The Federal Government has approved 300 million dollars as counterpart funding for the construction of the Zungeru hydroelectric plant in Niger, President Goodluck Jonathan said on Thursday in Abuja.
Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the inauguration of the UNIDO-sponsored Sustainable Energy for All initiative, said the project, which would be financed by China EXIM Bank in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank, would inject 700 megawatts of electricity into the national grid when completed.
He also said that work on the Mambila hydroelectric plant would begin by the first quarter of 2013, adding that it would produce 3050 megawatts.
``I would also like to share with you the fact that all other alternative power generation sources are being exploited.
``We have also reached an advanced stage in the construction of Zungeru power plant which would add 700 megawatts.
``Already the Federal Government had earmarked 300 million dollars as its counterpart funding and the China EXIM Bank has approved funding this project with the partnership of the Islamic Development Bank.
``We are also working on several of small and medium hydro-power projects that will add about 300 megawatts.”
Jonathan further said that the Federal Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SIEMENS of Germany for the production of 450 megawatts of electricity.
He said that 30 megawatts Coal-to-Power was being pursued under the Public-Private–Partnership arrangement, adding that Waste-to-Power schemes were also being implemented in various states of the federation.
``To support the expected developments in addressing power, we are also addressing other areas that are militating against our growth which include education, transport (railway, waterways seaports, airports) and agriculture,” he said.
He called on UNIDO and its development partners to support Nigeria in the development of technical and financial framework to mobilise its abundant energy resources to achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All initiatives.
According to him, this is the only realistic avenue for the nation to address wealth creation and reduce poverty among Nigerians.
He said Nigeria was committed to achieving its targets in less than a decade, pointing out that all tiers of government were being mobilised to play their roles to meet the objectives.
``This programme is a pledge that we have made to ourselves and to cap it all, only yesterday, the Minister of Power signed a Performance Agreement on project implementation and delivery, mindful that it will safeguard the prosperity of our people,” he added.
In his remarks, the Director-General of UNIDO, Mr Kandeh Yumkella, said that more 50 governments in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other states had engaged with the Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL).
He said that investors had so far committed more than 50 billion dollars to achieving the objectives of the initiative.
``We see new, significant commitment to action; new public-private-partnerships are being developed on transportation, energy efficiency, solar cooking and finance. (NAN)