Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sourcing of a $247.3 million (about N76 billion at t N306/$) loan for the provision of rural electrification projects in the country as well some infrastructure projects in commercial hub, Lagos State.
The country’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, says the government is optimistic that these projects, when completed, will significantly boost the nation’s economy.
A $150 million external loan is expected to be sourced from the African Development Bank (AFDB) for specific use on rural electrification projects.
$50 million more will be sourced from Africa Grow Together Fund for other electrification projects, while $20 million from French Development Agency will be loaned to the Lagos State government to build new roads and refurbish existing ones.
It was disclosed that another $27.3 million IADE facility was approved as part of the ‘North Core Dorsal Regional Transmission Project, which will be part of the West Africa Power Pool projects with a total loan requirement of $640 million.
According to Ahmed, the projects are intended to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, and Burkina Faso “with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade among participant countries”
“The project, which has four components, aligns with the federal government’s strategy on electrification of rural communities. First is solar hybrid mini-grid for rural economic development, the second is productive appliances equipment for up-grid communities, the third, is energising education while the fourth component is institutional capacity building.
“The impact of the project when fully implemented, about 500,000 people will be able to have access to electricity for about 105,000 households. The maximum power that will be generated will be 76.5 megawatts installed generating capacity part of which is 68,000 megawatts of solar.
The intention is for the creation of a regional power pool in the region of West Africa. The pool project aims to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, and Burkina Faso with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade among participants.