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

The African Development Bank Thursday announced its plans to support Nigeria’s power sector with one billion US dollars.

This support fund, according to the bank, would be channelled through a policy-based operation (PBO) with a significant energy component aimed at supporting the ongoing power sector reforms triggered by the new Electricity Act. 

Speaking in Abuja at the 8th Africa Energy Marketplace forum, the AfDB’s Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Complex, Dr. Kevin K. Kariuki, also stated that the bank would finance the policy recommendations to actualize the expected outcomes from the National Integrated Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan.

The event was themed: “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)”. 

Kariuki, who noted that there were challenges in the country’s power sector, disclosed that the bank would also finance a study for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to explore the deployment of Battery Energy Storage Systems to enhance grid stability and facilitate greater uptake of renewable energy generation.

He said: “At AfDB we put our money where our mouth is!  As is manifested by the fact we will be shortly seeking the board’s approval for a 1 billion US dollar policy-based operation (PBO) with a significant energy component 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 actualize the expected outcomes from the National Integrated Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan.

“The said enabling environment will maximize the value of ongoing investments, including the USD 256.2 million Nigeria Transmission Expansion Project that entails the construction of 500km of transmission lines and four substations with a capacity of over 1000MVA; and the USD 200 Million Nigeria Electrification Project, which will build 150 mini-grids.

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

“Which brings me to generation.  Nigeria is part of our flagship USD 20 Billion Desert to Power Initiative, which aims to generate 10,000 MW of solar power across 11 countries in the Sahel region to provide power to 250 million Africans”.

In his address, the Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, who complained about the inconsistency of policy coordination in the sector, said the current administration was ready to remove all the bottlenecks in the sector.

Adelabu, however, justified the Band A tariff hike, saying that only 15 per cent of Nigerians were affected, and disclosed that without proper billing, the power reform agenda of the present administration may not be achieved.