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UNIDO to spend $2.6bn on small hydro power projects in Nigeria

By on October 1, 2015

In line with its mandate to promote, and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries, the United Nations Industrial Develop (UNIDO) has budgeted the sum of $2.6 billion for the development of Small Hydro Power (SHP) plants in Nigeria.

The UNIDO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. David Tommy, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of its Global Environment Facility (GEF)-5 project which is centered on ‘scaling up small hydro power in Nigeria.’
Tommy noted that the primary aim of the intervention was to increase Nigeria’s power generation capacity.

“UNIDO has made some giant strides in the promotion of renewable energy development in Nigeria. We have identified close to 300 potential Small Hydro Power (SHP) sites in the country. We have studied the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for over 20 of these sites, thus making them ready for investment.

“We have demonstrated the workability of SHP in Nigeria by implementing some sites including the 400 kilowatts (kw) at the Mambila plateau in Taraba State and the 150kw at Waya in Bauchi state among others,” Tommy stated.

He further explained that Nigeria would be used as a flagship to promote and to give example of how mini hydro could be deployed, as well as promoting investment in SHP technology and strengthening of local manufacturing capacity of SHP turbines in Nigeria.

He said: “For us to talk about up scaling hydro power, we have embraced change, for long we have lived under the syndrome that oil will solve everything, we have lived under the belief that wealth could only be generated or could only be obtained where oil is involved, we have come to realise that the continent, especially Nigeria has other means that would fast track growth and development of the country.”

Tommy also stated that aside from having considerable potential in Green House Gas (GHG) emission reduction, the projects would enhance local capacity fabrication of electro-mechanical equipment and controls up to 300kw.

Also at the meeting, the Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, said the SHP project inaugurated month ago in Taraba was the first of it kind, adding that it has improved the social economy of Kakara town where it is sited and it’s surrounding environment.

Ishaku in this regard said: “I hereby note with profound interest that the tea factory in Kakara town which has been depending on diesel since its establishment recorded more than N10 million as turnover last year according to the management of the company, there are indication that the figure would double as time goes on.”

He also added that aside this, the community has been enjoying steady power supply, but lamented that it has also been observed that the volume of water at the Tunga dam has receded due to global warming.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali said the federal government was committed to providing engineering infrastructure for domestic manufacturing of hydropower components, and also promote renewable energy and energy efficient equipment by offering tax incentives to manufacturers through a new policy.

Igali who was represented by Director, renewable and power access at the ministry, Abayomi Adebisi, stated that other strategies outlined in the policy are geared towards rapidly scaling up the development and deployment of renewable energy schemes for improved power supply.