Jonathan convenes confab on financing Nigeria’s power infrastructure

The event will facilitate interaction between new investors and local and international financial institutions

To consolidate on the efforts of the private sector to boost the country’s electricity generation and distribution capacity, President Goodluck Jonathan has convened the first international conference on power sector infrastructural development financing.

The conference, scheduled for February 10 in Abuja, would be presided over by the president to afford stakeholders the opportunity to compare notes on ways to facilitate the provision of adequate financing for projects in the sector.

Participants at the conference are expected to come from Nigeria, along with development partners, the donor community, international financial institutions and international financiers.

The chairman of the Media & Publicity Committee for the conference, Chigbo Anichebe, said the event would help facilitate interaction between the new investors and local and international financial institutions, to explore the available opportunities in meeting the capital expenditure, CAPEX, needs of the Nigerian power sector.

Mr. Anichebe, who is also the spokesperson of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, said the conference would also support the creation of a sound economic expansion framework that would enhance performance across the power sector value chain.

In addition, he said it would provide the enabling environment for potential investors in the power sector to refine their entry strategy into the Nigerian power sector, while identifying areas of need capable of affecting the viability of the market.

Mr. Anichebe said the conference would provide an opportunity to clarify government policies for the power sector, and create a sector CAPEX plan that would serve as baseline for future monitoring and evaluation of the sector participants.

The Chairman of the organising committee of the conference, Godknows Igali, said the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was anchored on Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020, focused on building institutions to drive robust road maps of reform in key sectors of the economy, with the Power Sector Reform being a pivot.

Mr. Igali, who is also the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, noted that with the recent handover of the PHCN successor companies to private sector investors on November 1, 2013, the burden of process optimisation and capacity expansion has now shifted from the Federal Government to the new owners.

He said the Federal Government, however, recognised that power supply still remained a social responsibility as it constituted the paramount infrastructure needed for the country’s building and economic development.

He said the these development informed the President’s directive to the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, Vice President Namadi Sambo, to convene the conference to facilitate the mobilisation of funding for power sector infrastructure development.

The directive on the conference, he pointed out, was to enable the country achieve the required modernisation, expansion and overall enhancement of electricity service delivery, with the direct beneficiaries being the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN; the distribution companies, DISCOs; the generation companies, GENCOs; the National Integrated Power projects, NIPPs, the emerging independent Power Projects, IPPs and other sector service providers.

He called on prospective investors and financiers to participate in the conference to take advantage of the opportunity to physically sight and comprehend the magnitude of emerging opportunities in the Nigerian power sector to gain the impetus to trigger their interests in investing expeditiously.

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