Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
Nigeria and its business community spend a whopping $14 billion (N5.075 trillion) per annum on petrol and diesel powered generators. This has contributed in numerous ways to increasing cost of doing business in the country, in addition to air and noise pollution.
The disclosure was made by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Senior Director for Nigeria, Ebrima Faal, in his reaction to the bank’s approval of $210 million financing package to the Federal Government, for the Nigeria Transmission Expansion Project (NTEP1), which seeks to rehabilitate and upgrade the nation’s power lines and improve distribution and supply.
Faal, in a statement said “Nigerians and their businesses spend $14 billion annually on inefficient and expensive petrol or diesel-powered generators. This project will contribute significantly to the reduction of Nigeria’s power deficit, decrease air and noise pollution and reduce the cost of doing business.”
The AfDB recently approved $210 million financing to the Federal Government, for the Nigeria Transmission Expansion Project (NTEP1), to rehabilitate and upgrade the nation’s power lines and improve distribution and supply.
Upon completion, the project will reduce the use of small-scale diesel generators and therefore contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions by saving approximately 11,460ktCO2 per year.
Also, it would significantly improve Nigeria’s electricity supply, and directly impact the economy, industries, businesses and the quality of life of the citizens.
Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), is expected to execute NTEP1 as part of a $1.6 billion Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP).
The bank’s financing, which comprises $160 million loan, and an additional $50 million loan from the Africa Growing Together Fund, will support construction of 330kV double circuit quad transmission lines and substations across the country.
The AfDB said the project will upgrade existing 263 km of 330kV lines, while adding an additional 204 KM of new lines to increase TCN’s wheeling capacity, stabilise the grid and reduce transmission losses.
“The project will create about 2,000 direct jobs- 1,500 during construction and 500 during operations especially for youths.30 percent of these jobs are expected to be taken by women. By increasing electricity supply to Small and Medium Enterprises, the project will foster the creation of additional indirect jobs,” the AfDB further said.
The Bank’s Acting Vice-President for Power & Energy, Wale Shonibare, said implementation of the project would increase evacuation capacity from the south of the country towards the north, where power supply is limited. “NTEP1 will increase the grid transmission stability and capacity, and reduce the amount of stranded power, whilst improving power export and regional power system integration to the West African Power pool, especially through Niger and Benin interconnections,” he said.