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Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Nigeria In Search Of $1bn Annual Investment To Fix Power Transmission Problem
VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria’s Minister of Power said on Monday that the country needs an annual investment $1 billion over “a few years”, to fix its electrical transmission network and was in discussion with a number of potential investors.
Prof Chinedu Nebo, charged with overseeing the government’s drive to address the epileptic power supply plaguing the country, said at a meeting hosted by Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) that power transmission network- the life-blood of the entire electricity eco-system – is currently the weak link in the Nigerian electricity supply industry.
The Nigerian government last year undertook a power liberalization scheme that saw some of the country’s power stations sold to private investors to enable an optimization of the plants. While the move has, in a short period of time, led to a remarkable up in power generation, transmission- one of the power sectors not privatised- continues to limit the distribution, meaning a lot of the generated power is wasted.
Nebo described Nigeria’s transmission infrastructure as obsolete and broken attributing it to vandalism and the neglect it suffered when the power sector was wholly managed by the government. “It is expected that the transmission network will require a minimum investment of $1 billion (N165.55 billion) a year over the next few years to meet current demands and position itself towards global competitiveness,” he said.
Currently, Nigeria’s state-owned Transmission Company which is responsible for the countrywide energy transmission has a transmission capacity of 5,500 megawatts, a little over 68 percent of its installed generation capacity of 8,000 megawatts, the government says it wants transmission capacity to exceed 6,000 megawatts by 2016.
Nebo said in September that there was massive private interest in buying the company with the Nigerian government considering offers of more than $20 billion for its assets. But he added that the sale was still a few years away.