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Development partners to help Nigeria develop energy mix

12 May 2014, 14:40

Abuja – The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), has expressed its readiness to work with the Federal Government to develop energy mix for Nigeria.

UNIDO’s Country Representative in Nigeria, Joseph Kormawa said this at a power forum organised by the Ministry of Power and Standard Bank Group.

According to him, a robust energy mix is key to boosting power supply in Nigeria.

"We must ensure that we focus on not only on one source of energy (gas), but we must look at other sources such as renewable energy,’’ he said.

He said that UNIDO and other development partners, including USAID, DFID and French Development Agency, had been collaborating actively with the Federal Government in terms of funding and policy advice since power sector privatisation.

The UNIDO country representative said access to power was crucial in growing Nigeria and Africa’s economy.

He stressed the need for African countries to work together to harness and develop power potential for the good of the people.

The USAID Country Representative in Nigeria, Michael Harvey, said that an efficient public-private-partnership among African countries would improve the power situation in the continent.

Harvey described Nigeria’s privitisation of the sector as "transparent and laudable”, and urged other African countries to learn from Nigeria’s bold step.

He said that USAID would continue to support Nigeria in its bid to achieve constant power supply, attract investors to the sector and fast track development of the economy.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, reiterated that the Federal Government privatised the power sector to reposition the sector and make it more efficient.

Igali said the Federal Government was spending N10 billion monthly on salaries of electricity workers without much on infrastructure development hence the need to bring in private investors.

He assured investors that government had created the enabling environment for investment to thrive, adding that efforts were being made to address the gas challenge of the power stations.

He said that the Federal Government was also collaborating with relevant stakeholders to develop its renewable energy and ensure a more efficient energy mix.

The forum, which had ``Private Sector Participation in Achieving Access to Power” as theme, was attended by stakeholders in the Nigerian power sector, local and international banks and donor agencies.

-   NAN

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