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Western investors coy on power sector investment – FG

By on November 4, 2014

Western nations are stalling on investing in Nigeria’s power sector, the Federal Government has said.

According to the government, a large percentage of foreign investments in the sector is from Asia, while America and Europe have not shown the desired commitment to investing in the industry.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said this during a meeting with officials of the United States, who visited him to find out the current activities in the sector and how they could be of help.

Nebo, in a statement issued on Sunday by his Technical Assistant on Media, Mr. Sunny Igboanugo, said the US and indeed the entire West must show more interest in Nigeria’s power sector.

He noted that while most of the big financial interventions in the sector had come from Asia, America and Europe had been lethargic.

This, Nebo said, must change for the West to benefit from the dividends of a full-grown electricity market, adding that investors had no reason to fear as their investments were adequately protected.

He told the delegation that Nigeria was ready to grab any chance of an American investment, such as it did in encouraging a US company that presented a proposal to construct a 1,000-megawatt solar power plant.

The minister explained that it was high time to diversify Nigeria’s power generation source as a result of the damage caused by gas pipeline vandalism and how this had hampered the growth of the sector.

He said vandalism of gas pipelines had dealt a heavy blow to the sector since gas-fuelled plants accounted for a large percentage of electricity production in the country, hence the need for alternative power generation sources.

According to him, an alternative to gas must be pursued, not only as a solution to vandalism, but also to take advantage of the huge solar energy potential in the country.

The minister said that Nigeria enjoyed greater solar potential than Germany, which relied on the sun for most of its power needs.

He said solar energy alone could account for three times more than all other energy sources put together in the country.

The delegation, according to the statement, was led by the US Ambassador to Nigeria and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Department of State, Mr. Robert Jackson.