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Watt Group seals N7.2bn power deal with PAT, aims communities, businesses

More details have emerged from the recent N7.2 billion ($20 million) telecoms infrastructure investments deal between with Nigerian firm, Pan African Towers (PAT) Limited and Canadian firm, Watt Renewable Corporation.
According to the terms of the partnership, whereas Watt Renewable will provide alternative energy solutions like solar and other renewable to all towers owned and managed by PAT in Nigeria which will help the latter reduce exposure by as much as 50 per cent, electricity coming from the deal will be extended to nearby communities and businesses around.
Giving details of the understanding at the signing ceremony in Lagos, the chief executive officer of Watt Renewable Corp, Oluwole Eweje, said “The partnership is an infrastructure based one, adding that the Nigerian subsidiary will provide alternative power supply to PAT, to help it and the MNOs cut expenses on electricity generation by half”.
“We are not just providing power to a business, what we are also doing is to use that as an anchor station to provide power to communities that are without power within the country. We are looking at connecting at about 4,000 new connections, businesses and residential homes. PAN has towers across the country, even in rural, semi-urban and urban areas; we shall be providing them with the facilities.
Eweje revealed further that “We have been working on this project since last year before we concluded recently. It is over $20 million (N7.2 billion) deal. It is a long term project. We have got some international investors on this for us. In the first phase, about 45 sites will be rolled out; we are targeting growing organically in the country.”
In his remarks, the Investor Relations Director at Watt Renewable, Sherisse Alexander, revealed that the funding of the scheme is coming from abroad considering the high cost of accessing facilities in Nigeria.
He further revealed that Watt Renewable has entered into similar infrastructure delivery discussions with other telecoms infrastructure firms including IHS, PTY, and some MNOs who had been hobbled by the surging infrastructure leasing debt pileup.
Business Hilights had on Monday, reported that infrastructure leasing debt profile remains the worst challenge of MNOs as the profile stood at over N140bn at the end of 2018, more than interconnect debt of N25bn within the same period.
In his address, the elated Chief Executive Officer of PAT, Wole Abu described the deal as “a milestone in our journey of innovation, service delivery, and pushing Nigeria to the broadband target. This is at the forefront of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC’s) agenda for setting up Infrastructure Company.”
He revealed that the new deal will further reduce cost burden of about 1,000 towers it currently manages in Nigeria, encourage them to build more and even enter Ghana for similar service delivery.