FG restates plans to close metering gaps, de-risk power sector

The Nigerian government has assured that it would close the metering gaps, de-risk the power sector, and address the financial liquidity challenges facing the nation’s power sector.

The Special Adviser on Energy to President Bola Tinubu, Olu Verheijen, gave the assurance on Wednesday, March 20, during a session at the 2024 edition of CERAWeek by S&P Global held in Houston, the United States.

The session with the theme, “Energizing Tomorrow: Charting a successful path for Africa’s energy transition.” was moderated by the Research and Analysis Executive Director, S&P Global Paul McConnell.

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Panelists at the session included the Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitisation, African Union, Amani Abou-Zeid, and the Research Director and Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Gracelin Baskaran.

Speaking at the session, Verheijen said the Federal Government was working on several initiatives to decentralise energy transmission.

On the power distribution side, she explained that the government was deploying different technologies to guarantee an increased electricity supply, especially for customers who consumed more.

Given that the government is faced with fiscal constraints, the presidential adviser explained that many creative initiatives were being implemented to de-risk the power sector in Nigeria.

She said while the International Energy Agency, IEA had estimated an investment gap of $190 billion, the government might be unable to raise such funding considering the tight fiscal environment.

Despite the constraints, she assured me that many initiatives would be implemented to unlock the sector’s potential.






     

     

    “So, what are we trying to do to make sure we can scale faster? We are making sure that we creatively target certain aspects that we think are catalytic to the rest of the entire value chain.

    “So, we launched a presidential initiative recently. What are we using that to do? We say we need about $10 billion to double our transmission capacity. We don’t have that, but maybe we have a fraction of that, and we can then make sure we procure meters, convert all of the six million customers that we currently have into paying customers with digital technology and smart meters and make sure we grow revenue that way,” she said.

    She assured that the Federal Government was determined to improve the financial viability of the public utilities and attract capital.

    “When you’ve de-risked that entire value chain, we can then have more capital to that grid and then expand access and grow consumption,” she added.

     

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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