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World Bank Decries Nigeria’s Energy Poverty

The World Bank has decried Nigeria’s energy poverty, describing it as a paradox, in spite of the country’s enormous resources .

In a piece she titled: “Lighting Up Africa: Nigeria Can Show the Way,” which she penned and made available to media, exclusively, World Bank’s Managing Director for Operations, Anna Bjerde, stated that despite progress in the past 20 years globally, Africa has been the exception in terms of electricity supply.
This was just as the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, yesterday, said despite the huge investments of the federal government in the power sector, it is still being underutilised.

Also yesterday, Adelabu, told Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja that the debt owed the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), amounting to about N12 billion cannot be written off.
Barde, reiterated that over 600 million people were without access to reliable electricity on the African continent where electrification efforts haven’t kept pace with population growth.
In Nigeria alone, Bjerde stated that over 85 million people —more than four out of 10 persons— are deprived of electricity.

Without the lifeblood of electricity, the senior world Bank official stated that communities will struggle to preserve crops, irrigate their fields, engage in economic activities, run health clinics, or allow children to study or play in decent and safe conditions.
On what the World Bank was doing to ameliorate the situation, she stated that the bank has bold plans for Nigeria —and the rest of Africa.

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“We have launched a ground-breaking programme called DARES (Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-Up), which will provide access to clean and reliable energy to 20 per cent of the un-electrified and over 200,000 Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) by 2030 through private sector interventions.

“To create the conditions for even greater victories, we are working closely with the Nigerian authorities on grid reforms and sector performance improvements,” she stated.
Bjerde added that governments, starting with Nigeria, needed to take the lead in jump-starting the clean energy revolution through reforms and stable policy and regulatory frameworks, supported by concessional finance that can attract big amounts of private finance.
DARES, she said, specifically prioritises affordability, by providing highly targeted subsidies to populations that need it most.

This, she said was being done by linking access solutions to productive uses of electricity; and scalability, by catalysing upfront private investments and accelerating the deployment of mini grids and standalone solar solutions.

Source: Thosday

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