Legendary General Electric Boss Dies At 84

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 11, 2017 Jack Welch waits for a meeting with US President Donald Trump and CEOs in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus in Washington, DC.  Brendan Smialowski / AFP


Jack Welch, an iconic American businessman who built General Electric into one of the world’s industrial flagships, died on Monday aged 84, the company said.

Dubbed the “manager of the century,” by Fortune magazine in 1999, Welch transformed GE into a sprawling conglomerate during his two decades as chief executive and was considered one of the most influential men in the global business community.

“Today is a sad day for the entire GE family. Jack was larger than life and the heart of GE for half a century. He reshaped the face of our company and the business world,” GE chief executive Larry Culp said in an email confirming Welch’s death.

Welch, the son of a train driver, expanded GE beyond household appliances, healthcare and aeronautics into finance with GE Capital and media with NBCUniversal.

The company’s market capitalization grew from $12 billion when he took over in 1981 to $410 billion when he left.

“There was no corporate leader like ‘neutron’ Jack,” President Donald Trump tweeted, referring to a nickname Welch earned for his ruthless job cuts.

The entrepreneur didn’t mind the reputation: in his memoir, he said GE’s workforce shrank from 411,000 to 299,000 in his first five years as CEO.

“He was my friend and supporter. We made wonderful deals together. He will never be forgotten,” the president said of Welch, an ardent supporter of the Republican party.

Born in Massachusetts, Welch received a doctorate in 1960 and joined GE the same year as a chemical engineer in its plastics division, rising through the ranks to become vice chairman in 1979, then CEO two years later.

However, his reign in bitter failure, when European regulators denied GE’s merger attempt with Honeywell, another US industrial conglomerate.

Welch left GE in 2001, handing his successor Jeff Immelt a company in good health, a few days before the attacks of September 11, 2001, by Al-Qaeda.

Immelt’s reign was marked by 9/11, the bursting of the Internet bubble and the global financial crisis, forcing him to sell off NBCUniversal to cable operator Comcast, while GE Capital, caught up in subprime mortgage crisis, had to liquidate one asset after another.

The company is now fighting for its survival, having been ejected from the Wall Street benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average, with a value of only $95 billion under current CEO Larry Culp.


How Nigeria Plans To Revive Its Railway Sector

Railway, Nigeria, The transport sector in Nigeria will soon be witnessing increased activities in the railways, following renewed collaboration between the federal government and foreign partners.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that negotiations were at advanced stage with General Electric, an American multinational conglomerate and the China Exim Bank on the revival of the rail system.

Mr Amaechi told reporters shortly after he visited the dry inland port in Jos, the Plateau State capital, that work would commence on the narrow and standard rail line gauge across Nigeria as soon as the negotiations were concluded.

Rotimi Amaechi, Transport, Energy
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

The minister, who was at the Heipang Inland Container Depot to inspect its facilities, was accompanied by officials of the Ministry of Transportation, the Nigerian Shippers Council, members of the Plateau State Executive Council as well as the concessionaire of the port.

Having inspected the site which borders the Yakubu Gowon Airport and a railway station, Mr Amaechi stressed the need to develop facilities in the inland dry ports on a tripartite arrangement involving the Federal Government, the host state government and the private investor.

Simon Lalong, Plateau State, Plateau, amnesty, Arms Proliferation
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong

In his response, Governor Simon Lalong assured the minister that Plateau State would contribute its part in the development and implementation of the project, with assurance that the project would receive urgent attention by his administration.

The Chairman, Plateau Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Bulus Daren, highlighted some of the advantages of the development.

He expressed optimism that apart from decongesting the seaports, the inland dry port would bring shipping services to the door steps of shippers across Nigeria, as well as assist in the overall costs of cargo to hinterland locations.

It is speculated that the Nigerian Shippers Council has been promoting and facilitating the establishment of inland container depots on the basis of public-private partnership with six approved locations in Aba, Ibadan, Jos, Kano, Funtua and Maiduguri to service the Nigerian populace.

General Electric, Northern Governors Sign MoU On Power Generation

General Electric, Governors Forum, MoUThe Northern States Governors Forum and the General Electric ‎International, on Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of five solar plants, aimed at generating 500 megawatts of electricity in some parts of Northern Nigeria.

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, signed the agreement on behalf of the ‎governors while General Electric’s Senior Executive, Western Europe and Africa, Mr Armand Pineda and the President, Dr Lazarus Angbazo, signed on behalf of their company, in a brief ceremony which took place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.

Based on the MoU, General Electric which has 120 years of experience in power generation, is expected to build five solar power plants to be located in Borno, Kebbi, Nassarawa, Niger and Taraba States.

