By Adedapo Adesanya
The Federal Government and the United States through its Trade and Development Agency have signed a $1.1 million grant to support electricity infrastructure development in the Nigeria.
The agreement was assented by both parties on Tuesday at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja which brings together stakeholders from the oil and gas sector on the theme Widening the integration Circle: Technology, Knowledge, Sustainability Partnership.
According to the Director, the US Trade and Development Agency, Mr Thomas Hardy, the US was delighted to go into the partnerships with Nigeria as part of efforts by the American government to ensure infrastructural development globally.
“Nigeria is the largest population in Africa and we are proud investing in the energy sector in the largest African nation to provide power to the rural communities,” Mr Hardy said.
He added that the grant would be used for feasibility study of the Independent Power Projects (IPPs) and other infrastructure development in the energy sector.
“The grant is part funding for the NNPC Abuja IPPs modelled to generate 1,350 megawatts.” He added.
The money, according to the USTDA Director, will be released in tranches depending on the particular project in the sector adding that global electrical technology company, General Electric (GE) would provide all the technology for the intended project.
Lauding the development, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, who was also Nigeria’s signatory, said that the project would help address electricity deficits to ensure that power was delivered to Nigerians for economic growth and development.
According to him, gas remains the cheapest source of power and efforts must be made to stop flaring it in the country to deliver power with relevant framework in place.
“We have gas in abundance, we must create infrastructure that will help create gas for power generation.
”We need power to create jobs and we must create prosperity, so that we can have peace in our country,” he stated.
On the part of the US Signatory, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Mary Leonard, said the grant was an opportunity to open up the energy sector in Nigeria.
“The grant will provide the in depth technical economic and financial analysis necessary to develop a major new source of energy and exciting 1350 megawatts natural gas power plant here in Abuja.
“I am excited about this project for many reasons, the first is what successful completion of this project would mean for the greater prosperity of Nigeria. Egerius gas reserves have to date been largely untapped.
“Creating an incredible opportunity for additional production, increased domestic utilization and eventually export to the global marketplace.
”When completed this power plant will take advantage of this new domestic resource and help address Nigeria’s existing critical energy needs,” the envoy said, noting that the project demonstrated the U.S. government.”
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