Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the request to obtain a loan of $150 million from the African Development Bank to finance the Nigerian Electrification Project.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this Wednesday at the end of the meeting of the Council which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
She said an additional $50 million loan facility from the African Grow Together Fund was also approved for the execution of the electrification project.
According to her, the project which is a nationwide initiative, has four components and will be implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency.
“First, it approved $150 million loan facility from African Development Bank and $50m loan from African Grow Together Fund to finance the Nigeria electrification project.
“The project is a nationwide initiative to be implemented by the rural electrification agency. The project aligns with the strategy of Federal Government on electrifying rural communities.
“The project has four components, first is solar hybrid mini-grid for rural economic development, the second is productive appliances equipment for up-grid communities and the third is energising education while the fourth component is institutional capacity building,’’ she added.
She said the project aligned with the strategy of the federal government on electrifying the rural communities, adding that eight universities would benefit from the project.
The minister revealed that the project when fully implemented would benefit about 500,000 people while 105,000 households would have access to electricity supply.
“The maximum power that will be generated will be 76.5 megawatts installed generating capacity, part of which is 68,000 megawatts of solar.
“Eight universities will benefit from this scheme and about 20,000 small, micro, medium enterprises across different communities in the nation,’’ she said.
The minister also disclosed that the council approved another $27.3 million loan facility from IADE which is Nigeria’s component for the execution of the North Core Dorsal Regional Transmission Project aimed at connecting Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo and Burkina Faso.
She said the project has a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line to facilitate energy trade among participants
The project is in the total sum of $640 million out of which each of the four countries involved has a component.
“Nigeria has the smallest component in this pact which is a total loan of $27.3 million IADE facility.
“It is a concessionary loan. This is a loan that the four countries are taking together; the other three countries have concluded theirs, so this is one of the final stages for Nigeria to conclude its process,’’ she said.
The minister also disclosed that the council approved $20 million for the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan
She said the facility was from the French Development Agency, adding that the objective of the project was to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of Lagos urban area and to promote urban development through efficient and effective transport system.
“The project has two major components, first is to rehabilitate urban roads and the creation of minimum of eight equality bus corridors and the creation of two multi-model inter-changes at Marina and Mile 2.
“The second objective is to provide technical support for implementation and management.
“When completed, the project is expected to impact 1.8 million inhabitants of Lagos State and accumulative 1.5 million users per day for inter-model inter-changes without about 620,000 boarding at Mile 2 and 480,000 boarding at Marina and another estimated 630,000 boarding at TBS.
“The project is being undertaken by Lagos State agency, LAMATA, under its own strategy. So the Federal Government is borrowing to unlearn to Lagos following the same terms and conditions that we signed.
“Our assessment is that Lagos state has the capacity to repay the loan,’’ she said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, who also spoke on the outcome of the meeting, said the executive arm of government would be forwarding a bill to the National Assembly for the establishment of Nigerian Army University in Biu, Borno.
According to him, the preparation of the bill is a follow up to an earlier approval given by the Council for the establishment of the university.
He said:“The Minister of Education brought before the Council a bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Army University in Biu, Borno State.
“Sometime in April 2018, the Federal executive Council approved the establishment of the Nigeria Army University and now the bill has come; so it is going to the National Assembly for legislation.”
He added that when fully established, the proposed university would cater for the educational needs of officers and men of the Nigerian armed Forces.