Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nigeria To Borrow N178 Billion in 2013

The Federal Government has concluded plans to borrow $1.15 billion (N178 billion) for its power reforms in 2013, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, has said.

Mr. Maku said on Monday at a news conference that $1 billion will be secured from the African Development Bank to finance gas supply, while another $150 million will be secured from the same bank to finance the liberalisation of the power sector.

The Federal Government’s decision to go ahead with the loan is despite condemnation from economists, civil society groups and opposition parties that Nigeria’s debt was growing without any real benefit to show for it.

While talking about the achievements of the Jonathan administration, the minister also said that the current electricity generation in the country had reached 4,502 megawatts, the highest in recent times. According to him, electricity generation is expected to move up to 7,000 megawatts in 2013.

“At the moment, there is an average of about 15 to 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about through the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the Power Roadmap.

“This includes institutional reforms to involve the private sector in power generation, transmission and distribution,’’ he said.

Mr. Maku said under the roadmap, 10 new thermal power plants had been completed, adding that more were coming in 2013 to boost electricity supply to all parts of the country.

He said that the rehabilitation of power generation and distribution infrastructure across the nation were ongoing, as well as the Kainji Hydro power station to generate power at installed capacity. He also said the contract for the maintenance of the Shiroro-power station has been awarded.

Mr. Maku also said that new contracts had been awarded for hydro power plants in Kaduna and Mambila Plateau to generate additional 750 megawatts.

“The implementation of the National Integrated Power Project is being fast-tracked to ensure stability in power supply,’’ he said.

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