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The African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Complex, Amadou Hott, has pledged that the bank will be investing $711.5 million in solar energy projects.

Last Friday, Hott led a delegation from the Bank on a visit to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“We are on the verge of approving grant 1.5 million dollars to support the Jigawa solar project, a new initiative of up to 1,000MW; the first phase will be 100MW.

“We have agreed to support the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) with a total of $410 million for a critical transmission project, which was initially $200 million.

“We are expecting to have this approval by September depending on the studies and other work that needs to be done,” Hott stated.

The Daily Trust cited the AfDB stating that it will also train 300 engineers of the TCN through a programme with the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria.

Investing in power distribution

Hott was also quoted as saying that the AfDB plans to provide $300 million to support the Federal government’s power sector recovery programme and also will be investing in power distribution companies in order to enable them to unlock 2,000MW of stranded power

Commenting on the development, Vice-President Osinbajo said the present administration will implement a plan that would provide solar energy in a number of universities in the country.

He highlighted the ongoing efforts towards improving power supply nationwide, the Energising Education Programme, which “is a key component of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and Power Sector Reform Programme (PSRP).

“The project, which is being carried out through the Rural Electrification Agency, is expected to power Federal Universities and Teaching Hospitals with solar energy. The first phase of the project will include nine federal universities and one teaching hospital,” he said.

Osinbajo explained that although the federal government had made budgetary allocation for the project in some of the federal universities, the support of the AfDB would also be welcomed.

“As (the President of AfDB) Adesina would always say, ‘Light up and power Africa’, I would say it is good to light up Nigeria also,” the Vice-President said.

African Utility Week