Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: World Bank, IFC to Invest N159 Billion in the Country's Energy Sector

The World Bank and its subsidiary, the International Finance Corporation, IFC, yesterday announced plans to invest about $1 billion (N159 billion) in Nigeria's energy sector in the next couple of months.

Speaking at the Nigerian Institute of Management's, NIM, Corporate Leaders Forum in Lagos, Marie Francois Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director, Nigeria, said the investments will be in terms of Partial Risk Guarantees for gas supply and Independent Power Plants valued at $800 million and $200 million respectively.

According to Marie-Nelly, who was represented by Ms. Gravette Brown, Senior Investment Officer, IFC Manufacturing and Services -- Africa Department, in addition to the planned investments, the World Bank currently has $400 million active in Partial Risk Guarantees for gas supply and over 10 years technical support and advice to the power sector.

She added that the IFC, as part of its future investment plan, has a high probability investment pipeline in Nigeria of approximately US$800 million, with priority given to power, infrastructure, agriculture, housing, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs.

She stated that its investment would also be focused on equity investments with emphasis on corporate governance, climate change and energy efficiency.

She disclosed that the IFC will participate in the activities of oil majors and other Independent Power Projects, IPPs, and also in the privatization of the 11 power distribution companies and six power generating companies.

She noted the World Bank Group is focusing on three key areas of growth in Nigeria, namely: improve infrastructure, especially in the area of power; promotion of sustainable agribusiness and support for SME growth and development.

She said, "we will support public private participation dialogue on private sector participations in power, finance and mobilise gas-to-power and other downstream gas projects.

"In the near term, we will be working with IFC clients and other industrials to outsource their large captive power supply need; we will also participate in gas production/transportation projects and help standardize key agreements in pioneer projects."

IFC's investment in Nigeria hits $1.1bn

Marie-Nelly said IFC's investment in Nigeria till date, put at about $1.1 billion, is its largest portfolio in Africa and eight largest globally, while World Bank's financing activities in the country currently stand at $4.66 billion.

She said IFC's investment is dominated by projects in financial markets, and momentum is building in infrastructure, manufacturing, agribusiness and services

She further stated that as part of its strategy to support Nigeria's financial sector, IFC would increase its equity and convertible investments to strengthen capital base of banks.

"IFC will focus on developments that facilitate wealth creation across segments of society, such as consolidating gains and further advance critical infrastructure development in power and transportation networks; remove impediments to growth in the country's critical agricultural sector.

"We will also accelerate the pace of quality of life investments in health and education and support development of the private sector through advisory programmes to the business community and clients.

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