July 10, 2024

US backs Nigeria’s power sector reform with N115bn grant 



By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja 

The United States government has backed the Federal Government’s effort to reform the power sector with N115 billion support.

Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, and the Federal Ministry of Power, the Power Africa Coordinator, Richard Nelson, expressed the US government commitment to improve power supply across the African continent.

Nelson said the U.S. Government’s initiative would double access to electricity on the continent by the year 2030. 

“We have been in operation for about 11 years and have made significant gains across the continent. We have helped almost 15,000 megawatts of power projects reach financial flows in 152 different projects, leveraging about $26 billion.

So we’ve had some significant achievements. We’ve helped almost 200 million people across the continent get access to electricity. And with all of that, Nigeria is a special place for us.

“It has been a critical priority since the beginning and will continue to be so going forward. This MOU that we’ll be signing today, that USAID will be signing with you, represents a very key component of the Power Africa engagement with Nigeria as a whole for the next several years. And we’re excited to be supporting that.

“Nigeria itself, the work that we’ve done, has resulted in almost 5 million connections, which represents upwards of 20-plus million people just over the last five years. We’ve also supported about 3,000 megawatts, a little over 3,000 megawatts of electricity reaching financial flows. But we look to support more of that over the next few years”, he added.

In her part, the Mission Director, USAID Nigeria, Melissa Jones explained that the MoU would intensify and accelerate its partnership with the ministry. 

Nigeria’s lead power sector policymaking institution falls under your watch, Honorable Minister, and you have done such an incredible job as well as laying out to all of us your five-point plan.

“We are very excited to sign this MOU and to achieve our shared goals under the MOU, USAID intends to launch Empower Nigeria, a new N115 billion program to support Nigeria’s energy reform and clean energy transition”, stated.

In his remarks, Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adekola Adelabu said that the N115.2 billion partnership with USAID represents a pivotal step towards overcoming longstanding challenges in providing reliable and sustainable power to all Nigerians.