ECOWAS Commission plans $35b investments in Nigeria’s power sector
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, has urged international communities, investors and experts in energy sector to give priority to investing in Nigeria’s power sector, as this would certainly contribute to improving access to electricity in the entire sub-region.
This is even as he disclosed that the Commission plans an investment of $35 billion in electricity, including grid, solar and other renewable energy sources and infrastructure projects from now till 2025.
The President made this appeal at the opening session of the ongoing sixth annual Powering Africa: Nigeria 2017 conference with the theme “Power Sector Recovery Programme: Recapitalising Nigeria’s Energy Sector.”
He said that despite the challenges being encountered in the power sector, Nigeria is expected to meet 50 per cent energy needs in Niger and Benin Republics, adding that Nigeria is the major provider of natural gas to other countries of the region through the West African gas pipeline.
De Souza who was represented by the Commissioner for Energy and Mines, ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Morlaye Bangoura, urged participants to focus on the Nigeria power sector, understand the challenges and proffer solution in line with the expectations of Nigeria and ECOWAS in the area of energy.He maintained that resolving the energy challenges of Nigeria will stimulate economic recovery effort.
Stressing that investing in Nigeria power sector not only provides access to the vast huge ECOWAS electricity market but also amount to investing in the lives of over 350 million people of the region.
In his keynote address, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, noted that the objective of the summit was consistent with the efforts of the Federal Government towards achieving incremental power because the nation does not have enough.
He expressed hope that the administration is working towards achieving steady power where many people have access to power and eventually have uninterrupted power. The minister applauded the conference saying that it has already contributed to incremental power because no amount of power is too small so far it adds to the existing unit.
He thanked the Managing Director of EnergyNet Limited, Simon Gosling for the N36 million Cheque donation to Pan Africa Solar Limited currently involved in implementation solar projects in rural communities in Katsina State. He noted that it has provided incremental power for the country.
He called for adequate data of the total number of mini grids and solar homes systems in the country so that the country would be able to know the actual mega watts of power being generated at the moment.
In a presentation on “Nigeria Energy Database (NED) Initiative”, the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, Damilola Ogunbiyi, explained that the off grid electrification strategy meant to provide access to electricity being executed include stand alone system, mini grids, energizing education, energizing economies and Nigeria energy database.The conference was hosted by the ECOWAS Commission and organized by the EnergyNet Limited.
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