The Federal Government and the World Bank have opened fresh talks aimed at helping Nigeria to resolve its recurring power crisis.
The Acting Head, World Bank Office in Nigeria, Chief Bayo Awosemusi, disclosed this in an interview in Abuja.
Awosemusi regretted that the bank’s plan for the nation’s power sector had not been followed through due to bureaucratic impediments but confirmed that the bank had opened fresh talks with the Federal Government on its intervention in the industry.
Although the World Bank boss did not specify the projects involved in the discussion, it was reported that the bank had in 2014 announced $1.19bn guarantees meant to lift the nation’s electricity sector.
The Board of Executive Directors of the three arms of the World Bank approved the package of loans and guarantees supporting a series of energy projects to help boost independent power generation and ease crippling energy shortages in Nigeria.
It said the projects were critical elements of the World Bank Group Energy Business Plan for Nigeria.
The World Bank, International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency’s partial risk guarantees approved $245m for the 459 Megawatt Azura Edo power plant near Benin City, Edo State; and $150m for the 533MW Qua Iboe plant in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State. Both plants are gas-fired.
The Boards of the IFC and MIGA approved loans and hedging instruments of $135m and guarantees of up to $659m for the Azura Edo project.
The IBRD guarantees included forward-looking mitigation and risk-sharing arrangements designed to augment the country’s power sector reforms, while building market confidence and setting industry benchmarks.
The IFC’s investment and MIGA’s guarantee for the Azura Edo power plant were to support a trailblazing project at the centre of Nigeria’s ambitious power sector programme, while setting a replicable model for future power projects.
The bank said addressing energy needs in Nigeria required investment from the public and private sectors, adding that working with the World Bank Group could help catalyse significant private investment in an environment that best assured successful delivery of increased power supply.
Source: The Punch