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AfDB, AGTF To Invest $200m In Nigeria Electrification Project

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African Development Bank (AfDB) and Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) are to investing $200 million in the National Electrification Project (NEP), which is to address critical energy access deficits by channeling private sector investments into the mini-grid and off-grid solutions.

The project, which will be implemented by Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency, is a boost to efforts to achieve the target of universal energy access by 2030.

Joint financing of $200 million from the Bank and AGTF will de-risk and scale-up private sector investment in the off-grid sector, nurturing a business ecosystem conducive to the rapid electrification of Nigeria’s off-grid communities.

The Bank’s Acting Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, Wale Shonibare, outlined the expected development outcomes of the project.

“Over 500,000 people will have access to approximately 76.5 MW of increased installed power of which 68 MW will be solar generated,” he said.

Eight universities will have access to reliable energy, he added, and 150 female students will receive training on renewable energy solutions.

Also, 20,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) will be supplied with appliances and equipment.

Ebrima Faal, Senior Director for the African Development Bank in Nigeria, said the NEP and other Bank-supported energy projects had been carefully designed to ensure that Nigerians have better access to reliable, affordable and safe power.

The NEP is aligned with the African Development Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, the High 5 priorities and the Bank’s Climate Change Action Plan. The project is also aligned with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan (RESIP) and the Power Sector Recovery Programme, which has the objective of increasing private investments in the energy sector.

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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Labour Warns FG Against Electricity Tariff Hike 

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The Nigeria Labour Congress faulted plans to allegedly sell the Transmission Company of Nigeria, saying it will lead to an increase in electricity tariff.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this in a statement titled, “This Kite will not Fly’’ on Friday.

Wabba explained that instead of allegedly planning to sell the transmission company, FG should focus on improving the electricity supply.

He described the attempt to hand over the TCN to a few ‘privileged’ Nigerians as self-serving, obtuse, odious, morally reprehensible and criminal.

The NLC president said, “The TCN is a strategic economic asset of immense national security implications. This is because the TCN traverses all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

“It will be wrong that our country will be deliberately exposed to an avoidable vulnerability and thus, provide an opportunity to others to restrain the Nigerian state.

“We apprehend that the planned sale of the TCN is only an attempt to further confound the people and concurrently raise electricity tariff. Unfortunately, this time around, Nigerians have had enough.

“The government cannot promise improved power supply to consumers by the planned sale of TCN. The under-the-table scheming as transparent privatisation cannot pass muster.

“It is an unsavoury narrative for our country, that even the privatised assets, which have survived the rapacity of the new owners, have been turned into unrealisable collaterals for unpayable loans.

“This constitutes a bone stuck in the throat of financial institutions and sundry creditors.”

Wabba explained that the plan would “fundamentally weaken the security of the nation and above all, deprive the people of their age-old investments in the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy”.

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FG To Consider Death Penalty For Rail Vandals – Amaechi

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The federal government says it may consider a death penalty for vandals of critical railway equipment in the country.

Rotimi Ameachi, minister of transportation, stated this on Monday, during a town hall meeting on “protecting public infrastructure” in Abuja.

On May 8, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) announced the arrest of two persons suspected of vandalising rail tracks along the Kaduna-Zaria rail line.

Few days later, suspected vandals were arrested for destroying and carting away tracks and rail rods laid on a section of the Warri-Itakpe rail line.

On May 16, the Kaduna state police command said it arrested five suspected rail-trail vandals at Dalle Village of Jema’a LGA and recovered two trucks loaded with locomotive railway sleepers.

After the Warri-Itakpe incident, the senate asked the federal government and security agencies to ensure that those caught vandalising rail lines across Nigeria are given maximum punishment without a fine.

”I am not quantifying the material cost; what I am quantifying is the lives that will be lost,” Ameachi said at the town hall meeting.

“Imagine that a driver of a rail track is driving and suddenly bumps into a track that has been severed, what happens? It will derail.

“If it derails, can you quantify how many passengers that would have died in the course of one man thinking he is making money?

”Some people have recommended that since these people are killing people, if an accident happens people will die, so we should go back to the National Assembly and pass a law that does not only criminalise the action but consequences should be death.”

The minister also said track vandalism is carried out in collaboration with foreign partners.

”In Jos, they arrested a Chinese company that bought those tracks from them, went to court and found them guilty and fined them N200, 000. So there must be consequences as N200,000 is not enough,” he added.

“Lagos and the Western District recorded one, North Western 31, Northern District 10, North Eastern 43, Eastern 36 and North Central 50 incidents of vandalism. Abuja-Kaduna has 13, Warri-Itakpe 2 and Lagos -Ibadan nill.”

Amaechi, who frowned at traders selling items on railway tracks, especially in Port Harcourt and Lagos, advised individuals engaging in the practice to desist or face the penalties.

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