Nigeria earmarks $1.6bn for power transmission facilities’ expansion

power-transmission-station227 August 2013, Abuja – Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, on Monday said the Federal Government had designated $1.6bn for the expansion of power transmission facilities in the country.

He said a substantial part of the fund came in form of loans from the World Bank, African Development Bank and Chinese Exim Bank as well as proceeds from the Eurobond sales.

Nebo said this in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting of the Presidential Action Committee on Power presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said with the privatisation of the power sector, its success would soon dwarf that of the telecommunication sector because the step would re-energise the nation’s economy.

The minister said much of the deliberations at the meeting dwelt on expanding the transmission network in the country to ensure that all the power generating plants had adequate capacity to pull out electricity.

He said, “The presentation today (Monday) was by the Transmission Company of Nigeria and that was to explain to the PACP all the things we need to do to make sure that all the power generated between now and several years to come, that the capacity is there to do that and also to point out the funding gaps and be thankful to the President and National Council on Privatisation, Niger Delta Power Holding Company and Federal Ministries of Power and Finance and Petroleum, and much of what is needed to do these things are being put in place.

“We also have substantial amount of funding coming in form of loans from the World Bank, African Development Bank, Eurobond issuance, and the Chinese Exim Bank the NDPHC. $1.6bn has already been designated for the expansion of transmission facilities in the country.”

Nebo added, “The government is adequately prepared, everybody is excited at what has just happened, that we had such a significant compliance of all the preferred bidders, who bought the Gencos and the Discos as you can very well tell, most of them have paid up and most people thought it was never going to happen.

“Today, it is a reality and Nigeria is going from a public sector dominated power sector to a private sector driven power sector. We believe that this is very good for the country, we are celebrating that, the entire nation is agog with it, the international community is amazed that this miracle could happen in Nigeria and we are so happy that everybody sees that it was a fragile situation because no county in Africa has taken the quantum leap to do the entire generation and distribution company utilities like that in one fell swoop.

“Nigeria has done it and I think the government of President Goodluck Jonathan should be commended for the courage, boldness and the dexterity of purpose to have ensured that has happened and it is happening, we thank God.”

– The Punch

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