The federal government has promised that funds approved and released to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for upgrade of the national grid will not be embezzled.
The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba, gave the assurance to Acting Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth Complex at the AfDB, Mr. Wale Shonibare when they both met recently in Abuja.
His assurance followed disclosure by Sonibare, that the board of the Bank had voted to fund the expansion of Nigeria’s power transmission system with $410 million.
Sonibare, explained at the meeting that with the $410 million expenditure plan, the bank will fund the Nigerian Transmission Expansion Project (NTEP) of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
According to a statement from the Ministry of State for Power, Jeddy-Agba, described electricity as the bedrock for sustainable development, adding that country’s would only make meaningful economic progress with efficient electricity supply.
He said the federal government was taking bold steps and initiatives to improve the country’s power sector and would welcome supports from development partners.
The minister also stated that the government was willing to do more in partnering with the AfDB to grow the sector and provide electricity to Nigerians, adding that it was appreciative of its contributions so far in the sector.
Jeddy-Agba assured Sonibare and his visiting team that any money given to the sector would be judiciously utilised and accounted for, adding that: “AfDB had been investing in the sector and they planned to invest more by increasing their funding in the development of power in the country.”
Sonibare, according to the statement stated that the bank was involved in the country’s power transmission sector as well as its renewable energy market.
He said that the $410 million will support the NTEP to provide 330 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines, adding that so far, up to $200 million has already been approved by the board for the first phase of the project.
According to him, within the first phase, parts of Nigeria’s transmission system will be rehabilitated and upgraded to improve electricity distribution and supply.
“AfDB is very active in the Nigerian power sector and we are ready to do more. The board has approved $200 million to the sector through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), to roll out Mini- Grids. We are also involved in Energising Education, a programme under which we are dedicating power systems to eight federal universities,” he said.
He further stated: “I understand that the agreement (for the NTEP) was signed last week and we expect the project to progress. We are involved in the Jigawa power project, we have approved a grant of one million dollars to support the feasibility study for phase one and the studies are almost completed.