Nigeria targets annual investment of N1.5 trillion in power sector

President Goodluck Jonathan, at the World Economic Forum in South Africa, says Nigeria is expecting private $10 billion power sector investment in the next 10 years.

Nigeria expects an annual private sector investment of about $10 billion (N1.5 trillion) in the country’s power sector over the next ten years, following the total privatization of power generation and distribution in the country.

This was disclosed by President Goodluck Jonathan, Wednesday, while speaking at the World Economic Forum, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Speaking at the Forum which opened on Thursday in the South African city, President Jonathan said that realizing that government alone cannot build the infrastructure that the country needs, the Federal Government transferred power asset to private investors.

The President said that to speedily overcome the infrastructural deficit that currently limits the pace of their economic development, Nigeria and other African countries must find innovative ways of funding essential infrastructure in areas such as power supply, energy and communications.

Noting that without a common framework as a basis for collaboration, little progress will be made in the development of infrastructure across Africa, President Jonathan commended the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the New Partnership for African Development, NEPAD, for establishing the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa, PIDA.

The President said that he was delighted that PIDA will build on plans established under previous initiatives such as the NEPAD Medium to Long Term Strategic Framework and the African Union Infrastructure Master Plans.

He said that Nigeria will continue to support the development of continent wide infrastructure such as the Nigeria-Algeria Gas Pipeline Project and the Lagos-Abidjan Highway Project.

President Jonathan, however, disclosed that in the light of recent developments in the global gas industry and the collapse of gas prices, the Nigeria-Algeria Gas Pipeline Project concept is being reviewed to determine its continued viability.

“My expectation is that PIDA will hasten Africa’s integration through trade and migration which has been a priority and central element of the continent’s development strategy. On our part, we are committed to the integration of Africa’s infrastructure and its development,” the President said at the session which was dedicated to the development of Infrastructure in Africa.

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He welcomed PIDA’s alignment with the vision of the Economic Community of West African States vision of the free movement of the free movement of people, goods and services.

Observing that Africa requires about $100 billion US dollars annually for infrastructure development in the next decade, whereas only a quarter is being spent, President Jonathan said that it is clear that Africa could not “thread this path alone”.

He, therefore, thanked the World Economic Forum and other critical stakeholders for supporting Africa’s progress towards the development of “21st Century infrastructure”.

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