Each of the plants is expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity, totaling 500 megawatts across the five states.

The electricity, according to them would stimulate economic activities and social services in the affected states through boosting agricultural food processing and small scale businesses, in addition to supplying electricity to schools and hospitals.

General Electric, Governors Forum, MoU
Governor Kashim Shettima

The project which is in its pilot phase, is being coordinated by the Northern Nigeria Global Economic Re-integration Programme, newly created by the northern governors, to serve as vehicle for the economic recovery of northern states.

This is to be achieved through international relations on infrastructure, manufacturing, stimulating the agricultural value chain and trade, so as to make the region a global player in agricultural exports, which would be in line with the vision of late premier of the region.

The governors’ forum led by Mr Shettima, engaged the services of Malam Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi as Cheif Executive Officer of the Programme.

Kurfi was Chief Economic Adviser to late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua and has wide contact with leading development companies and financial institutions across the world.

“The 19 Governors of the north jointly created this approach – we want to go beyond lamentation, to provide solutions and we all know that power is key to industrial development.

“With power, we can create jobs, stimulate our economies and make life better for our people.

“The General Electric has over 120 years of experience in energy solutions and they have been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years, we cannot have a better partner than GE.

“We shall do our part as governors, this I will assure you. We are deeply committed to this agreement” the governor said at the MoU signing ceremony.

The Northern Governors’ Forum Chairman enumerated challenges of poverty, unemployment, poor access to education, poor healthcare, among other under-development indicators threatening the north, while concluding that power can provide a vehicle for the north to reposition itself for a better future.

Kurfi on the other hand, said he took up the challenge ‎put forward by the northern governors, as a result of strong passion and commitment to aggressive development of the north, so far shown by the governors since Shettima became the forum’s chairman in 2015.

Re-affirming their commitment to the MoU, General Electric’s Pineda and Angbazo, both pledged that they would work round the clock to realize the project for the benefits of citizens of the five States.

Kaduna, GE Sign Agreement To Equip Healthcare Facilities

lassa feverThe Kaduna State government and global corporate giant, General Electric have signed an agreement to equip 278 healthcare facilities across the state.

At a ceremony held to mark the commencement of the programme in the northern state, the President of GE Healthcare in charge of Africa, Farid Fezoua, said the essence was to create an innovative healthcare system that would reduce preventable child-maternal deaths in Kaduna State.

According to him, under the partnership, GE will equip 255 primary health centres with modern medical facilities along with 23 general hospitals across the state.

The company will also provide training for healthcare professionals and a three-year maintenance agreement for the equipment.

He said the training would cover technical and clinical skills while the equipment maintenance would be managed by strong local team of biomedical engineers.

Bringing the latest medical technologies to Kaduna, Mr Fezoua said the initiative would be implemented through a localised delivery model developed specifically for Kaduna State.

“The heart monitoring devices will address cardiovascular screening issues and improve the management of high blood pressure, cholesterol or high blood glucose. GE’s basic cardiac screening device connect hearts to digital ECG, helping clinicians test more patients in less time,” Mr Fezoua explained.

Mr Fezoua further told reporters that the scheme would include bringing four of the nine GE Healthcare technologies listed in the World Health Organizations Compendium of Innovative Technologies that will provide access to antenatal screenings, obstetric scanning, essential new born care, cardiac screening and anaesthesia.

The new multi-year partnership between the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and GE Healthcare is designed to expand primary and referral care services as well as building capacity at 255 primary healthcare centres and 23 secondary healthcare hospitals across the state.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented at the event by his Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Paul Dogo, said the partnership with GE would help to improve standards of maternal and infant care, implant safer surgical standards and raise the capacity for disease prevention and infection control.

“The Kaduna State Government is seeking better health outcomes for its people. This partnership with GE will accelerate the development of our health facilities and equip them to deliver better services.

“The equipment, technologies and training our state is getting under this partnership will help to improve standards of maternal and infant care, implant safer surgical standards and raise our capacity for disease prevention and infection control,” he told reporters.

“The multi-year partnership between Kaduna State and GE will increase access to essential technologies for better maternal and infant care, heart screenings to tackle the rise of cardiovascular illnesses and improved care during surgeries,”

Other stakeholders at the event, including representatives of UNICEF and Kaduna State House of Assembly, commended the gesture by GE in boosting qualitative healthcare for citizens of the state and the assurance of its support towards achieving the state’s healthcare objective.

GE is a world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive.

Presently, GE Healthcare is partnering with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health, the United States Agency for International Development and other stakeholders to create an innovative healthcare system that will reduce preventable child-maternal deaths in Nigeria.

The programme in Kaduna will deliver at least one refitted hospital in each of the 255 wards in the state.

