NIGERIAL Federal Govt, USTDA Sign $1.1m Grant For Abuja Independent Power Project

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Mele Kyari, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says electricity is a luxury only the elite in the country can afford. Kyari made the statement at the Nigeria 
International Petroleum Summit in Abuja on Tuesday.

The summit with the theme, ‘Widening the integration circle: technology, knowledge, sustainability partnership’, saw the signing of a $1.1 million grant between the federal government and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) as part funding for the Abuja independent power project (IPP).

Kyari said many Nigerians are still struggling to afford a day’s meal let alone electricity. He said the government must address the issue of power supply before it can go into renewable energy.

“For this country and very many of us in sub-Saharan Africa, what we worry about today is actually the meals of today. There are many who can’t afford a meal a day. And of course, electricity is largely a luxury; it’s only for the elite, like all of us here,” Kyari said.

“It is the dream of very many to have I-pass-my-neighbour in their homes. When you say, ‘do not use fossil fuel,’ but you have not provided alternatives. The world has not looked at their situation. The world has not recognised that there is abject poverty in the communities.

“We have to resolve the issue of electricity so that we can talk about renewable energy in the future and reduce the use of fossil fuel that has a high impact on the environment. We know that there is an energy transition in the world. With time, there will be less dependence on fossil fuel.”

Kyari also said gas remains the cheapest source of power, and that efforts must be made to stop flaring it in the country. “We have gas in abundance, we must create infrastructure that will help create gas for power generation,” he said. We need power to create jobs and we must create prosperity, so that we can have peace in our country. We are grateful for this grant.”

On his part, Thomas Hardy, USTDA director, said the grant was another demonstration of the US’ commitment to ensuring infrastructural development across the globe. He said the grant would be used for feasibility study of the IPP and other infrastructure development projects in the energy sector.

He said the money will be released in tranches depending on the particular project in the sector. He said General Electric (GE) would provide all the technology for the IPP. “The grant is part-funding for the NNPC Abuja IPP modelled to generate 1,350 MW,” Hardy said.

“Nigeria is the largest population in Africa and we are proud investing in the energy sector in the largest African nation to provide power to the rural communities.”


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