IFC mulls initiative to boost power supply in Nigeria

Alaoji power plant19 August 2013, Lagos – The International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group at the weekend revealed its preparedness to support investments that will add 1,500 megawatts of power generation capacity to the Nigerian national grid and provide electricity for up to eight million households over the next 18 months.
The IFC had already signed a mandate to provide financing to mobilise funds for one power generation company, and aims to provide similar support for two more companies.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos at the weekend, the Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and The Caribbean, IFC, Jean Philippe Prosper, said the multilateral institution also planned to support up to three power distributions companies in the country.
These projects, he maintained, would add 1,500 megawatts to Nigeria’s grid as part of the World Bank Group’s intervention in the sector built into its Energy Business Plan.

He further disclosed that the IFC was also considering supporting Nigeria’s gas-to-power project.
The federal government estimates that a $10 billion in annual investment is required for infrastructure development in Nigeria to achieve its target of 40,000 megawatts generation capacity by 2020. Increased power capacity is an important priority for the World Bank Group because it has been identified as a major constraint to economic development.

“Under the Energy Business Plan each World Bank Group institution will leverage its competencies and products to provide solutions to projects that encourage their viability and contribute to the sustainability of the power sector.
“IFC will provide project structuring and investments along with tailor-made packages of risk mitigation instruments that include World Bank Partial Risk Guarantees and MIGA political risk insurance,” Prosper explained.
According to Prosper, the Nigerian federal government had demonstrated strong commitment to successful implementation of the power sector reform.

He added: “The World Bank Group has put together an Energy Business Plan that will allow IFC, the World Bank and MIGA to help address key project structuring issues and boost power supply to Nigerians. IFC and the other institutions of the World Bank Group are committed to supporting Nigeria with targeted interventions in the power sector that facilitate demonstration projects and boost investor confidence and contribute to better living standards.”

– Obinna Chima, This Day

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