Nigeria’s power supply will receive a boost of up to €33million, as part of the second phase of the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), championed by the European Union and German Government.
Speaking at the programme launch in Abuja, the Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Zarma, was hopeful that the plan would complement government’s efforts on improving access to power, especially through renewable energy.
Zarma said the project, which is expected to provide electricity to about 10,000 residents in five states would help the country provide sustainable power supply to people in the rural areas.
The projected, which is expected to last over a period of about four years, would be managed by German cooperation agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ)
The Programme Head, NESP, Iner Hommers, commenting on the plan, said EU would provide €20million, while the German Government will provide €13million in support.
She said the initiative would ensure stable data for electrification planning, sustainable on-grid and off-grid electricity and an enabling environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments.
According to her, the first part of the initiative contributed in providing electricity to about 10,000 people in Sokoto, Niger, Ogun, Cross River, and Plateau states.
Head of Delegation, European Union, Karlsen Ketil, stressing that energy remained key to addressing the challenges confronting the country, said Nigeria must prioritise investment in renewable energy, as it could generate over 53,950MW of electricity from solar and hydro sources alone.
“Dependency on expensive and polluting energy from generators is clearly unsustainable,” he said.
He said the union is committed to helping Nigeria meet its energy demand, adding that there was a need to create job opportunities that would complement its growing population.
He also said Nigeria needed to move away from depending on oil, to “diversify the economy, and to ensure a truly conducive environment for doing business.”
He decried the large number of Nigerians, about 80 million, who are without access to the grid, the equivalent to the size of Germany, or Spain, Demark, Netherlands, and Belgium combined.