Reps Probe Privatisation And Concession of Railway Lines

Railway corporation, Train serviceThe House of Representatives is to investigate if the concession of assets of the Nigeria Railways Corporation to General Electric violates the county’s privatisation laws.

In a motion considered during Tuesday’s plenary, the lawmakers queried what they described as an attempt by the Federal Executive Council to concession the Western (Lagos-Kano) and Eastern (Port Harcourt-Maiduguri) rail lines, to General Electric, without recourse to the Bureau of Public Enterprises, and privatisation regulations.

The move to investigate the concession agreement with GE comes after a motion raised by Honourable Chukwuemeka Ujam.

The lawmakers said the action of the FEC is a part of attempts to pander to certain interests who want to see the nation’s core assets sold off and alleged that the move contravenes the Public Enterprises (Privatization and Commercialization) Act, 1999.

Ahmed Yerima heads the house committee on privatisation

The chairman of the House committee on Privatization, Yerima Ahmed, said by engaging the American firm, FEC had usurped the functions of the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the National Council on Privatisation.

“Section 11 (j) outlines the procedures for privatisation; there are four sections to be followed by the BPE and the agency is not being carried along.

“The NCP has not been inaugurated, and in its absence, the BPE is the secretariat for any privatisation.” He said

The chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Relations, Nnenna Ukeje, said it is incomprehensible how such concession or privatization agreement would be deemed legal when the National Economic Stimulus Bill is yet to be signed into law.

Honourable Ukeje says "we cannot sacrifice our laws, our processes on the altar of expediency."
Honourable Ukeje says “we cannot sacrifice our laws, our processes on the altar of expediency.”

The house committee on privatisation was directed to investigate the matter and report back to the house in four weeks.

Debated Concession

After the last Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi announced that the council has approved a negotiation with GE, towards contracting the railways across Nigeria.

‎He said the narrow gauge railways to be contracted would to a great extent, assist the agriculture and mining ministries in the transportation of extracted minerals.

One of them is the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway which would include: Port Harcourt, Aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Makurdi, Jos, Gombe and Bauchi to Borno.

The other is the Lagos-Kano railway, which would also comprise: Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, ‎Ilorin, Kano, Funtua and Zaria to Kaura Namoda.

The Transportation Minister says the railways to be rehabilitated by GE will come at no cost to the government.

FEC Approves 30bn Naira For Mining, Okays Railway Concession

FEC Approves 30bn Naira For Mining, Okays Railway ConcessionThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved 30 billion Naira intervention fund for mining exploration in Nigeria.

The Minister of Mining and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, gave the figure at the end of the FEC meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Dr. Fayemi, alongside his counterparts at the Information and Transportation Ministries, Mr Lai Mohammed and Mr Rotimi Amaechi, briefed journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The Council, he said, stressed the importance of inter-ministerial coordination and for the ministry to work with the ministries of transportation; power, works and housing; as well as environment on safer mining practices.

The Minister added that the mining ministry would also work with that of health, ‎to help build a multi-sectoral focus on mining and also encourage private sector investment.

On his part, Mr Amaechi hinted that the Council approved a negotiation with General Electric (GE), towards contracting the railways across Nigeria.

‎He said the narrow gauge railways to be contracted would to a great extent, assist the agriculture and mining ministries in the transportation of extracted minerals.

The Transportation Minister further identified the railways to be rehabilitated at no cost to the government.

One of them is the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway which would include: Port Harcourt, Aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Makurdi, Jos, Gombe and Bauchi to Borno.

The other is the Lagos-Kano railway, which would also comprise: Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, ‎Ilorin, Kano, Funtua and Zaria to Kaura Namoda.

Sambo Lays Foundation For $1 Billion Manufacturing Plant In Calabar

Nigeria’s desire to become one of the world’s twenty largest economies by the year 2020, is gradually becoming a reality with the choice of a private company, General Electric to establish a $1 billion manufacturing and training facility at the free trade zone, in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital.

The company’s mandate is to encourage the creation of local employment, eliminating imports, thereby leading to a robust Nigerian Economy.

This was disclosed by the company’s President and CEO, GE Nigeria, Lazarus Angbazo, at the foundation-laying ceremony, which was performed by the Nigeria’s Vice President, Namadi Sambo, at the construction site in Calabar.

General Electric (GE’s) is a multi-billion dollar private company whose operations in Nigeria span more than four decades, with numerous customers in both the public and private sectors.

Their portfolio of technology solutions is well aligned with Nigeria’s infrastructure needs, and is poised towards revitalising the nation’s electricity, healthcare, rail transportation, water treatment and the aviation sectors.

The move, according to stakeholders in GE, will further strengthen the improved confidence of Nigeria to boosting local and global business where other African countries would be served.

