-BY INWALOMHE DONALD
• The power project is expected to bring reliable and affordable energy to the nation’s grid, aimed at serving nearly 12 million residential consumers.
Mr.Godwin Obaseki currently serves as the Chairman of the Edo State Government Economic and Strategy Team (EST). He served as founding secretary for a New York based US Africa Chamber of Commerce New York in 1992, which promoted US organisations doing business in Africa.
Obaseki as chairman of The Edo State Economic Team had advised Governor Oshiomhole to take upon himself some ambitiously near impossible tasks and turned them around. The Azura/Edo Independent Power Project and Edo Water Storm project are obvious examples. The former is a $1 billion project and the first Nigerian power project to benefit from the World Bank’s risk guarantee status, covered by the global bank’s Partial Risk Guarantee structure for developing needs of emerging global markets. It is very credible evidence that the state is a viable centre for global investment hub.
Obaseki is instrumental to the setting up of the 450MW Azura-Edo gas power project which finally reached financial closure on 28 December, 2015.
Azura Power West Africa managing director and Amaya Capital director David Ladipo told African Energy that the first debt drawdown had taken place on 29 December with notice to proceed issued to engineering, procurement and construction contractors Siemens and Julius Berger the following day.
The power project is expected to bring reliable and affordable energy to the nation’s grid, aimed at serving nearly 12 million residential consumers.
Godwin Obaseki is Founder & Vice Chairman, Afrinvest West Africa Limited, 27 Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Godwin Obaseki started his working career in 1983 as a stockbroker with Capital Trust Brokers Limited Lagos. In 1986 he joined International Merchant Bank (an affiliate of First Chicago Bank) and in 1988 he was employed by AVC Funds Limited, Lagos where he served as a Project Manager in setting up two banks in Nigeria. Between 1993 and 1995 he worked in New York as a principal of Equatorial Finance Co, a financial advisory firm focusing on Africa and providing structured trade finance for African related transactions through the provision of credit, financial advisory and risk insurance. He Founded Afrinvest West Africa Limited (formerly Securities Transactions & Trust Company Limited (SecTrust) ) in 1995 and the firm has become a leading stock broking firm in Nigeria and trusted adviser in the domestic corporate finance market, pioneering major innovations and providing leadership in the Nigerian Securities market. The Firm has advised on numerous landmark transactions including the first Eurobond Issue by a Sub-Saharan Africa Corporate (outside South Africa); the first ever simultaneous merger and tender offer transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa and the largest ever listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Afrinvest has been ranked as a major Investment Research firm which is at the forefront of playing instrumental roles in the introduction of new financing products such as Eurobonds and Global Depository Receipts to Nigerian Companies.
Professionally, Mr. Obaseki has served on the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigerian Pension System. He also served on the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission Committee on the Re-activation of the Nigerian Bond Market and the review of the Investment and Securities Act.
He served as a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Council between 2006 and 2009. He also serves on the board of Dorman Long Engineering Limited, Pillar Oil Limited, KCA Deutag Nigeria Limited, Seric Impianti International Limited and Paelon Memorial Clinic.
The foundation laying ceremony of the $1 biliion Azura-Edo 1,000 megawatts gas-powered independent power plant was performed by former President Goodluck Jonathan at Ihovbe/Orior Osemwende communities, off Benin-Lagos Bypass, Benin City. The project was later stopped in the same 2014 because the former President and Edo PDP were ashamed that Governor Oshiomhole will take the credit for attracting such project to Edo State and the first project of such in Nigeria and Africa.
Work on the $1 billion Azura-Edo Independent Power as ordered by President Buhari resumed this January as President Buhari turned the sod for the commencement of construction work on the project.
President Buhari who assured that the Federal Government will work with the private sector to grow the economy hailed the project which was conceptualized in 2010 and jointly incubated by the Edo State Government under Comrade Adams Eric Oshiomole, Godwin Obaseki, chairman of Edo Economic Team and Amaya capital, the key promoters of Azura Power West Africa Ltd as a first in many ways.
This project is a first in so many ways. It is the first financed private power plant, it is also the first power project to see the world bank financial guarantee agencies”. He said, “This 450 megawatts of new generation capacity will attract almost $1 billion mainly in foreign investment into the power sector. This is made up of $700 million in the construction of the power plant and $300 million associated with the gas infrastructure.
The strategic role Mr Obaseki has played in the economic development of Edo State, especially in his capacity as Chairman of the Economic and Strategy Team, a position which he has held since 2009, and that he brings a wealth of technical knowledge and experience to the planning and execution of key projects and initiatives that have yielded desirable outcomes for the state notably in the areas of infrastructure development, investment and financial administration.
He has strong grasp of the state’s issues and his immense contribution in raising the revenue profile of the state and effectively managing scarce resources to ensure that projects are executed and salaries paid promptly, have helped to lay a solid foundation for the economic empowerment and development of Edo State, and expressed a desire for continuity in the implementation, monitoring and completion of key projects in the state.
Inwalomhe Donald is with the Justice Research Centre, Benin City. firstname.lastname@example.org