The African Development Bank(AfDB) is to invest $200 million through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to boost power supply in Nigeria. Acting Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth Complex (AFDB), Wale Shonibare, said this when he led some management staff of the bank on a visit to the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, in Abuja on Monday.
Mr Shonibare, who is also the Director, Energy and Installation in the bank, said the AfDB board had approved $200 million for the sector through REA to support the roll out of mini grids. “The AFDB is very active in the power sector of Nigeria and we are ready to do more, the board has approved $200 million to the sector through the REA.
“We are supporting the programme to roll out mini grids across the country and also to encourage productive use of the grids to upgrade communities. “We are also involved in energising education, a programme under which we are dedicating power systems to eight Federal universities,’’ he said.
Mr Shonobare said the bank was also very involved in the transmission sector of the country as it had a $410 million project to support transmission. He said $200 million has already been approved by AfDB board for phase one to improve transmission lines and provision of sub-stations.
“I understand that the agreement was signed last week and we expect the project to progress. “We are involved in the Jigawa power project, we have approved a grant of one million dollars to support the feasibility study for phase one and the studies are almost completed.
“We are aware of the issues in the sector and we are working with all the players in the sector, the regulators, NBET all along the value chain looking at how we can make the sector efficient,’’ he said. Responding, Mr Jedy-Agba said that the Federal Government was willing to do more in partnership with AEDB to provide electricity for Nigerians.
He said power was the bedrock of development, adding that if the country could get it right with technology, they could also do the same with power. He said Nigeria was in the process of increasing its power generation capacity and the sector as it was keying into funds available by the AfDB to enhance further growth in the sector.
“AfDB had been investing in the sector and they planned to invest more by increasing their funding in development of the power sector,’’ he said. He assured the AfDB team that any money given to the power sector would be judiciously utilized and accounted for.