This milestone goes beyond buildings, as the company will recruit and train all their staff who will be mostly Nigerians on engineering, vocational crafts and management, comprehensive training programmes, technology among others for a period of six months to one year in Calabar for effective delivery.

Vice president, Nmadi Sambo, while laying the foundation, said the operations of GE in Calabar would not only give a boost to the administration’s Transformation Agenda, but would also strengthen the administration’s policies on job creation and wealth generation.

Vice President Sambo noted that the groundbreaking ceremony would also further strengthen the confidence in the Nigerian business environment by both local and foreign investors.

According to the Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, the occasion is a materialisation of a dream conceived between the federal government and GE on the 31st of January this year, when both parties sealed an investment deal of $I billion dollars (N158 billion) on the establishment of a best-in-class assembly in Calabar.

He added that, “it is a demonstration that the current administration was not just interested in investment commitments, but monitoring the processes to the execution stage”.

Governor Liyel Imoke in his speech noted that diversifying the nation’s economy from oil and gas and providing an enabling environment for private sector to thrive, is a sure way to boosting the nation’s economy.



GE And Geometric Power To Build 450MW Power Plant In Aba

US electric company, General Electric (GE) and Nigeria’s Geometric Power Limited, have signed a joint development agreement for the building of a 450 Mega Watts power plant in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State at a cost of $500 million.

The agreement which was signed in Abuja on Thursday, by the chief executive officers of the two companies, states that the 450 megawatts power plant will be completed in three years.

The chief executive of Geometric, Professor Barth Nnaji, who was Nigeria’s former Minister of Power, described the agreement as a demonstration of GE’s commitment to working with local players in growing Nigeria’s power sector.

By this agreement, GE is initiating a full realisation of its plan to work with Nigerian companies in building up to 10,000 MW of power in Nigeria.

The CEO of GE, Me Jeff Immelt, was present at the event and signed on behalf of the company.

Geometric Power Limited, a pioneer private sector provider of electricity in Nigeria has completed several major power projects in the country, including the 140 MW power plant also in Aba. This has reportedly improved the electricity distribution network with new substations and power lines to the commercial city.

Professor Nnaji noted that the focus remains power development and investment in projects that have economic and social value within communities.

For the full realisation of this project, the team will employ GE technologies and the project is expected to be the first of other power projects to be jointly developed by GE and Geometric Power Limited.


Sambo directs speedy transmission of generated power

Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo has directed the Federal Ministry of Power to ensure speedy evacuation of power generated to ensure constant power supply.

The Vice President gave this directive, when he chaired the 24th Board meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) overseeing the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), at the State House, Abuja.

The Vice President expressed delight with the current generation capacity of over 4,200 megawatts of electricity, he however lamented the lack of integrity and associated problems of the transmission and distribution lines to evacuate the generated power.

Mr Sambo, noted that with the quantity being added to the national grid, Nigerians were experiencing improvement in power supply, and therefore directed the Ministry of Power and the NDPHC to ensure speedy completion of the transmission lines, and the injection substation for the delivery of constant and stable electricity to Nigerians.

He also directed that a meeting be convened to tackle the problem of gas supply to the power plants, which according to him was also militating against power supply.

In line with President Jonathan’s Performance Contract policy, the VP directed that the National Planning Commission to draw up a Performance Contract that will be signed between him and the Board of NDPHC.

He also directed the NDPHC to ensure that such Performance Contract trickles down and that all of its consultants sign the performance bond, which according to him would enhance service delivery.

4,200 megawatts

Earlier the Minister of State for Power, Arc. Darius Ishaku, disclosed that the country is currently generating more than 4,200 megawatts of electricity, saying that the transmission and distribution network has integrity issues, which is affecting the adequate evacuation of the generated power.

He assured the meeting that the Ministry was doing everything possible to arrest the issue.

The Managing Director of NDPHC, who was represented by the Executive Director Technical Services; Mr. Louis Edozien, disclosed that the NIPP projects in Sapele, Alaoji, Olorunsogo and Omotosho were currently generating 1,350mw.

He however, noted that they would have achieved more but for gas supply as he also gave the assurance that progress was being made to ensure early delivery of all NIPP projects in the country.

The board under the chairmanship of the Vice President approved the purchase of replacement parts for Gas Turbines for Calabar, Egbema and Gabarin power plants from General Electric, the original manufacturers.

The board also approved the engagement of fire-fighting management providers for Olorunsogo, Sapele, Alaoji, Omotosho and Ihovbor power plants and the provision of gas pipe line to Geregu Phase II, NIPP power plant were also approved.

While the extension of project consultancy work for construction of Omotosho Phase II power plant was as well approved by the board.