Nigeria: Cabinet Okays U.S.$247.3 Million Foreign Loan for Electrification

17 April 2019

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved $247.3 million loan facility from the African Development Bank, AfDB and French Government.

Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister said that the loans $150 million were from the AfDB, $50 million was from African Grow Together Fund would be used to finance the Nigeria electrification project.

She said, "Council approved three memos for the ministry of finance. First, it approved a $150 million loan facility from the African development bank and $50 million loans from African Grow Together Fund to finance the Nigeria electrification project.

"The project is a nationwide initiative to be implemented by the rural electrification agency. The project aligns with the strategy of the federal government on the electrifying rural community.

"The project has four components, first is solar hybrid mini-grid for rural economic development. The second is productive appliances equipment for off-grid communities and the third is energising education while the fourth component is institutional capacity building.

"The impact of the project when fully implemented, about 500,000 people will be able to have access to electricity for about 105,000 households.

"The maximum power that will be generated will be 76.5 megawatts installed generating capacity part of which is 68,000 megawatts of solar.

"Eight universities will benefit from this scheme and about 20,000 small, micro, medium enterprises across different communities in the nation."

On the second approval, she said, "The second approval the north Core dorsal regional transmission project. This is a project that is part of the pipeline for the west Africa power pull priority projects. The intention is for the creation of regional power pull in the region of West Africa.

"The post-project aims to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, Burkina Faso with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade amongst participants.

"The project is in the total sum of $640 million out of which each of the four countries involved has a component. Nigeria has the smallest component in this pact which is a total loan of $27.3 million IADE facilities, it is a concessionary loan.

"This is a loan that the four countries are taking together, the other four countries have concluded theirs, so this is one of the final stages for Nigeria to conclude its process.

"The third load approval is $20 million, for the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan, this facility is from the French Development Agency.

"The objective of the project is to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of Lagos urban area and to promote urban development sitting by the efficient and effective transport system.

"The project has two major components, first is to rehabilitate urban roads and the creation of a minimum of eight equality bus corridors and the creation of two multi-model inter-changes at Marina and Mile 2.

"The second objective is to provide technical support for implementation and management.

"When completed, the project is expected to impact 1.8 million inhabitants of Lagos State and accumulative 1.5 million users per day for inter-model inter-changes without about 620,000 boardings at Mile 2 and 480,000 boardings at Marina. Another estimated 630,000 boardings at QBS.

"The project is being undertaken by Lagos State agency, LAMATA under its own strategy. So the federal government is borrowing to unlearn to Lagos following the same terms and conditions that we signed. Our assessment is that Lagos state has the capacity to repay the loan."

We're yet to find the formula that works for subsidy removal

On the subsidy removal, she said that Nigeria has not found a formula that works, hence, it would not contemplate to exit from the subsidy regime.

According to her, "We have not been able to develop an effective formula that will replace the current subsidy regime.

Until we find a formula that will work for Nigeria, we will not contemplate removing subsidy.

'As you know what works in Ghana and other countries, may not work here."

The Minister also explained the difference between under recovery and subsidy, stressing that under subsidy regime, money was paid directly to Independent Petroleum Marketers for the importation of fuels, while on under recovery, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, is the sole importer of petroleum products.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said that FEC approved the bill for the establishment of a Nigeria Army University in BIU, Borno State.

"You will recall the council in April 2018 approved the establishment of the university. The bill will be forwarded to the National Assembly for legislation."

The FCT minister, Mohammed Bello said

FEC approved three memos from his ministry for the rehabilitation of 12.6 kilometers of road from the junction Gwagwalada in the Abuja Lokoja A1 expressway.

"It will pass through Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital up to Bello village at the cost of N1.3 billion, with a completion period of eight months.

"Council also approved the award of contract for the provision of the cultural zone at the cost of N1.3 billion with a completion period of nine months.

Council also approved the award of contract for the reconstruction of the access road leading the lower usuma dam, which provides potable water to the residents of Abuja and environs.

"This is line with this administration's stance of twin contract development of the city and satellite towns to make it easier for residents to stay in either satellite towns or city. The contract sum is N1.26 billion with a completion period of six months."

$8.7bn for the rail project

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said that his ministry presented two memos and both of them were approved.

"The first one was an amendment to an earlier approval. There was an approval for $8.7 billion for Ibadan to Kano to Oshogbo, to Minna to Abuja. Minna to Kaduna, Kaduna to Kano. What we sought for was the variation because the financing authority wanted to find just $5.7 billion. We needed the approval to negotiate the reminder as a commercial loan.

"Again the President also approved that we add Oshogbo to Ekiti as part of the construction. It was not there earlier. That will cost us a total of $500 million.

"The next one was approval for N474.4 million for the purchase of 22 number operational vehicles for the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority. There will be two Hiace vehicle and 21 others."

He said the unit price for each of the buses was N27.5 million and they were two.

"Don't forget that there is nothing we do that does not go through due process. So they would have checked the actual prices in the market. And the other ones are N28.5 million multiple by 21 vehicles."

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