U.S. offers experts to help Nigeria's power crisis

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U.S. offers experts to help Nigeria's power crisis

March 22, 2000 Web posted at: 10:59 AM EST (1559 GMT)

ABUJA, Nigeria (Reuters) -- U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson has offered to send U.S. energy experts to assess how to help with Nigeria's emergency plans to improve national power supplies, Nigeria's presidential spokesman said on Wednesday.

Chief Press Secretary Doyin Okupe told Reuters that Richardson made the offer in response to a request from President Olusegun Obasanjo during talks in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday.

"The president asked him what the United States could do to help provide emergency power supplies," Okupe said.

"Richardson promised that on his return home, he would send experts to assess areas in which they can assist," he added.

Okupe said Richardson met Obasanjo principally to seek Nigeria's assistance with bringing down world oil prices, which soared after OPEC's decision last year to cutback production until the end of this month.

President Bill Clinton sent Richardson to lobby OPEC members ahead of a crucial meeting of the 11-nation cartel on March 27 when the cutbacks would be reviewed.

Obasanjo last Tuesday fired the management of Nigeria's tottering electricity monopoly, NEPA, after two nationwide power outages that dramatized the country's deteriorating power supply.

The president went on national television to promise Nigerians that they could expect steady electricity supplies from the end of 2001. He appointed a nine-member management board for NEPA and took charge of a cabinet committee charged with implementing measures to achieve that goal.

Although Nigeria theoretically has adequate installed capacity, officials say the country's rusty generating plants are prone to collapse after neglect during decades of corrupt military rule, which ended last May.


-- - (x@xxx.com), March 22, 2000


Good idea. Send Rick Cowles to Nigeria. One-way ticket.

-- CJS (cjs@noemail.com), March 22, 2000.

Rick Cowles worked very hard on helping the electricity industry get through the CDC as easily as it did. Therefore he would probably be a good candidate to assist Nigeria as well. BUT a two way ticket please.

-- Malcolm Taylor (taylorm@es.co.nz), March 22, 2000.

I can't imagine why anyone would "slam" Rick Cowles...except someone who hadn't a clue about electricity and the industry!! I have never heard anyone say anything bad about Rick before. Especially those who are knowlegable. Taz

-- Taz (Tassie123@aol.com), March 22, 2000.


I think that's because you obtained all your Y2k information from the TB2000 forum. Rick Cowles was the "posterboy of gloom" for the electric industry. In the past 3 years or so, I've seen several bios on Rick and NOWHERE did they state exactly WHAT his function was in the industry in which he claimed knowledge. To compound that, his bio CHANGED midstream, as I recall. I certainly wouldn't wish him a poor future, but I wouldn't consider him a qualified expert either.

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.thingee), March 22, 2000.

Some interesting links exist between Nigeria and (local state and city) government entities here. Since Texas is an petro-dependent economy, this may explain the interaction, but it will be interesting to see how the community of interests is resolved-and how it will affect us locally.

-- another government hack (keepwatchin_2000@yahoo.com), March 22, 2000.

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