The Federal Government said it was very committed to investing in the development of renewable energy as alternative source of power to complement the existing thermal and hydro power plants in energy generation in the country, even as efforts are on to resuscitate ailing power infrastructure and bring them to operate at installed capacities.
The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Ishaku, disclosed this last week to the visiting Ukrainian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Valery Vasyliev, who led a trade delegation to the Ministry.
Ishaku told the visitors that Nigeria was reluctant to invest in nuclear power because the country does not have sufficient manpower capability to handle it, and that Nigeria also needed to seek advice from the World Atomic Energy Commission, after the Japanese nuclear disaster last year.
He noted that government was interested in the upgrading of the transmission lines in the country to a super-grid of 750 Mega watts, mw, to enable it transmit the planned 10,000mw in the nearest future.
He told the envoy that although Nigeria presently generates a little above 4000mw the transmission lines were too low to accommodate the increased energy being generated hence the investment in the sector.Barth Nnaji, Minister of Power
He said the challenge of gas was being frontally tackled and hoped that soon gas supply to thermal plants would promote services to the citizens.
Ishaku therefore invites the interested Ukraine investors on Energy to cash in on the surging opportunities to participate in the generation and transmission of electricity in the country.
The Nigerian Government, he stressed, would encourage and assist investors to make their investment process easier. He added that Government was ready to buy up their products through the Bulk Trading World Bank Partial Risk Guarantee.
He drew the attention of the Ambassador to the American Exim Bank, which recently gave out a $1.5billion guarantee to international investors interested in investing in the Power Sector.
Ishaku noted that the loan would enhance the confidence of foreign investors, adding that Nigerian banks were available and prepared to give out loans through local sourcing to investors.
He acknowledged Ukraine’s expertise in hydro power generation and advised the investors to seize the ever elastic opportunities in contributing their quota in the small/medium hydro projects.
He also disclosed that government has embarked on aggressive hydro potential in the country and has resolved to build small/medium hydro projects of between 1-50mw around the country to address in particular, the needs of communities in isolated and difficult terrains in the North and the Niger Delta regions.
He, therefore, encouraged Ukraine to take the opportunity in showcasing their expertise in hydro power generation.
Earlier, the President of Eurobud Invest Corporation, Ukraine, Mr. Tatarenko Pavlo, said they were aware of the great potential that abounds in the power sector in Nigeria, and that they have seen the need to demonstrate Ukraine’s technology on the Nigerian Market.
He said his team is interested in generation, transmission and designing of thermal stations, and gave the assurance that if given a chance, they would uplift the power sector to enviable heights.
Ambassador Vasyliev also informed the minister that Ukraine is interested in the energy progress of Nigeria, and was ready to collaborate and partner with her in any power project.