FG Charges Discos to Invest in Infrastructure

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Peter Uzoho

The federal government has challenged distribution companies (Discos) in the country to invest in infrastructure in order to address constraints in power distribution.

This is coming as India has pledged to support Nigeria to help solve the country’s perennial power challenge.

The Minister of Power, Mr. Sale Mamman, gave the charge yesterday in Lagos at the 2019 Future Energy Nigeria (FEN) Conference and Exhibition, with the theme: ‘’Advancing Partnership and Solutions for a Sustainable Energy Economy.’’

He said that the ministry was ready to support any investor willing to invest in distribution infrastructure to improve power distribution in the country.

Mamman, who added that the ministry would continue to engage with serious investors in the sector, further tasked Discos to invest in their business

“Our doors are wide open to any investor that is willing to invest in the power sector. We will work out ways to ensure that the Discos partner with power equipment manufacturing firm to enable them manufacture distribution equipment locally.

‘’The ministry’s endorsement of this event is on the fact that over the years the conference has provided solutions to the power sector challenges.

“Aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Energy for all initiative, SE4All, Nigeria developed her electricity vision EV:30:30:30, which entails a minimum electricity generation capacity of 30GW by year 2030.

“Also, as a party to the Paris Agreement, Nigeria made a commitment to reducing its greenhouse gases by 20 per cent unconditionally and 45 per cent conditionally with energy mix we can achieve these goals,” the minister added.

In his remark, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Abhey Thakur, said his country would support Nigeria in the area of infrastructure to enable the country overcome its power challenges.

He said there was so much Nigeria and India can achieve together, saying, the country shares similarity with Nigeria like many languages, tribes, among others.

According to Thakur, “training and capacity building have been the bedrock of our democracy. Our trade volume with Nigeria grew by 14 percent last year. India companies are the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the federal government.

“One of the key constraint we face as a country is the financial enabler. Bankability of power projects remains a challenge from both countries. We need to address this through partnership’’.

He added: “We have over 600 million villages in India and all are electrified. We want to assist Nigeria to electrify every part of the country.

“We currently have over 360 gigawatts of electricity for about one billion citizens, while Nigeria has an installed capacity of about 8,000 megawatts for 180 million of its citizens.

“We are Nigeria’s largest trading company, and Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner. We currently have 45 companies doing business in Nigeria, we want to increase that number,” he added.