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World Bank boosts power with $1bn investment guarantee

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BY EMMA UJAH, Abuja Bureau Chief

Abuja — Investments in the nation’s electricity power sector has received a boost, with the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, MIGA, pledging to provide more than $1 billion guarantee in the sector.

The Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, CEO, of MIGA, Mr. Michel Wormser, told journalists in Abuja yesterday that his organisation was taking the step to make investments in Nigerian infrastructure more attractive for Foreign Direct Investments.

“Let me talk about what MIGA is planning to do in this country.   Over the next couple of years, I would expect that MIGA would provide guarantees above   $1 billion in Nigeria.

“This is primarily going to be in the energy sector and the discussions that we are going to have today is to precisely identify with the governments and agencies where they would see the highest value from MIGA involvement, given the development priorities of the country,” he said.

Wormser explained that his organisation had provided investment guarantees in the country to the tune of $364 million in the past but decided to strengthen its involvement in the Nigerian economy, given its impressive growth records and the need to further expand its capacity for job creation.

His words:  “Nigeria is a country which has been growing very fast and has become the envy of many countries of the world in terms of the growth.

“But there is an understanding that jobs have to be created and competitiveness has to be assured and this can only happen if more investments occur in projects.

“In the past, we had provided guarantees of about $364 million in Nigeria.

“At this moment, our biggest area of concentration is going to be in energy – to strengthen the investment in the sector –whether in gas to power,  transmission, distribution –MIGA can help in all of these areas.”

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