Fashola Craves Investment in Power Sector to Boost Supply

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Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has urged local and international investors to take advantage of the various investment opportunities in the power sector to boost their fortunes and improve electricity supply in the country.

He made the call at the opening of a two-day EU/Nigeria business forum organised by the European Union (EU) delegation to Nigeria in Lagos.

Fashola listed the investable areas in the sector to include the distribution companies which need capitals to buy meters, gas supply, generation companies, Transmission Companies of Nigeria (TCN), rural electrification, promotion of coal and solar power and funding graduates of the National Power Training Institute to be able to produce cables and other power equipment.

“Public Private Partnership (PPP) is key in financing projects and providing infrastructure. We in governance recognise that and serious investors know we are ready to create a frame-work for sustainable development.”According to him, investments in infrastructures such as energy, schools, highways, among others, are driving growth globally. Contributors at the panel discussion include Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Agency, Mr. Uche Orji; Deputy Country Director, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), Mr. Hugo Pierrel; Country Manager, International Finance Corporation, EmeEssien Lore; and the Head, Economic Cooperation and Energy Section, EU delegation, Mr. Juan CASlA.

They stressed the need to harness grants for renewable power generation, and called for increased commitments in power generation and distribution through partnership. The experts advanced the need for creation of credit guarantor system for projects in the power sector.

Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai said infrastructure deficit, especially electricity, had been a major problem in the textile industry, hence the need to support the government in providing steady power supply.

However, in an interview with The Guardian, Slovakia Ambassador to Nigeria, Peter Holasek, who introduced the country’s trade delegations to the forum, said their visit was part of efforts at establishing trade relations in key sectors of the economy such as energy, power, mining, ICT and food processing. He added that Slovakia businesses would seek established Nigerian business partners in the relevant sectors.

The Head of EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michel Arrion, said the objective of this year’s forum was to explore measures for financing power in Nigeria.

Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, represented by Mr. Tunji Bello, and the President of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chief Mrs. Nike Akande, described the forum as timely, especially with the dwindling revenue from oil.

They stressed the urgent need to boost infrastructural development for economic growth, and expressed the hope that the meeting would engender mutual trade and economic relations.

Source: Guardian

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