Nigerian government proposes $6.15 billion on power sector reform – minister

The Minister of Power, Mr Saleh Mamman, has assured Nigerians that effective metering will tackle the challenges of liquidity and energy theft in the power sector.

The Nigerian government has so far obtained funding in the sum of $6.15 billion (around N2.37 trillion) for the power industry and is currently reforming the sector with it, Sale Mamman, the Minister of Power said on Tuesday.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Aaron Artimas, in Abuja, the minister who marked his first year anniversary in office on 21st August said the fund was being utilised for improvement of electricity supply in the country.

Mamman stated that he was grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari who had been consistent in discovering and injecting new talents into the country’s leadership.

According to him, $3.2 billion was secured from Siemens and $1.6 billion from donor agencies for the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP).

$1.7 billion was provided by the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Mamman said $550 million was allocated for the Nigerian Electricity Project, a rural electrification project financed by the World Bank and the AfDB.

The ministry has kicked off the implementation of critical infrastructure projects with the fund to achieve generation, transmission and distribution of 25,000 Megawatts (MW) of electricity come 2025, he affirmed.

“The Siemens project will raise power to 7,000MW in the first phase which just began, focusing on quick wins for both Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

“The expected projects under the Siemens deal include 105 substations rehabilitation, 70 new substations, manufacturing, and installation of 35 power transformers and installation of 3,765 distribution transformers.

“There will also be over 5,000 kilometres of transmission lines to be constructed.”

The TCN, he stated, was also executing the $1.6 billion TREP project under his supervision with support from development partners such as the World Bank, AfDB and JICA.

He listed the key projects boosted by the fund as Alaoji-Onitsha and Kaduna-Kano power lines among others.

Mamman added that work was in progress at the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant valued at $1.2 billion, expected to generate 700MW upon completion. According to him, construction work at the plant has attained 73 per cent completion.

“The 3050MW Mambilla hydropower project is expected to increase the national grid by 30 per cent. It is worth 5.7 billion dollars with 85 per cent funding with $4.85 billion from China while the Federal Government is providing $850 million funding.

“The main construction works include four large dams: Nya, Sumsum, Nghu, and API Weir in Taraba state.”

He noted that government had completed the 40MW Kashimbilla hydropower plant in Taraba.

“We are currently working on the development and expansion of transmission lines to evacuate power from the project site to areas of distribution.

“There is also the 40MW Dadin Kowa hydropower plant in Gombe State while overhauling the 240MW Afam Power Plant.”

Through its Rural Electrification Agency (REA), government plans to increase energy access for an estimated 80 million Nigerians, he added.

“We have secured $550 million from the World Bank and AfDB for off-grid electrification being used to power universities and rural areas. With the mini-grid regulation, access to electricity is improving through REA.

“As of 2019, we had four million off-grid connections. We aim to add another five million in the next 18 to 24 months under the recently approved Economic Sustainability Programme.”

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