AfDB to support Nigeria’s power sector with $1bn

Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu 

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it plans to support Nigeria’s power sector with one billion dollars to boost electricity.

Dr Kevin Kariuki, Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Complex, AfDB, said this on Thursday at the Eight  Africa Energy MarketPlace  (AEMP) Forum in Abuja.

The forum was organised by AfDB, Ministry of Power and the United Kingdom Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (UKNIAF).

The theme of the forum titled “Towards Nigeria’s Sustainable Energy Future: Policy, Regulation, and Investment – A Policy Dialogue for the National Integrated Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan (NIEP-SIP)”.

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Kariuki said: “We will be shortly seeking board approval for a one billion dollars policy-based operation (PBO) with a significant energy component.

“This is aimed at supporting the ongoing power sector reforms triggered by the new Electricity Act.

“The timing of the AEMP and the proposed policy-based lending focused on the energy sector is, therefore,  not coincidental.

“We will finance the policy recommendations to actualise the expected outcomes from the National Integrated Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan.”

He said that good policies attracted sustainable investments, adding that enabling environment would maximise the value of ongoing investments, including the 256.2 million dollars Nigeria Transmission Expansion Project.

According to him, the project entailed the construction of 500 Kilometres (KM) of transmission lines and four substations with a capacity of over 1000 Mega Volt Ampree (MVA).

“ And the  200 million  dollars Nigeria Electrification Project, which will build 150 mini-grids.

“Moreover, we are financing a study for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to explore deployment of Battery Energy Storage Systems to enhance grid stability and facilitate greater uptake of renewable energy generation.

“Nigeria is part of our flagship 20 billion dollars Desert to Power Initiative, which aims to generate 10,000 Megawatts (MW) of solar power across 11 countries in the Sahel region to provide power to 250 million Africans.”

According to AfDB vice president, this portends great promise for increasing the proportion of renewable energy in Nigeria’s energy mix.

He said that through the multi-prong approach of supporting policy development, financing critical power sector infrastructure, and providing technical assistance and capacity building would be achieved.

“We strongly believe that our partnership with the Federal Government will ensure a viable and sustainable power sector that will yield the desired result, ‘’ he said.

On his part, the Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, said the NIEP-SIP would serve as a guiding blueprint for Nigeria’s energy development.

He said that Section 3 (1) of the Electricity Act, 2023, mandated the Ministry of Power to draft and publish, in the Federal Government Gazette, the Nigerian Integrated Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan (NIEP-SIP).

Adelabu said the Act directed the ministry to do this in consultation with relevant government authorities and other stakeholders within one year of the commencement.

According to him,  the NIEP-SIP will serve as a guiding blueprint for Nigeria’s energy development, addressing areas such as rural electrification, public-private partnerships for universal electricity access.

“Power-source specific policies, bulk power purchase, and management of local distribution in rural areas, among other pertinent aspects as directed by the Federal Government.

“In alignment with this legal mandate, the ministry of power has initiated the development of the NIEP-SIP, as required by EA-2023, aiming to address industry challenges and capitalising on opportunities identified during a comprehensive two-day retreat in December.

“I strongly believe and hope that through this collaboration, the Federal Government will leverage the opportunity provided by this AEMP to engage with stakeholders in the sector.”

The minister added that the collaboration would also facilitate the realisation of the goals of the mandate of section Three of the Electricity Act, 2023.

Mr Lamin Barrow, Director-General, Nigeria Country Department, AfDB said that the event was timely, coming in the wake of the ongoing rollout of the 2023 Electricity Act.

Barrow said the event also provided a unique opportunity to contribute to the preparation of the National Integrated Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan (NIEP-SIP), in line with the requirements of the new Electricity Act.

“As part of the AEMP, several technical sessions were held virtually that generated a raft of recommendations across key areas, including  recapitalisation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry(NESI).

“ Reform of the National Wholesale Electricity Market, operationalisation of State-level electricity markets, accelerating Universal Access, promoting a Just Energy Transition, enhancing human capital and national content development.

“We wish to commend the experts for their contributions at these technical sessions and urge participants to share their insights and experience in the two-day sessions to inform the action place emanating from the Eight  AEMP, ‘’ he said. (NAN)

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