Also yesterday, Japan gave Nigeria a grant of N2 billion for solar electricity generation at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University in Katsina.
The support, which was described as the first grant-aid project for solar energy to Nigeria under Japan’s Overseas Development Assistance framework, is part of Japan’s contribution towards improving power supply in the country.
Japan’s ambassador extra-ordinary to Nigeria, Ryuichi Shoji, who exchanged the documents for the project with Prof. Barth Nnaji, Minister of Power in Abuja on Tuesday said his country’s contribution to Nigeria’s power sector since 2000 amounted to N157.2 billion.
He said the seven projects executed so far by Japan in the power sector cover five states - Nasarawa, Bauchi, Borno, Cross River and Akwa Ibom but that the country had decided to explore renewable energy for sustainable electricity supply in Nigeria.
According to him, “securing sufficient provision of power is one of the top priorities of Nigeria’s industrial and economic policy, and we are happy to have been able to add to the efforts of Nigeria in this regard.”
Also on Tuesday, two French firms – Electricity Company of France and Electricity Distribution Company of France – indicated their readiness to finance projects in Nigeria’s power transmission network. Both firms yesterday commissioned a study of the country’s transmission network with the French government providing N40 billion (200 million Euros) for the scheme.
Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji, said in Abuja on Tuesday that the arrival of the French outfits in the sector would set the stage for projects implementation with the latest western technology.
Chairman of the Electricity Company of France, Mr. Jean Paul Mairesse, stressed that the projects to be determined by the study would be executed by an indigenous energy company, Transnational Energy and Power Systems Limited (TEPS).
At the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the French firms and the Ministry of Power, the Chairman of TEPS, Prince Albert Awofisayo, lauded the support by the French government describing it as “unprecedented.”