In other to help power sector operators in the country to borrow up to $1.19bn to execute their various projects, the World Bank Group has approved partial risk guarantees.
The board of Executive Directors of the three arms of the World Bank approved the loan package. They have promised to assist most of the energy projects that would improve independent power generation and relive the challenging energy shortages in Nigeria.
According to a report released in Washington on Wednesday, the projects were vital elements of the World Bank Group’s Energy Business Plan for Nigeria.
About $245m and $150m was approved for partial risk guarantees by the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency to the 459-megawatt Azura- Edo Power Plant near Benin City, Edo State and the 533-MW Qua Iboe plant Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State respectively. Both plants are gas fired.
The Vice President, Africa Region, World Bank, Mr. Makhtar Diop, said efficient, affordable and reliable access to electricity was necessary for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Nigeria to sped up job creation.
Mr. Diop said ‘‘I am glad that we were able to support Nigeria’s extensive energy reform programme and provide direct assistance to increase generation capacity by mobilizing nerly $1.7bn of private sector financing through a range of instruments’’.
The IFC’S investment and MIGA’s guarantee for the Azura-Edo power plant will support a trail blazing project at the center of Nigeria’s ambitious power sector programme, while setting a replicable model for future power projects.
The Regional Vice-President, IFC, Mr. Jean Prosper, said addressing energy needs in Nigeria required investment from the public and private sectors, adding that working with the World Bank Group would help to catalyze significant private investment in an environment that best assured of successful delivery of increased power supply.