World Bank gives Nigeria $ 600 mm for power and gas sectors

Jun 16, 2009 02:00 AM

The World Bank has approved $ 600 mm to assist Nigeria in its quest to develop its power and gas sectors, the bank said.
The loan comprises $ 200 mm in IDA Credits to assist in network investments and technical assistance to improve electricity supply and a further $ 400 mm in Partial Risk Guarantees (PRGs) in support of domestic gas market development.

The bank's board approved the grant, which was released by the bank's office in the Nigerian capital.
''Poor infrastructure in the power sector is a key constraint to growth in Nigeria. The project will help the Federal Government's current programme to improve electrical power to Nigerians, a priority in the Government's 7-point agenda for economic development,'' the bank said.

It said the Nigeria Electricity and Gas Improvement Project (NEGIP) will provide for Partial Risk Guarantees (PRGs) in support of Gas Supply Agreements that would assure and increase gas supply to boost power generation, which is critical for economic growth ofthe country.
''In this way the Project will address one of the critical bottlenecks in the supply chain for power generation and underpin the Government's reform efforts in the gas and power sectors. The project will rehabilitate existing transmission and distribution infrastructure to supply the increased power generated from the improved gas supply to consumers. Benefits to be derived from the project include reliable and improved quality of gas supply by instilling commercial discipline in the gas sector through commercial contracts; reduction of power losses from the electrical grid and improved power quality and reliability,'' it said.

Meanwhile, the statement said three additional projects for Nigeria were approved by the board, amounting to $ 420 mm. These are the Second HIV/AIDS Programme Development Project ($ 225 mm) to reduce the risk of infections by scaling up prevention interventions as well as increase access to and utilization of counselling, testing, care and support services; the Malaria Booster project ($ 100 mm) and the Lagos Eko Secondary Education project ($ 95 mm).
''The approval of these four projects is a major milestone in our partnership with Nigeria. We are especially excited about the prospect that our support to the power sector might help solve the perennial problem of generation capacity lying idle whilst Nigerians stay without light,'' Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank, Nigeria, was quoted as saying.

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