Power Ministry News
The Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo has urged all stakeholders in the power sector to mobilize efforts towards assisting Government to sustain the raising of alternative funding through private equity and venture capital.
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Godknows Igali made the call in a seminar organized in Abuja by the Ministry of Power in partnership with the Henshaw Capital Partners. He said that the seminar was aimed at sensitizing investors, fund managers, bankers, policy makers, market operators and other stakeholders on the need to actively key-into the plan of Government for the renewable energy sub-sector. Adding, it is to enable attainment of the planned 10% target on renewable energy contribution by 2025 whereby a lot of alternative fund would be required.
He further indicated that the Government is committed to developing renewables first, because of its environmental friendliness which is a global concern and secondly since development may signal independence from the national grid. According to him, Government is looking at the development of renewables to provide off-grid and mini-grid electricity to bridge the gap caused by lack of access in rural settings and areas that are far from the national grid.
Chinedu Nebo disclosed that Government’s plans for increased power generation and energy security has informed the development of large hydros, citing the progress of work at the 700 megawatt Zungeru Project as example. He stated that activities around the financing processes for the development and construction of 3,050 megawatt Mambilla Hydro Power Dam are on-going; noting that President Goodluck Jonathan will soon perform the ground breaking ceremony that to signal the commencement of the project.
“There are 264 Hydro Dams which have not been fully utilized in the country. The good news is that studies are being conducted on many and already, turbines have been fixed as well as other hydro-electric components in twelve of them, in order to increase their generation capacity,” the Minister revealed.
He expressed the determination of Government to pursue policies in all areas in the electricity value chain, energy efficiency and conservation adding that Government’s consciousness of its environment has informed the support for renewables.
Also speaking, the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was represented at the forum by Lare Shuaibu in her goodwill message inferred that following the recent sales of power assets to private concerns by Government in the on-going Divestment exercise in the sector, the gains of privatization can only be complemented by supplementing mainstream power generation capacity with renewable energy sources.
Okonjo-Iweala said: “With abundant natural resources such as sunlight, win and biomass, Government should reflect on harnessing these for the power sector.”
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Mines and Metallurgy, Philip Aduda in his goodwill message averred that the quest for the development of renewable energy sources will help correct the imbalance created in the past as Nigeria is said to be the worst country in the area of energy efficiency. He further stressed that renewable energy provides a new frontier which will bring small players into the electricity supply chain.
In his remarks, the House of Representatives Committee Chairman, Patrick Ikhariale informed that it is no longer business as usual as government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of providing its citizens with electricity, hence people with financial muscle and technical know-how can come into the power sector.
The CEO of Henshaw Capital Partners, Barbara James in her remarks said that business financing through conventional banks is inadequate because the capital market in relation to the Gross Domestic Product is still relatively low, so private equity and capital venture would ensure that resources are pooled towards developing a sustainable energy sector for the country.
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