26 August 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – THE United Nations Industrial Organisation, UNIDO, has hinted of plans to access billions of dollars for investment in the Nigerian energy sector if the country could get its environment and laws right.
Director-general of the organisation, Mr. Kandeh Yumkella, made the disclosure at the Sustainable Energy for All, SE4ALL, launch organised by the Ministry of Power and UN system in Nigeria.
He said: “What we will give Nigeria are instruments and capital. We are also mobilising how to access these capital, namely by having feasibility studies design, and public policy because these are long-time investment.
“We do not want a situation whereby somebody will bring say five billion dollars and, suddenly, within two years or so there is a policy change or government changes.”
The UNIDO director general maintained that government alone could not guarantee sustainable energy but has to partner private sector investors and stakeholders, including UNIDO, EU, African Development Bank.
Ghana and South Africa, he said, have attracted a lot of funds from these world financial bodies, with the African Development Bank playing a role in solving their energy challenges.
He said Nigeria’s current power generation stands at 4,500 megawatts and that the country would need 20,000 megawatts in another 20 years, hence the need for both private and international banks to assist.
According to him, the international agencies would be investing their monies in the nation’s power sector purely on business terms and profit-making and not for aid.
Yumkella called on the government to avail itself of the opportunities offered by international investors by designing good projects, passing laws to reform the power sector as well as provide good tariff for investors.
Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi, who spoke on behalf of the 36 state governors, said there were two challenges preventing Nigeria from achieving sustainable development.
According to him, the challenges were irregular power supply and insufficient food production for the teeming population, adding that by surmounting them the country would be able to attain industrial growth.
Resident coordinator, UN System, Nigeria, Mr. Daouda Toure, said the organisation had set December this year as the year for sustainable energy for all.