President-Jonathan

Teddy Oscar, Abuja

The nation’s power has received a financial boost of more than $2 billion to enhance its electricity transmission.

Speaking in Abuja on Thursday at a meeting with the bankers’ forum, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, hinted that the amount was pooled from five different sources.

Nebo, who reacted to concerns raised by the bankers, who were led by Mr. Ifie Sekibo, managing director, Heritage Bank, revealed that the total sum is $2.555 billion.

“Already the National Economic Council (NEC) has recommended, and Mr. President approved a whopping sum of $1.6 billion from the proceeds of the sales of NIPP projects just for transmission alone.

“In addition to that, the World Bank has brought in a substantial amount of money, more loans are coming in and this is in excess of $500 million. The Eurobond that was over subscribed, we had about $135 million just for transmission.

“From the African Development Bank (AfDB), (an amount that is) already being accessed is $150 million just for transmission. From the French Development Bank (FDB), $170 million is already in the pipeline and very soon will be accessed.

“Also in addition to that, there is an incredible number of parties internationally who want to invest in transmission, not just to give us loans but to come and invest in a PPP (public private partnership) arrangement,” he said.

He promised an improvement of transmission.

“Ideally, transmission should have 150 percent of generation, but it has never been so in Nigeria. But by the grace of God, under President Goodluck Jonathan, we hope to achieve 120 percent capacity and in that way no matter what we generate we should be able to transmit,” he added.

Earlier, rhe leader of the bankers’ forum, Sekibo, stated that the banks were concerned about three key issues affecting them since the power sector was privatised.

He outlined their concerns to include the seeming poor state of the country’s power transmission network, the recurring obstacles in the supply of gas to power plants, and the lack of intervention fund for banks that were supporting the sector.

“We have not come here to complain, considering the giant strides which the government has recorded in the power sector, but the above concerns are what we want you to help us address,” Sekibo said.