Federal Government has earmarked $4.7bn (about N752bn) for expansion
of electricity transmission network in the next five years.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo disclosed this yesterday while inaugurating the National Council on Power, NACOP.
The inauguration was the highpoint of a three-day brainstorming by experts and stakeholders on issues around power generation, transmission, distribution, renewable energy and energy efficiency, rural electrification and policy initiatives and implementation strategies.
Sambo reiterated government’s commitment to expanding the nation’s transmission grid to all parts of the country through additional resources.
He said that more innovative approaches would be adopted to fund the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, through opening private sector investment windows.
“Besides our commitment to adequate provisions within our national annual budget in the years ahead, we will continue to expand our national transmission grid to all parts of the country through additional resources leveraged from Development Financial Institutions, DFIS, including African Development Bank, AfDB, Islamic Development Bank, IDB, World Bank Group, WBG, and Japan International Corporation Agency, JICA.
“A total of $4.7bn or N752bn is already being earmarked for transmission expansion in the next five years. In addition to this, it is also intended that more innovative approaches will be adopted to fund the TCN through opening possible private sector investment windows at the nearest possible time,” he said.
Sambo highlighted the need to bridge the existing metering gap in the electricity industry, stressing that government was already sourcing funding, including opening an initial N33bn soft term credit line to enable the distribution companies to acquire smart meters and make them available to customers.
According to the vicepresident, adequate metering can play a multiplier role by shoring up the market revenues of the distribution companies and also ensure greater equity and accuracy in the billing of customers.
He also disclosed that both ministries of power and mines and solid minerals development had been directed to ensure that the first large scale coal-topower project took off soon, stressing that the nation’s coal belt covers eight states and is capable of generating about 5,000MW of power