By Oscarline Onwuemenyi
The recent progress recorded in the Nigerian power industry may be on its way to another boost, as the government of India has, as a sign of international support for the Roadmap for Power Sector Reform the government, agreed to provide a $100 million line of credit to Nigeria for development of necessary infrastructure in the sector.
The funding was agreed to by the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Mahesh Sachdev and the Nigeria Minister of State for Power, Arc. Nuhu Wya during a visit by the envoy’s to the Power Minister on Monday in Abuja.
According to a release signed by Ministry’s Head of Media and Public Relations, Mr. Greene Anozie, the special funding will be provided to three state governments including Enugu, Kaduna and Cross River State.
It stated that $40 million would be for the provision and commissioning of a new 33 KVA transmission line, distribution transformers, and accessories to improve the power supply to 96 communities in three Senatorial Zones in Enugu state, while $29.85 million to provide solar mini grid electrification and street lighting and a 132/33KV sub-station in Kaduna state.
Cross River State, on the other hand, would get about $30 million for the construction of two 26 MW gas power plants.
It explained that the solar power project is part of the government’s commitment to develop renewable energy sources that can be used for small scale power provision.
“The project supported by the funding is particularly welcome as it supports, power transmission, distribution, generation and the renewable energy program which all need support,” the statement added.
Similarly, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) from the State of Michigan in the United States of America, has initiated a partnership with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for a more effective power regulation in the country.
Speaking at a meeting of the different agencies on Monday, in Abuja, the Administrator of NERC, Mallam Immamuddeen Talba, explained that the partnership activity among the agencies has been of “utmost benefit to us at the Commission.”
He said, “Since the last activity in Nigeria and Michigan, we have been working on issues like energy efficiency, service quality, standardization, customer care, market rules, utility accounting, and just recently completed work on asset valuation of the successor companies of the PHCN.”
The Director of Economic Growth and Environment Office of USAID, Ms Sharon Pauling, noted that the United States’ government is collaborating with its Nigerian counterpart, and with the Independent Power Providers in the country, to implement its vision of increasing electricity generation to at least 10,000MW in the medium term.
Ms. Pauling added that the agency has launched the Nigeria Energy and Climate Change (NECC) project in February, 2010, as part of efforts to enhance the generation of clean power in the country.
She said, “NEEC’s goals are to reduce gas flaring, generate power using the otherwise flared gas, help mitigate climate change, promote commercially viable energy projects, and assist independent wind and solar firms to develop bankable investments.”
According to her, the NECC project is currently providing technical services to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria to build capacity to negotiate gas agreements with the international oil companies (IOCs).