Power Africa, an initiative by the US Government to light up Africa, on Tuesday said it was planning to invest about $1 billion in the power sector in Nigeria, the programme’s coordinator, Andrew Herscowitz, said.
Herscowitz announced this in Abuja at a news conference on strengthening the power sector in Nigeria.
The coordinator, who said US was committed to strengthening the power sector in Nigeria, added that America has already committed billions of dollars in funding the nation’s energy projects.
He said Power Africa, launched by former President Barack Obama in 2013 to increase electricity access, is aimed at adding more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient energy development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Herscowitz said the project also targets unlocking the substantial wind, solar, hydro power, natural gas, biomass and geothermal resources on the continent.
He said: “Since Power Africa was launched, US Trade Development Agency has committed approximately $6.5 million in funding for 10 activities supporting Nigeria’s energy sector, which could leverage up to $2.7 billion in investment.
“It has advanced $50 million in financing from the Oversea Private Investment Corporation to Lumos, a Nigeria-based solar energy company, to scale up its off grid solar power service to about 200,000 Nigerian homes and businesses.
“Power Africa has supported power companies in the country to the tune of $100 million capital expenditure credit enhancement facility with a corresponding $6.5 million in technical assistance
“And (supported) another $1.5 million for limited commodity to turn around the DISCOS.
Herscowitz said that functional power distribution companies were critical to the development of the country.
According to him, well functioning DISCOs are critical to the delivery of electricity in Nigeria.
He said: “If the DISCOs do not work, the energy sector as a whole does not work.”
Herscowitz said Nigeria, like any country, needed to see capital flowing through the entire energy value chain.