Fed Govt seeks N33b for DISCOs to buy meters

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Aug 14th, 2014
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The Federal Government is currently sourcing for N33billion soft term credit line to enable the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) acquire smart meters.

Vice President, Namadi Sambo who made this knowm in Abuja yesterday while inaugurating the National Council on Power (NACOP), said for the power sector to grow in line with  the Federal Government’s projection, it requires funds for the operators to bridge the metering gap.

He said: “It is for this reason that government is sourcing various funding avenues, including opening an initial N33billion soft term credit line to enable distribution companies acquire smart meters and making them more available to consumers.”

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who represented him said a number of efforts are being made to leverage resources from various funding agencies to ensure that all participants in the sector have access to funds under soft conditions.

Pledging  Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring adequate funding of the Transmission Company of Nigeria ( TCN) to exceed generation capacity in terms of wheeling power,  he said a total of $4.7billion (N752billion)  is already being set aside for transmission expansion in the next five years.

Sambo said the Federal Government is committed to attracting investors to improve the country’s energy mix.

“As available studies show, Nigeria’s coal belt covers over eight states and is capable of generating about 5,000 Mw of power if fully developed.

“The Federal Ministry of Power and Federal Ministry of Mines and Solid Minerals  Development have therefore been directed to ensure that the first large scale coal to power project takes-off at the soonest time possible, following the model of partnership between government and the private sector,”he said.

He said the ceremony marked the official kick-off of the development of the national renewable energy action plan,  the national energy efficiency action plan, and the energy sufficiency action plan in Nigeria.

Speaking in his capacity as the minister, he acknowledged that the primary purpose of privatisation was to bring into play new owners with “deep pockets” who could finance and /or access financing for the rapid restoration of lost capacity and add significant new capacity to make up for negative consequences of a vertically integrated monopoly.

Nebo said the NACOP comprise the Federal Ministry of Power as well as the commissioners of power/energy in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

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