Obama’s Power Africa to invest US$1 billion in Nigeria’s Power sector

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Andrew Herscowitz, coordinator of the Power Africa programme, told reporters Tuesday that the US government's commitment to Africa's growth

Power Africa, the USAID-funded energy initiative created under the Obama administration, has announced plans to invest US$1 billion in Nigeria’s energy sector, according to programme co-ordinator Andrew Herscowitz.

Speaking at the Distribution Company workshop in Abuja on Tuesday, Herscowitz said that the initiative remained committed to strengthening Nigeria’s energy feats, as demonstrated by its previous investments.

“Since Power Africa was launched, USTDA has committed about US$6.5 million in funding for 10 activities supporting Nigeria’s energy sector, which could leverage up to US$2.7 billion in investment,” Herscowitz said.

“US$50 million in financing from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to Lumos to scale up it’s off-grid solar power service to about 200,000 Nigerian homes and businesses. US$1 billion in project pipeline.”

Power Africa’s mission is to increase electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30GW of clean, efficient energy through wind, solar, hydropower, natural gas and biomass projects. Most recently, it committed US$4 million into off-grid solar in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It was not revealed at the conference how the US$1 billion in the pipeline will be allocated across the different energy resources.

However, according to the 2016 annual Power Africa report, the Nigerian Bulk Trader signed PPAs on 14 solar IPP projects in July 2016 totalling 1,125MW of generation capacity.

“Nigeria, like any country, needs to see capital flowing through the entire energy value chain, if there is no money for distribution, there’s no payment to electricity generators, and very little incentive for private sector investment.”

He assured that the project will continue as part of the partnership between the two parties.

“I want to stress that Power Africa will continue our work in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa to increase access to electricity. The US government’s commitment to Africa’s growth and development remains strong, as was outlined in last year’s bipartisan electricity Africa Act.”

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