By Donald Ugwu
The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Friday said it would invest 711.5 million dollars in some projects in Nigeria including power supply.
Mr Amadou Hott, the bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Complex, made the pledge when he led a delegation of the Bank on a visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The AfDB VP said the bank had a programme to support the solar project in the country with 477 million dollars, and another 150 million dollars for other projects.
“We are on the verge of approving a grant of 1.5 million dollars to support the Jigawa solar project, a new initiative of up to 1,000 MW; the first phase will be 100MW.
“We have agreed to support the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) with a total of 410 million dollars for critical transmission project, which was initially 200 million dollars.
“We are expecting to have this approval by September depending on the studies and other work that needs to be done,” Hott stated.
He further said the AfDB planned to provide 300 million dollars to support the Federal Government’s power sector recovery programme or the government’s planned investment in power distribution companies to enable them to unlock 2,000MW of stranded power.
Responding, Osinbajo assured the delegation that in spite of the sectoral challenges, the Buhari administration would complete major projects that would improve power supply in the country.
He informed them of the government’s proposal to also implement a plan that would provide solar energy in a number of universities in the country.
The Vice President noted that the Buhari administration, through various projects, was making more efforts to ensure improved power supply nationwide.
One of such projects, according to Osinbajo is the Federal Government’s Energising Education Programme (EEP), which is a key component of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and Power Sector Reform Programme (PSRP).
The project, which is being carried out through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), is expected to power Federal Universities and Teaching Hospitals with solar power.
Osinbajo said that the first phase of the project would include nine federal universities and one teaching hospital.
The Vice President said it was an important project for government as it would “improve general satisfaction and create an atmosphere where academic activities can thrive and go undisturbed.”
While noting that the Federal Government had made budgetary allocation to fund the project in some of the federal universities, the Vice President said the Bank’s support would also be welcomed.
“As Adesina (the President of AfDB) would always say, ‘Light up and power Africa’, I would say “it is good to light up Nigeria also,” he said.
Osinbajo thanked the AfDB for the support it had given the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) transmission project and in the training of its engineers.
He said that the Federal Government was always ready to support the bank in carrying out its initiatives in the country.
The AfDB is supporting the training of 300 engineers from the TCN through a programme with the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).
In the same vein, the Vice President said the Federal Government welcomed the AfDB’s support for solar Independent Power Projects (IPP) in the country which it promised to support through different projects.