By Etuka Sunday
The Federal Government yesterday said it is sourcing various funding avenues including an initial N33 billion soft term credit line for electricity Distribution companies (Discos) to adequately meter their consumers.
The Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo disclosed this in Abuja while inaugurating the National Council on Power (NACOP) made up of Federal Ministry of Power officials and states’ commissioners and permanent secretaries and other stakeholders in the energy/power sector.
Sambo who was represented by the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said: “Government is greatly concerned that the metering level amongst consumers, remains low and the incidences of arbitrary or estimated billing still exists.”
To tackle this challenge he said, “Government is sourcing various funding revenues, including opening an initial N33billion soft term credit line to enable Distribution companies acquire smart meters and making them more available to consumers.”
The VP noted that the transmission section of the sector is being expanded to ensure adequate power evacuation through funds from development financial institutions. “A total of N752billion (about $4.7billion) is already been earmarked for transmission expansion in the next five years,” he disclosed.
Earlier, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said NACOP is a key vehicle for harmonising and aligning dispersed stakeholder groups.
Nebo said: “I am optimistic that NACOP will facilitate movement towards the progress needed to adequately advance the sector to launch Nigeria into an era of massive industrialisation and double digit GDP growth rate.”
He maintained that the Council is critical to supporting the newly privatised power sector as it gradually ‘marches towards the declaration of the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) where all power sector transaction will be more on contracts.
Nebo said there has been a synergy with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to ensure adequate gas is supplied to power plants to improve electricity supply noting that, “No Nigerian should be left without access to stable electricity.”
Arc. Sambo during the inauguration said the event marked the official high-level kick-off of the development of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP), National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) and the Sustainable Energy for all (SE4ALL) Action Agenda in Nigeria.