Power Sector Reform Group Considering World Bank Supported Metering, Facility To Lessen Tariff Burden On Nigerians

In furtherance to the work being done by the Buhari administration to improve power supply across the country, the Presidential Power Sector Reform Working Group is considering a World Bank-supported project for distribution infrastructure in the sector, according to a presidency source.

The Presidential Power Sector Reform Working Group, constituted by President Buhari and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, plans to stimulate inflow of additional investment into the power sector, in line with the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI).

At a virtual meeting of the working group chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on Friday, discussions focused on funding infrastructure projects in the distribution sub-sector.

According to a source at the meeting, “the World Bank joined the meeting to discuss rapid funding for the sector with a focus on Distribution Infrastructure including mass consumer metering under a $1 billion facility i.e. Distribution Sector Recovery Programme. This is in addition to the Siemens/PPI interventions announced by the Federal Government last week.

President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Ministries of Power and Finance, and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to conclude the engagement with Siemens AG to commence the pre-engineering & concessionary financing aspects of the Presidential Power Initiative.

“This will help Nigerians obtain meters in an expedited fashion and ensure that the DisCos can improve collection performance.”

“Advanced discussions are already progressing on securing $750 million that will support citizens to lessen the tariff burden while DisCos improve service and agree with consumers as a prerequisite to raising tariffs.

“The working group is also closely implementing the Siemens initiative.

“The ultimate goal of the Nigeria Presidential Power Initiative is to modernize and increase the Nigerian electricity grid capacity from about 5 GW currently to 25 GW, over three phases,” the source added.

Members of the group include, Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, representing the National Economic Council (NEC); Minister of Power, Engr Sale Mamman; Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed;the representative of the Office of the Chief of Staff, Lai Yahaya; and the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Mr Zakari Ahmed, Secretary of the Group.

Friday’s meeting was also attended by the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh; and the World Bank Country Rep, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri.

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