Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, told State House Correspondents, after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, that the bank has invested over $400 million in the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
ADB’s investment, he said, is to support the nation’s power sector.
Adesina also listed good cost reflective tariff structure to attract investors, addressing liquidity constraints in the power sector as well as diversifying to other renewable energy sources as key to ending the energy crisis in the country.
He said without a good cost reflective tariff structure, investors would continue to shun the sector.
He said these, in response to a question on what strategy Nigeria needs to adopt to address the energy crisis in the country.
The ADB president said: “I think there is no doubt that Nigeria continues to work a lot of power, without power, you can’t do anything, industries can’t develop without power.
“So, I commend the efforts that are being made. There are three components; one, I think we need to get the tariff structure because if you don’t have good cost reflective tariff structure, investments from private sector becomes very difficult in the energy sector.
“The second is that liquidity constraints in the power sector gets addressed. We in the bank have invested over $400 million in the Transmission Company of Nigeria to support it.
“We have also provided risks guarantees to Embet, to be able to guarantee the risk of non-repayment to free up the liquidity constraints.
“But at the end of the day, it’s to diversify the energy subsets that we have. We have gas here, we should use a lot of those gas; we also have hydro and solar.
“The African Development Bank is investing heavily right now in the North, in the Jigawa area, in solar projects.
“You know, God is good to Africa and He gave us tremendous amount of sunshine, water, everything is good for Africa, all we need to do is take a cable and connect to the sun and we will be fine.
“So we just have to optimize the renewable energy potential that we have.”
He commended the effort of economic growth and reform programme which has seen the country come out of recession, and stressed the need for government to continue to push in other to have greater growth.