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The Federal Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with a consortium of financial institution, has pooled $4.7 billion for power transmission expansion in the next 5 years.

Recognizing that scarcity of gas has been a major problem in power generation in the country, efforts are on to unlock full development of over 186 trillion standard cubic feet of gas with a view to making the commodity available for the power sector and other domestic industries.

The Vice President of the West African nation,Namadi Sambo, who revealed this while inaugurating the National Council on Power (NCOP) in Abuja recently, said the effort is being prioritized and given full focus.

“It is expected, therefore that in the next couple of months, substantial gas would be available to the power sector both through conventional means and by opening new opportunities for indigenous private gas developers,” Sambo said.

The Vice President who was represented by the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, explained further that in the finding strategies envisaged under the Nigerian Gas Masterplan, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is being further capitalized to “ensure it plays greater intervention role in gas development in Nigeria.”

According to him, “with respect to the issue of COUNTRY FOCUS improving our transmission infrastructure, this had been identified by many as one of the weakest links in our prospective plan towards making power available and ensuring greater reliability.”

He reassured all stakeholders in the sector, “that no stone is being left unturned in ensuring that Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), is well funded to be able, at any time, to exceed our generation capacity in terms of its wheeling power.

“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 Institution (DFIs), such as African Development Bank (AFDB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), World Bank Group (WBG), Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), amongst others. “A total of $4.7 billion is already being earmarked for transmission expansion in the next five years.

In addition to this, more innovative approaches will be adopted to fund the TCN through opening possible private sector investment windows at the nearest time possible.
“Similarly, it is not surprising, I have been informed, that the question of adequate metering has been raised repeatedly in the course of this council and in discussions among Nigerians. Government is greatly concerned that the metering level among consumers remains low and the incidences of arbitrary or estimated billing still exist. “For the power sector to progressively grow in the direction in which government intends it to be, this metering gap must be bridged immediately.

“Indeed, adequate metering could play a multiplier role by shoring up distribution companies themselves and also ensuring greater equity and accuracy in the billing of consumers.