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‘Nigeria loses about $28bn annually to power shortages’- World Bank

NEWSMAN, Abuja – The World Bank has approved $750 million credit support for Nigeria’s power sector, saying that the country loses about $28 billion annually to power shortages, equivalent to two percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In a statement announcing the support, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said the loan, “Power Sector Recovery Operation (PSRO) of $750 million”, is to improve the reliability of electricity supply, achieve financial and fiscal sustainability, and enhance accountability in the power sector in Nigeria, Vanguard reported.

The Bank stated that “about 47% of Nigerians do not have access to grid electricity and those who do have access, face regular power cuts.

 “Getting access to electricity ranks as one of the major constraints for the private sector according to the 2020 Doing Business report. Hence, improving power sector performance, particularly in the non-oil sectors of manufacturing and services, will be central to unlocking economic growth post COVID-19.”

Meanwhile the Senate investigation committee on power has reported that only two out of the six power generation companies, GENCOs, in Nigeria are meeting targets. The two are  Transcorp Power and Geregu Power

The Chairman, Senate House committee on Power, Gabriel Suswan, who raised the performance issue across the GENCOs while addressing stakeholders at an investigative hearing in Abuja, cited documents obtained from the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, said that current operations in the power sector cannot attract needed private sector investment.

On GENCOs’ performance, the BPE had stated that Transcorp Power surpassed the five-year performance agreement target (670mw) set by the BPE at the hand over of Ughelli Power by achieving 680.83mw. The Federal Government had often threatened to reverse the entire power privatization exercise over the non-performance of the operators.

In its defense, the GENCOs blamed inefficiency in the Transmission Company and DISCOs to current woes in the sector. Also Suswan accused Government, Ministries Department and Agency owing DISCOs N98 billion.

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