AfDB okays fresh $200m for Nigeria’s power sector

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The Federal Government has secured a loan of $200 million to fund its electrification project.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Monday said it provided $150 million for the project. The balance of $50 million was issued from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) – a $2 billion facility sponsored by the People’s Bank of China.

A statement by the bank said: “The Board of Directors of AfDB Group has approved a $150 million sovereign loan to the Federal Government of Nigeria to finance the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).

“The AGTF, a $2 billion facility sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by the AfDB, has also approved a $50 million loan to the Federal Government of Nigeria to co-finance the project.”

According to the statement, the joint financing is targetted at supporting the Federal Government’s efforts “to address critical energy access deficit in the country, and catalyse achievement of universal energy access by 2030 targets.”

Last year, the World Bank granted $350 million loan to the Federal Government for rural electrification projects.

The Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Damilola Ogunbiyi, said: “By supporting the electrification of unconnected and underserved communities, NEP will contribute materially to their economic development.

“Access to reliable, affordable and clean electricity will result in savings for households and businesses, which can be deployed to other uses.”

The government has 2020 target to generate up to 3,000 megawatts (Mw) of electricity with about 10,000 mini-grid projects to electrify communities in the country that are yet to get connected to the national grid.

In 2016, the Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the government was ready to invest up to $150 million in rural electrification projects.

Fashola said the government plans to use 44 tertiary institutions and small hydro dams in the rural areas as anchors for the electrification programme.

He explained that the money would be deployed towards providing Independent Power Plants (IPPs), to supply electricity to tertiary institutions and rural communities.

The minister also identified 37 out of the 44 tertiary institutions to be used for the project as varsities and the other seven as teaching hospitals.

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