US-Power Africa: Nigeria positioned to take over 30% of available funds

ERERA Power lines13 August 2014, Abuja – The federal government yesterday said Nigeria’s appetite to grow its electricity industry has placed her in a pole position to consume around 30 per cent of available funds provided by the United States to help develop the energy sectors of six select African countries in the US-backed initiative, ‘Power Africa’. The government said at the second day of the week-long inaugural National Council on Power meeting in Abuja that with regards to Nigeria’s 160 million populations and a paltry 3,500 megawatts (MW) electricity generation capacity, the country clearly presents the best opportunities among five other countries in the first tranche of the initiative for investors in the electricity sector. Its disclosure of confidence in the country’s electricity sector came on the same day it sent warnings to communities that engage in incessant disruption of initiated electricity projects within their locales. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, who made reference to the level of interests shown in the country’s power sector by investors before and after the initiative was announced by US President, Barrack Obama, in Cape Town, South Africa, last year, stated that Nigeria had the capacity to take more than 30 per cent of funds earmarked in the initiative. Igali explained that with US investors such as General Electric (GE), and the World Bank as well as other institutional investors all indicating preference for Nigeria, the country indicates its willingness to take in more of such investments to grow its electricity sector. Apart from GE’s recent scaling up of  financial commitment to Nigeria’s power sector, the World Bank has also made a pledge of $5 billion for risk capital, preparation of projects and to invest in Nigeria’s power sector. Reportedly geared to provide about $7 billion of federal and $9 billion of private funds for investment in Africa’s power sector, the initiative aims at adding more than 10,000MW of cleaner, more efficient electricity generating capacity, and in the process, electrifying at least 20 million new households and commercial entities with on-grid, mini-grid, and off-grid solutions.   – This Day

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