The European Union (EU) has agreed to partner with the Federal Government to ensure the provision of electricity to rural communities not captured in the national grid. To this end, the two have agreed to hold further meetings with a view to working out areas of cooperation towards building enhanced power infrastructure and improve electricity supply to the country. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo informed the EU delegation, led by Ambassador Michel Arrion, Head of EU Delegation to Africa and ECOWAS at a meeting that the Federal Government had embarked on a robust programme of electrification of the rural areas in Nigeria not captured in the national grid.
He also said that the EU countries had a golden chance to plunge their teeth into the huge chunk of opportunities being provided in the area of rural electrification, particularly in exploring investment initiatives, provision of expertise and assistance in capacity building of renewable energy on which the fresh initiative, which pilot projects have already begun is hinged, to enable the programme succeed. He also notified the delegation that such assistance could also come in the area of energy conservation, stating that since about 90 per cent of the energy usage in the country was dedicated to lighting, it would be good to develop energy efficient bulbs, which he believed the EU countries had the expertise to achieve.
Assuring them that the demographic indicators on investment in Nigeria were quite encouraging to stimulate their interest, he said it was necessary for the body, which members were Nigeria’s old allies to invest in the development of critical infrastructure in the sector. Ambassador Michel Arrion, while acknowledging that the EU had the capacity to assist in the areas outlined above, assured Nigeria of the possibility of a robust relationship. He added that his team was interested in developing an enabling environment for investment through the provision of funds from its grants to match other funds from financial institutions and other multilateral agencies for the execution of power projects. (A & E Law Partnership)