The World Bank has announced its plan to commit an additional $750 million to enhance access to electricity in Nigeria through the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), according to its director of strategy and operations for the Western Central African region, Ms. Elizabeth Huybens.
Huybens made this statement during her visit to the 60-kilowatt mini grid project in Kilankwa community, Kwali area council of Abuja, which is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) under the NEP.
Huybens emphasised the significance of the NEP and Nigeria’s leadership in small grid development, stating, “This is the first national electrification project we see at work here, about $350 million is coming to a close, and we are preparing a successor project that will be $750 million”.
She also expressed her admiration for the Kilankwa project, noting that it enables faster access to electricity for more people than extending the national grid alone. Huybens praised the foresight of considering how to optimise the use of electricity generated to expand productive activities, such as the rice mill she visited.
The director highlighted the importance of access to electricity for all, stating that it is one of the most crucial goals for any country.
She emphasised that electricity is essential for communities to thrive and for various aspects of modern life, including education and the adoption of electric vehicles. Huybens reiterated the World Bank’s commitment to eradicating poverty by supporting countries in providing electricity access to their populations.
The managing director of REA, Mr. Ahmad Salihijo stated that the project currently serves approximately 300 households and businesses. He mentioned that the World Bank developed the project under the performance-based grant of NEP and expressed their focus on promoting productive use and connecting energy-efficient equipment to the mini-grid.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr. Ayuba Yabo, a rice miller, expressed his gratitude to the Federal Government and the World Bank for bringing the project to their community. Yabo highlighted how the project has reduced the cost of diesel for his business, enabling him to increase his profits.
The World Bank’s commitment to investing in the Nigeria Electrification Project demonstrates its recognition of the importance of access to electricity for sustainable development. With the additional funding, the project aims to provide electricity to more communities and accelerate economic growth and prosperity in Nigeria. (NAN)