Power sectorThe Federal Government has emphasised the need for financing and liquidity stability in the nation’s power sector.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed this at a business forum Wednesday. The forum is on “Financing Opportunities in the Nigerian Power Sector”.

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According to Fashola, there exists a list of endless possibilities and opportunities for investment in the nation’s power sector.

He said the Distribution Companies (DisCos) required financing especially in foreign exchange. This will be used for the supply of meters, upgrading distribution equipment like transformers, ring mains units, feeders for DisCos and funding.

“They (DisCos) need a lot of operating capital to buy meters, to change transformers that are old, to extend access to their customers, to replace transformers and so on and so forth.”

“They need operational capital and they need it in mix of foreign exchange because some of the things they want to buy are not made in Nigeria and there are some made in Nigeria.”

The minister said GenCos need adequate liquidity was acquired to procure turbines, parts and accessories which were largely imported. According to him, investment in the GenCos is also profitable. He added that when the market settled and stabilised, the return would be marvelous.

He further posits that Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) would benefit from financing of its grid expansion programme if it could present a detailed prospect plan that would demonstrate investment needs and return potential.

The minister indicated that solar, coal, and other energy suppliers required investment to finance acquisition of photovoltaic panels, heavy duty equipment and related machines not made in Nigeria.

Fashola also disclosed that the government owned Nigeria Buck Electricity Trader (NBET) plans to raise a bond for investors to buy into it.

FG To Invest $150m In Rural Electrification

Meanwhile, the government has announced that it is ready to spend $150m on rural electrification.

Fashola said government would use 44 tertiary institutions and small hydro dams in the rural areas as anchors for the electrification programme.

He further added that the money would be deployed towards providing Independent Power Plants (IPPs). This will ensure electricity supply to tertiary institutions and rural communities.

He said that 37 out of the 44 tertiary institutions audited for the project were universities, while seven were teaching hospitals.

Consequently, government would deploy 37 IPPs made up of nine gas plants and 28 solar plants with a combined generation capacity of 120 megawatts to power all the universities.

According to Fashola, the 37 IPPs will replace 1,105 generators that were hitherto serving the institutions and generating 210 MW of inefficient and unclean energy.

He said the amount would cover capital expenditure, operations and maintenance.