Nigeria got a big boost in the energy transmission infrastructure after the National Economic Council (NEC) approved for the government to take US$1.6bn from the sale of National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) plants to strengthen transmission capacity.
Plants built through National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), a project of the state and federal governments, are currently being privatized.
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who revealed the approval from NERC when he met with a top management team from the Bankers’ Forum Abuja, revealed that another US$500m from World Bank and US$150m from African Development Bank (AfDB) is expected as part of the transmission expansion fund.
Describing transmission as the life-wire in the electricity value chain, Nebo is optimistic that the country will soon attain a near acceptable capacity of 120 % of power generation for transmission’s capability. Nigeria’s national capacity should be 150% capacity. He urged the banking industry to be at the forefront of support for the power sector while calling on Nigerians to be committed to investing locally.
The minister, thereafter, urged financial institutions in the country to participate actively in the unfolding opportunities that have been thrown up in the power sector.
On the issue of gas unavailability that has plagued the sector, Nebo said a strong alliance had been formed with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to solve the issue adding that the gas challenge will be solved before the completion of the on-going NIPP projects across the country.