Funding power sector-major challenge – Minister Tells UN Sec Gen, Others

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Goddy Jedy Agba

By Chris Ochayi

ABUJA: The Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, has identified funding as the major challenge facing Nigeria’s Power Sector Reform. 

Agba stated this on Tuesday during a virtual Global Power Sector Players Conference (GPPC), presided over by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres. 

The Conference, which provided Nigeria the opportunity to showcase herself as the strategic gateway for investment in the power sector in Africa, had stakeholders in the power sector from across the globe. 

He urged the United Nations to continue to support Nigeria’s efforts to improve power generation and transmission while wooing other global investors to the power sector. 

Agba outlined the progress the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has achieved in the power sector even as he said that the country needs $4 billion annually to achieve a steady power supply through clean renewable energy. 

According to him, “Our ambition is demonstrated by the recent removal of the fuel subsidy in Nigeria which now make the off-grid sector more competitive, as well as the 5 million solar connections Programe which was included in the Covid 19 recovery strategy, Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP). 

On the need for global partners to support the government’s ESP, Agba maintained that the Buhari administration is taking necessary steps to merge its energy access and energy transmission to improve access to the quality electricity supply. 

He added that the largest unelectrified population globally resides within the borders, therefore, it is important to give access to the people estimated to be over 85 million using renewable sources to maintain Nigeria and Africa’s low contribution to carbon emission.

While saying that the administration has addressed some areas of challenges like accountability, transparency, and technical capacity, he noted funding is still a major issue in the power sector hence, the need for the UN and other global investors to come to Nigeria’s aid. 

Earlier, Guterres assured that the United Nations is prepared to give Nigeria the necessary support in line with the Minister’s request. 

He revealed that the UN is currently supporting Nigeria to stabilize the power supply even as he pledged more support. 

President of African Development Bank, (AFDB), Dr. Akunwumi Adesina, who was also a participant at the conference averred that the Bank will continue to support the power sector’s public-private initiatives to ensure that there is stability in the power sector across African countries.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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