- Power Sector Needs N1.260tr to Maintain 4,000MW in 2017
The Federal Government has concluded plans to raise $3.5 billion (N1.260 trillion) from the sale of government owned power plants, borrowing from banks and other multilateral financial institutions to maintain electricity generation of 4,000 MegaWatts (MW).
The Federal Ministry of Power said an estimated $3.5 billion budget appropriations will be required as part of the funding plan needed to revive Nigeria’s power sector. This is expected to ensure that a minimum baseline power generation of 4,000MW is guaranteed and distributed daily from 2017, to ensure stability of the grid.
Nigeria has 13,400MW of installed power generation capacity of which 8,000 MW is mechanically available. Less than 4,000MW is dispatched on the average over the last two years due to constraints in gas supply, electricity transmission, and, distribution. As a result, the lack of constant electricity supply has discouraged consumers’.
According to the country’s Power Sector’s Recovery Programme, obtained by The Guardian at the weekend, the financial shortfall in the power sector will be funded from the sale of government owned power plants, borrowing from the World Bank and other multilateral financial institutions and from the national budget.
It noted that work was ongoing to elaborate in detail the mechanism for funding the shortfall, taking into account fiscal space considerations as well as the detailed mechanisms on how the funding will be provided to market participants in tandem with regulator, governance and institutional reforms under the recovery programme to enforce market discipline.
The recovery programme stated: “The difference between cost recovery tariff and allowed effective average tariff –will be covered by the government through the Electricity Market Support mechanism, subject to annual amount allocated in the budget.”
The actual government contribution will be calculated monthly, based on information provided by licensees (energy billed and amount billed, to calculate actual average tariff of each DisCo), and reviewed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Speaking with The Guardian on the issue, Director/CEO at Electronics Development Institute, Awka, Nigeria, Ndinechi Michael, emphasised the need for Federal Government to protect the consumers to an extent by insisting that consumers that are not provided with prepaid meters within a stipulated period of time, should stop paying electricity bill or better still peg it at N3,000 a month.
Ndinechi said this will force Dicos to provide consumers with prepaid meters, saying, “an average consumer consumes more than N3,000 worth of electricity a month. With increasingly difficulty in sourcing foreign exchange for importation, Discos will not have any alternative than to look inwards.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Genesis Energy Group, Akinwale Omoboriowo II, said that bureaucracy and burdensome processes associated with securing investment licences and permits must be simplified in order to remove the unwelcoming encumbrances that scare intending investors.
He said rather, investor-friendly policies and concessions should be put in place with transparent laws and an autonomous regulator with measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
“Again, continuity mechanisms and the sanctity of contracts must be guaranteed regardless of change in governments. It is imperative to encourage the emergence of mini and micro grids, which can co-exist with large grids. Alternative funding from the Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) Departments of Multinational Companies and big corporate organisations are also necessary,” he added.
France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership
France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.
Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.
A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.
“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”
It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.
It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.
It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.
It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”
COVID-19: USAID to Provide $3m Grant, Technical Assistance to Combat Food Insecurity in Nigeria
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing financial grant and technical assistance worth $3 million to combat food insecurity in Nigeria compounded by COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement by the agency on Monday said: “On April 12, 2021, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria launched a COVID-19 Food Security Challenge that will provide $3 million in grant funding and technical assistance to youth-led and mid-stage companies working in food value chains in Nigeria.”
The statement lamented that Nigeria is experiencing food insecurity compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and its effects on the food value chain in the country.
It stated that the pandemic has disrupted the already fragile agricultural value chains, especially smallholder farmers’ ability to produce, process and distribute food, which has disrupted agricultural productivity and markets, and negatively impacted livelihoods, especially among vulnerable households, women and youth.
The USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson, said: “We are launching the COVID-19 Food Security Challenge to help innovative Nigerians alleviate food insecurity.
“This assistance encourages private sector-led solutions to boost food production, processing and create market linkage along the agriculture value chain in a sustainable way across Nigeria.”
The statement revealed that in launching the challenge, USAID seeks commercially viable youth-led and mid-stage companies already working in food production, processing, and distribution, noting that successful applicants will present ideas that demonstrably help farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain increase, agricultural productivity and food security within the next six months.
According to the statement, the challenge will award 15 to 25 youth-led companies up to $75,000 each and award 10 to 15 mid-stage companies up to $150,000 each.
Winners will receive funding and technical assistance to rapidly expand their activities to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s food value chain and improve the resilience of vulnerable households to the negative impacts of the pandemic.
FG Plans to Deliver Solar Energy to 25M Nigerians
The Nigerian federal government has commenced its plan to deliver electricity through solar energy to Nigerians whose communities are off the national power grid.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke during an event to mark the programme in Jangefe, Roni Local Government Area of Jigawa State, restated the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to give more Nigerians access to cheap and environmentally friendly renewable power.
Osinbajo said the Solar Power Naija programme would continue across the six geopolitical zones in six states, namely, Edo, Lagos, Adamawa, Anambra, Kebbi and Plateau, in the first phase, and then move to the entire 36 states and the nation’s capital, thus, covering 25 million Nigerians at completion.
Jangefe community got 1,000 solar home system connections for its about 5,000 population, as part of a 100,000 scheme, with a local solar power company implementing aspects of the scheme.
According to Osinbajo, the president had emphasised that Nigeria could no longer rely solely on the grid if government is to electrify the whole country, which meant that an effective strategy had to be developed for decentralising power supply.
The Solar Power Naija programme, which is designed by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), is an ambitious initiative that aims to create five million connections through a N140 billion financing programme that will support private developers to provide power for five million households, which means providing electricity for up to 25 million Nigerians.
The vice president disclosed that the programme was a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement supported by concessionary lending via the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks. He emphasised that structures had been put in place to make the cost of the connections affordable for the target communities.
In addition to the concessionary lending rates, Osinbajo explained that the government had provided subsidies and rebates for private developers to the tune of over $200 million under the REA and World Bank Nigeria electrification programme.
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