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W’Bank Gives Nigeria N107.4bn Loan for Rural Electrification

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World Bank
  • W’Bank Gives Nigeria N107.4bn Loan for Rural Electrification

The World Bank on Tuesday announced the provision of a $350m loan (N107.4bn at the official exchange rate of N307 to a dollar) for the development of rural electrification projects in Nigeria.

It also announced Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency as the implementing organisation of the Federal Government that would be in charge of the loan.

The bank stated that 80 million people in Nigeria were without access to electricity, while about 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa did not have power supply in their various communities.

The global financial institution disclosed this at a press conference that was held during the ongoing ‘Action Learning Event on Upscaling Mini Grids for Low-cost and Timely Access to Electricity’ in Abuja.

The Country Director for Nigeria, World Bank, Rachid Benmessaoud, said the $350m loan was given to the government, but noted that a lot of the fund would go to the private sector.

Responding to enquiries about the loan, Benmessaoud, who was represented by the World Bank Global Lead, Energy Access, Mr. Mac Cosgrove-Davies, stated, “With regards to the question on the loan, yes indeed, this is a loan to the government.

“That said, the Rural Electrification Agency will be the implementing agency for the loan and much of the funds will actually be going to the private sector. A lot of the funds that go from the World Bank to the government will be provided to the private sector.”

Earlier in his speech during the opening session of the conference proper, Cosgrove-Davies noted that globally, more than one billion people lacked access to electricity.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is home to about 600 million of these. In Nigeria, 80 million people are without access and millions more suffer from poor service. The REA expects mini grids to fill a substantial portion of that gap, covering up to 8,000 villages nationwide,” he said.

Explaining how the $350m loan will be managed, the Managing Director, REA, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, said $100m out of the total sum would be dedicated to mini grid development.

She stated that 10,000 mini grids were being targeted by the agency, adding that when completed, the grids would generate about 3,000 megawatts of off-grid electricity.

Ogunbiyi stated, “The total loan amount for the electrification programme is $350m, of which $100m of that is going to be dedicated to mini grid development. As for the total quantum of electricity being targeted with the 10,000 mini grids, we are trying to achieve 3,000MW.

“Some sites could be 150 kilowatts, some others 20KW, but 10,000 (mini grids) is just a guide because people always need figures when we need to drive something home. So it could be less than that, but if we can achieve 3,000MW on off-grid, which will be close to the power generated on-grid, we will be very happy.”

She noted that the rural electrification programme was open to other investors, adding that the World Bank was basically “a very key catalyst to allow us do this project on a big scale. Anybody who wants to invest can come and invest in the market, it is not just for the World Bank.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

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Global debt

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

The United Nations Trade Association has Nigeria recorded a total of $2.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2020, below the $3.3 billion posted in the preceeding year.

South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised nation, reported $2.5 billion during the same year, slightly below Africa’s largest economy and 50 percent below the $4.6 billion attracted a year earlier.

The report also noted that Africa recorded a total of $38 billion FDI in the same year, representing a 18 percent decline from the $46 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2019.

However, Egypt led Nigeria and South Africa with $5.5 billion FDI, an increase of 38 percent from the preceeding year.

The report read in part, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.

UNCTAD also noted that global foreign direct investment declined by 42 percent to an estimated $859 billion, down from $1.5 trillion in 2019.

The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69 percent to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.

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Economy

FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

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rail project

FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

The Federal Government will pay a total sum of N71 billion to partly fund six rail projects connecting all regions of the country.

In the report obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the six rail projects marked for development this year are Lagos-Kano rail line (ongoing), Calabar-Lagos (ongoing), and Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri).

Others are the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, the new Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi line in Niger Republic and the Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja-Warri Port and refinery/Warri new harbour.

The Buhari administration will also spend N15.1 billion on the development of safety and security of critical projects, airport certification, runway construction, terminal building, among others in the aviation sector in 2021.

Last week, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said the Lagos-Kano line would be connected from the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and would cost $5.3 billion.

We are waiting for the Chinese government and bank to approve the $5.3bn to construct the Ibadan-Kano. What was approved a year ago was the contract,” the minister said.

He added, “The moment I announced that the Federal Government had awarded a contract of $5.3bn to CCECC (China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation) to construct Ibadan-Kano, people assumed the money had come in; no.

“We have not got the money, which is a year after we applied for the loan. We have almost finished the one of Lagos-Ibadan. If we don’t get the loan now, we can’t commence.”

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Economy

FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

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FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.

The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.

The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.

Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.

Potential Travelers can book via three ways:

1. Mobile app
2. Website
3. POS or Cash at the station

A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.

Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.

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