power plants

General Electric Corp (NYSE: GE). has announced an agreement with Nigeria's government to potentially build and operate power plants in the African nation amid a push to privatize the failing state-run power company.

GE say the five-year deal is part of the oil-rich nation's ambitious plans to sell off its Power Holding Company of Nigeria PLC.

The Associated Press report that confusion already surrounds the deal. Local press quoted Power Minister Bart Nnaji as saying the GE agreement would be a $10bn deal. GE denied that, saying there would only be one company potentially taking part in the effort.

GE would help build and operate the power plants, taking a 10 to 15 per cent interest in the business, the company said in a statement given to AP.

"This will go a long way towards boosting energy supply for Nigeria," the statement quoted Jay Wileman, president and CEO for GE Energy in Africa, as saying.

Revamping the state-run power company will take billions of dollars and many years in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation with more than 160 million people. President Goodluck Jonathan made fixing power problems as a major goal of his administration.

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