The World Bank on Friday announced a $486 million International Development Association credit to support the rehabilitation and upgrade of Nigeria’s electricity transmission substations and lines.
Although the Nigerian government has always said the country’s power generation capacity has increased to more than 7,000 megawatts, the challenge remained in the area of weak transmission infrastructure to evacuate available electricity to consumers.
The spokesperson of the World Bank in Nigeria, Olufunke Olufon, said the approved credit would facilitate investments under the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project.
Ms. Olufon said this would help increase the power transmission network and enable electricity distribution companies supply consumers with additional power.
She said along with other investments and policy measures, the project would contribute to adequate and reliable electricity supply necessary for Nigeria’s continued economic development.
Besides, it would equally support private sector participation, capacity development and better governance in Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN and sector institutions.
“The federal government is committed to addressing the challenges in the public-owned transmission network and the financing being provided by the World Bank under the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project power sector underlines this commitment.
The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said government expects private sector financing in the privately-owned segments of the value-chain to complement its efforts to bring better quality service to Nigeria.
Mr. Fashola said the project was part of the federal government’s power sector recovery programme to boost electricity generation and distribution system.
The project, the minister said, was a comprehensive package of policy, legal, regulatory, operational and financial interventions to restore the financial viability of power sector.
He said the measures to be implemented through 2021 were aimed at improving transparency and service delivery and re-establishing investor confidence in the sector.
The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, said the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project would help ”address key bottlenecks in the transmission network and improve access to affordable and reliable electricity service to Nigerians.”