Power plan could benefit ICTs

GOVERNMENT

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Image: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. By President Goodluck Jonathan
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria hopes to ease its power problems by creating a new regulatory framework to encourage foreign companies to invest in its power infrastructure.

President Goodluck Jonathan is reported to be meeting potential foreign investors from the Americas, Europe, India and elsewhere this week, to discuss a privatised power framework for Nigeria.

It is hoped the talks will result in billions of US dollars being pumped into the nation’ s power infrastructure.

The President conceded that only half of the country’ s people have access to electricity, with power generation and infrastructure improvements likely to cost in the region of USD23 billion a year in the next few years.

Nigeria currently suffers regular power outages and relies heavily on diesel generators. There have been widespread calls for the power problems to be addressed for the good of the ICT sector and for better broadband access.

Indian-based Essar has said it might be prepared to invest over USD2 billion into the sector, if a new regulatory framework is put into place.

Earlier this year, the President approved the construction of a new USD 3.4 billion Super Grid, aimed at improving power supplies. He also  presented a roadmap for reform of the Nigerian power sector, designed to encourage private sector investment.



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