15 February 2017, Abuja- The Coordinator, Power Africa, a U.S.-initiated energy project, Mr. Andrew Herscowitz, on Tuesday said it was planning to invest $1bn (about N314. 8bn) on power projects in Nigeria.
Herscowitz announced this in Abuja at a news conference on strengthening the power sector in Nigeria.
The coordinator, who said U.S. was committed to strengthening the power sector in Nigeria, added that America had already committed billions of dollars in funding the nation’s energy projects.
He said ‘Power Africa’, launched by President Barack Obama in 2013 to increase electricity access, aimed at adding more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient energy development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Herscowitz said the project also targeted at unlocking the substantial wind, solar, hydro power, natural gas, biomass, and geothermal resources on the continent.
He said, “Since Power Africa was launched, U.S. Trade Development Agency has committed approximately $6.5m in funding for 10 activities supporting Nigeria’s energy sector, which could leverage up to $2.7bn in investment.
“It has advanced $50m in financing from the Oversea Private Investment Corporation to Lumos, a Nigeria-based solar energy company, to scale up it’s off grid solar power service to about 200,000 Nigerian homes and businesses.
“Power Africa has supported power companies in the country to the tune of $100m capital expenditure credit enhancement facility with a corresponding $6.5m in technical assistance
“And (supported) another $1.5m for limited commodity to turn around the DISCOS.”
He said that functional power distribution companies were critical to the development of the country.
According to him, well-functioning DISCOs are critical to the delivery of electricity in Nigeria.
He said, “If the DISCOs do not work, the energy sector as a whole does not work.”
He said Nigeria, like any country, needed to see capital flowing through the entire energy value chain.
The coordinator also assured that the project would continue as part of the partnership between both partners.
He stressed that Power Africa would continue its work in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa, to increase access to electricity.
He said the U.S Government’s commitment to Africa’s growth and development remained strong, as was outlined in 2016 Bipartisan Electricity Africa Act.