By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”THE Federal Government yesterday secured a $300 million (about N45 billion) credit facility from the International Development Association (IDA), an arm of the World Bank.
The loan, which repayment is spread forÂ 45 years, is with a zero-interest rate.
The credit, which is being extended to Nigeria under the World Bankâ€™s Special Facility for Infrastructural Development and enjoys 10 years payment holiday, is to be spent on critical two infrastructural areas â€” electricity and gas supply.
While about N30bn ($200m) of the fund is expected to be channeled to the improvement of power transmission and distribution infrastructure, the N15bn ($100m) balance is for the Partial Risk Guarantee for gas supply to power plants across the country.
The Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, told State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC), meeting.
She saidÂ the council also awarded contracts for the complete overhauling and commissioning of intake band screen system at the Egbin Power Plant in Lagos.
According to Akunyili,Â the Egbin Power Plant is the most significant contributor of power to the national electric grid. ”The intake band screen for filtering raw water at the Egbin Power Plant is in a state of despair.
â€œThe contract for the overhaul of the intake band screen was awarded in 2007 but progress on the contract was stalled due to conflicting terms of payment in the contract agreement and inadequate funding.
”Therefore, there is the need to restore the offshore content of the project with a view to facilitating an LC (Letters of Credit) in favour of offshore suppliers.â€
She said the council approved a reconstructing contract from a total sum of N1.02 million to N168.3m and Â£3.4 million. The project is to be completed within eight months.
Akunyili also announced the award of contracts for transmission sub-station projects at Oba and Nnewi, in Anambra State. They include the construction of 2x60MVA sub-station at Oba and 2x132KV line bays at Oba and Nnewi for N860.4 andÂ Euro5.8. The project is to be completed within 18 months.