08 May 2014, Abuja – Development partners across the world are to inject about $2 billion into Nigeria‘s power sector in the next few years, the Country Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Dr. Patrick Kormawa, has disclosed.
The disclosure came as the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said federal government’s target was to achieve 75 per cent access to electricity by 2020, connecting an average of 1.5 million households annually.
Kormawa and Nebo spoke yesterday in Abuja at a breakfast forum on “Invest in Nigeria’s Power Sector, organised by the Federal Ministry of Power, the Standard Bank Group/Stanbic IBTC and CNBC Africa at the ongoing 24th World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA).”
Nebo disclosed that expanding access to electricity (off-grid) to the remote and rural areas of Nigeria was essential in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs), but added that feasibility studies for 10 small and medium hydros had been completed and ready for concession with capacities ranging from less than one megawatt to 10 megawatts of electricity.
In his remarks, Kormawa, who is also the Chairman of Multi-lateral Agencies in Nigeria, said Nigeria’s power sector would receive about $2 billion up to 2018 from development partners across the world.
He said Nigeria’s privatisation of the power in sector was one of the best in the world recent times, noting that the development partners working in Nigeria, including the USAID , DFID,JICA , French Development Agency and UNIDO did not only provide policy advice to actualise that, but also brought in good practices, financial support and banks from various countries to invest.
According to him, without power, African countries cannot provide the necessary ingredient needed to boost their economies and provide jobs for the populace.
The Minister of Energy, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Bruno Kanfanji, stated that his country was using 52 per cent hydro power, calling on African countries to invest in its 100,000 megawatts INGA project.
He said the first line of power to be sold abroad would be to South Africa while the next would be to Calabar, Cross River State.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, said prior to privatisation, the power sector was bedevilled by inefficiencies, noting that Nigerians had more hours of darkness than light.
According to Igali, “as Permanent Secretary, when I came in, we were paying N10 billion every month as salaries for 36,000 workers, besides other huge expenses, yet Nigeria did not have light.
“Today, everything we set out to do has been achieved for the sector, the creativity, dexterity, and ability of the private sector to bring in new managerial skills and internationalisation of the sector had to take place,” he said.
He called on investors to not only focus on mega projects, but also look at small embedded situations that would increase the access to power for rural dwellers
– This Day