09 March 2014, Abuja – The Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo has assured that Government will ensure the realization of the ideals of the Azura Power Plant which is located in Edo State, describing the project as the second and largest green independent power producing plant field in Nigeria.
Wile speaking on the issue in Abuja on Tuesday March 4, 2014, Chinedu Nebo noted that the Nigerian Government has been keenly committed to driving the ongoing privatization to a logical conclusion. He also said that the position of power as the engine of growth and development in Nigeria as in other countries would not be ripped off. The Minister described the Nigerian power privatization initiative as very attractive and lucrative; saying now is the auspicious time to invest in power. “The Nigerian Government is ready to buy all power generated through its agency – the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) and with the World Bank supporting through the Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) scheme, all power generated will be paid for 100% when produced,” he said.
“There is also the Buy-Back Scheme, all these measures are attractive to the genuine investors, coupled with the fact that the market in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa is huge, only waiting for the robust Transnational Transmission Lines to come upstream.”
While acknowledging the efforts of Azura Group in the development of critical infrastructure for gas utilization, the Minister commended the company’s incorporation of the investment in the gas infrastructure into its plan. He further called on other investors to take possession and invest in power, stressing that the suppressed demand for electricity in Nigeria is three to four times more than the current production level.
In his speech on the project earlier, the Project Co-coordinator, David Ladipo said that it will generate initial capacity of 450MW at a total cost of $735 million (Dollars), whilst its financial books will be closed in May 2014.
He assured that the company will adhere to the thirty months’ time – frame for the construction of its first phase, assuring that the plant will accommodate future expansion to about 1,500 megawatt.
David Ladipo indicated that the Azura story has revealed the absolute confidence of the international community in Nigeria’s power sector Divestment programme.
*Govt press statement