22 July 2014, Abuja – The Federal Government has explained that a chunk of N3.4 billion grant by the European Union, EU, will be used to boost renewable energy specifically solar and wind farms in the northern part of the country.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who said this last week during the launch of the 15.5 million Euros (N3.4 billion) under the Nigerian Energy Support Programme, NESP, in Abuja, assured of the proper use of the money.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Amb. Godknows Igali, noted that, “on our part, we will continue to create right environment for the use of this money, 15.5 million Euros, which is coming to join the 9 million euros already donated by the German side. Whether you focus only in the Northern part of Nigeria, it is Nigeria, and we are happy that the money is coming to Nigeria.”
According to him, “the European Union has continued to play a major role, not only in power sector but almost every sector in our national life. I am not holding brief for the EU, but the difference why we from Nigeria value so much our relationship with the European Union is because your interventions are most of the time grants.
“They are not the kind of facilities that come with a lot of overhang of debts but your interventions, like in this case is a grant. It is money that the European people bring to us.
It is not that we are not happy with those who give us credit lines, soft, long time credit, but we want to put on record that EU’s relationship with Nigeria has been defined by extension of grants.
“In order words, this is free money which is coming to participate with us, to say to us, Nigerians, you are the friends of Europe.
We identify with you in healthcare, education, water supply and sanitation, women empowerment, power and in other sector. Coming to power sector, we will continue to work closely with EU particularly, the GIZ.
“Already, with GIZ, there is a grant of 9 million Euros which has already been on. We are using it already. Let me clarify that this money is not given to the ministry.
EU and the ministry have a steering committee, with its own office and the money is used as intervention directly in the states and institutions to which this money is devoted. So the money does not come to us but the money is made available to use in Nigeria.”
He further assured that the ministry will work with the state governments, the communities, youths and other stakeholders where this money will be devoted to ensure the success of the projects.