15 October 2013, Abuja – To ensure rapid development of electricity distribution, the Federal Government has appealed to the Brazilian Government to invest in Nigeria’s power sector with a view to revamping the ailing sector.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo who said this while receiving a Brazilian delegation led by Vice-Minister of Development, Industry and International Trade, Mr. Ricardo Shaefer, said the government needs assistance from around the world to revamp the ailing power sector.
The minister also requested for synergy and co-operation of the Brazilians in Nigeria’s quest to ensure all her nationals are connected to electricity.
According to him, “Brazil has not penetrated enough in our on-going sales of power assets. We are prepared to link you with Nigerian partners, so that we can benefit from your expertise in generation, distribution, technology access and capacity building.”
He added that “Brazil has done well in many aspects of electricity especially in big hydro, biomass, solar, wind and coal. Nigeria intends to learn from the experience of Brazil, as the country has already leap frog in the attainment of development goals.
On Rural Electrification, Prof. Nebo said, the leadership shown by Brazil to other countries in the so called Third World has provided the ray of hope that soon Nigeria will outcome her developmental challenges.
He also spoke about the challenges Nigeria is facing in addressing the metering gap, this, he said, has become a problem against the backdrop of the fact that over 50% of electricity consumers have no meters.
In a privatised electricity market, prospective investors will be scared, as this may translate to their inability to recoup from their investment.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Amb. Godknows Igali, said that opportunities in the power sector is in mega dimension. He added that the nation’s target of moving from over 4,000 mega watts to 40,000MW in the next seven years would require double efforts from Nigeria’s friends abroad.
He noted that there are opportunities in the planned expansion of generation capacity, which will attract specialised companies interested in cables, switches, transformers are all welcome, describing the market as huge.
“We are interested in Brazil; we want to share from the knowledge and experience of Brazil, in renewable, the reform process and training of our young engineers.”
Speaking earlier, the Brazilian delegation commended Nigeria’s commitment to the revitalisation of the power sector.
He said the mission of the group is to identify the challenges faced by Nigeria in the sector with a view to assisting in proffering workable solutions.
*Chris Ochayi, Vanguard