The Nigerian government is accusing powerful western countries of blocking its efforts to boost electricity generation through the use of coal.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, made this known during the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, IMF, General Meetings, on Wednesday, in Washington, U.S.A.
Speaking on the need to address infrastructure gaps in developing countries, Adeosun said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration takes the issue of improved power supply very seriously in order to boost the country’s economy.
She added, however, that Nigeria was not getting the much needed support from western nations.
She said: “We want to build a coal power plant because we are a country blessed with coal, yet we have power problem. So it doesn’t take a genius to work out that it will make sense to build a coal power plant.”
“However, we are being blocked from doing so, because it is not green. This is not fair because they have an entire western industrialisation that was built on coal-fired energy.
“This is the competitive advantage that was used to develop Europe, yet now that Nigeria wants to do it, they say it’s not green, so we cannot.
“They suggest that we use solar and wind, which is the more expensive. So yes, Africa must invest in its infrastructure, but we must also make sure that the playing field is level.”
The finance minister said that though there was the need for foreign borrowing to finance Nigeria’s infrastructure gap, the strategy was to get the cheapest money.
Adeosun pointed out that the debt to GDP ratio in Nigeria is low but that the cost of servicing those loans was high.
“Right now, we are being very conservative about our debt and we are trying to get the cheapest money possible from multilateral agencies,” she said.
“We are working very hard to make sure that we get multilateral funds first before we go to the euro bond market, which is a little bit more expensive.”