THE United States of America’s Export-Import Bank (EXIM) has concluded arrangements to raise its credit support for the Nigerian companies operating in the country’s power sector to $2.5 billion (N393 billion). It had earlier promised only $1.5 billion (N235 billion).
The credit facility from the bank is coming on the heels of a Memorandum of Understanding executed recently between the bank and the Nigerian Ministry of Power.
Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji, Minister for Power, said yesterday at a public lecture in Abuja that the power sector would soon witness a massive transformation, judging by the quality of ongoing projects and developments in the sector.
According to him, EXIM facility to the whole of Sub Sahara Africa in 2010 amounted to $1.4 billiion, out of which a mere $200 million came to Nigeria. He said he was excited that the bank is now ready to provide $2.5 billion to Nigeria alone for its power sector .
“Nigeria is truly hungry for electric power,” he said, adding that the nation’s maximum output of 4,400 megawatts (MW) was grossly inadequate.
“Ours is a nation of 167 million people. South Africa, a nation of 47 million people, generates 47,000MW, which interestingly had since 2008 proved insufficient. As you know, South Africa is the world’s largest 20th economy. Brazil, another emerging economy with a population of 194 million, generates about 135,000MW.
“In terms of per capita power capacity measured in watts per person, Nigeria’s record is anything but inspiring. It is 29 watts per person. Compare this figure with Brazil’s 490watts per person or America’s 2,900watts per person or India’s 110watts per person. Even neighbouring Ghana has a superior record because it has 1,800MW for its 21milion people, which amounts to 85watts per person. To state the obvious, per capita power capacity is an indicator of a country’s economic performance,” he said.
He however, said Nigeria’s power situation was not hopeless, as a number of power plants, transmission substations, transmission lines and distribution facilities are being built across the country.