Nigeria: Utilise ADB's $184.2m loan for rural electrification Stakeholders
9 January 2014
Stakeholders in the power sector of the economy have said the best way to utilise the $184.2 million African Development Bank loan to achieve effective results is to channel the monies into the Operation Light Up Rural Nigeria, an initiative aimed at addressing the epileptic power situation in the country.
Some of the commentators who spoke to our correspondent, said that electricity is the single biggest impediment to the industrial takeoff in the country noted that ploughing the money and indeed other loans to rural electrification would go a long way in boosting Nigerias industrial sector.
James Nwabueze, a social commentator expressed the hope that if the money goes into the development of rural electrification, the country would be better for it, stressing that industries would be compelled to site their plants in the rural areas which would in turn minimise the incident of rural urban migration.
"It is high government take electrification of the rural areas much more seriously. This is because such development will force industries to site their plants in the rural areas. This way jobs will be created for the rural dwellers and the incidence of rural urban migration will be reduced".
Also, the Emmanuel Onuh, a civil servant said there is much need to develop the rural electrification in the country, urging the federal government to sustain the Operation Light of Nigeria project"
According to him, there are several other loans for the development of the sector which Nigerians have not really seen the impact.
"The only way you and i can know that government is sincere about the development of the electricity in the country is when you can easily access light in the rural areas. Now, they are talking about Operation light up Nigeria, if such fund is available why not just plough it to the project and ensure that it is sustained" he said.
The approval the $184.2 million loan was contained in a statement issued by the ADB management in Addis Ababa which noted that the facility is under the banks Partial Risk Guarantee.
The bank said it also approved $3.1 million loan to enhance capacity building in power generation and distribution to meet the countries 40,000 MW target by 2020.
"The Board of Directors of the ADB group approved an African Development Fund Partial Risk Guarantee program of $184.2 million and an ADF loan of $3.1 million for capacity building, to support the Nigerian power sector privatisation programme.
"The Boards decision will allow the ADB to support the Nigerian Government's efforts to reform the power sector and position the country for sustainable and inclusive growth," said the statement.
Some of the stakeholders argued that to power a thriving economy capable of sustaining meaningful growth Nigeria must be looking at generating well over 50,000 megawatts and more. South Africa, a country of less than fifty million currently generates 34,000 per year and adding to that annually, and when they experienced some minor glitches five years ago, they budgeted fifty billion dollars just to address those glitches.
The Federal Government said 16 states would benefit from the Operation Light Up Rural Nigeria programme within the next six months.
Original article by Chidi Ugwu