By Edith Ike-Eboh
Abuja – The Federal Government and United State Trade and Development Agency have signed a 1.1million dollar grant to support electricity infrastructure development in Nigeria.
The agreement was signed at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, on Tuesday.
The theme of the summit is :Widening the integration Circle :Technology, Knowledge, Sustainability Partnership.
Mr Thomas Hardy, Director, U.S Trade and Development Agency said that the agency was proud signing the grant with Nigeria.
He said that the grant was another demonstration of the American government’s commitment to ensuring infrastructural development across the globe.
“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,” Hardy said.
He added that the grant would be used for feasibility study of the Independent Power Projects (IPP) and other infrastructure development in the energy sector.
“The grant is part funding for the NNPC Abuja IPP modelled to generate 1,350 mw,” he said
According to him, the money will be released in tranches depending on the particular project in the sector.
He said that General Electric (GE) would provide all the technology for the IPP project.
Hardy reiterated the agency’s commitment to partner with Nigeria to ensure electricity was accessible to all Nigerians.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, said that the Nigerian energy deficiency could be corrected with partnership among stakeholders.
He said the grant would help to ensure that power was delivered to Nigerians for economic growth and development.
He said that the NNPC and the oil and gas sector had all it takes to deliver power with relevant framework in place.
According to him, gas remains the cheapest source of power and efforts must be made to stop flaring it in the country.
” 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.
” We are grateful for this grant,” he said.
Also, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigerian, Ms Mary Leonard, said the grant would help to open up the energy sector in the country.
” The grant will provide the in depth technical economic and financial analysis necessary to develop a major new source of energy and exciting one thousand three hundred fifty megawatt 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,” she said.
The envoy noted that the project demonstrated the U.S. government’s commitment to strengthening Nigeria’s energy sector and the partnership with the government of Nigeria.
‘The project will join dozens of other high profile energy sector projects that the U.S. TDA is supporting across the country.
” In addition to numerous meaty greed and off grid solutions,’ she added
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Leonard signed on behalf of the U.S. and KyarI signed for the Federal Government.