USAID to invest N115 billion in Nigeria’s energy sector

The United States Agency for International Development and the Federal Ministry of Energy on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at ensuring Nigeria’s commitment to power sector reform, market transparency, liquidity and expanding access to affordable energy.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by USAID/Nigeria Mission Director Melissa Jones and Federal Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary Mahmuda Mamman to support the implementation of a technical assistance program funded by a N115.2 billion US government grant to support energy sector development and reforms in Nigeria, the two parties announced in a statement issued in Abuja by the Ministry of Energy.

More than 85 million Nigerians lack access to grid electricity, and many suffer from unreliable power. Given these challenges, many Nigerian families and businesses rely on expensive, high-emission petrol and diesel backup generators.

The long-standing problems facing the Nigerian energy sector are adversely affecting industrial growth, economic competitiveness, rural development, the functioning of the health and education sectors, and the overall economic growth and development of the country.

Jones emphasized the U.S. government’s commitment to advancing electrification in Nigeria.

She said, “Today’s goal is to strengthen the collaboration between USAID and the Federal Government of Nigeria and provide a framework for our partnerships with other key actors, including state and local governments, the electricity generation and distribution sectors, and the off-grid sector. This is commendable and timely.”

US Power Africa Program Coordinator Richard Nelson observed the signing ceremony during his first official visit to Nigeria.

“Nigeria is at the heart of the Power Africa strategy. I look forward to expanding our partnership to accelerate Nigeria’s progress towards our shared goal of ensuring access to reliable, sustainable and affordable energy for all,” he stated.

Energy Minister Adebayo Adelabu expressed gratitude for USAID’s continued support, underscoring the transformative potential of this cooperation.

“This partnership with USAID is an important milestone in achieving sustainable and reliable electricity supply for all Nigerians. Together, we will address the long-standing challenges in the energy sector by ensuring transparency, increasing market liquidity and accelerating our transition to clean energy solutions,” he stated.

The statement said USAID is working to alleviate these challenges through the Power Africa Initiative, a U.S. government-led partnership that leverages the collective resources of the public and private sectors to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.

The company said the Power Africa initiative has connected over 33 million Nigerians, mobilised about $4.5 billion for power projects in Nigeria, both on- and off-grid, and provided assistance to over 200 private companies in the off-grid sector.

“This initiative will strengthen the policy framework, increase regulatory capacity and encourage private sector participation, ultimately leading the country to achieve its clean energy and net-zero carbon emissions goals.

“The ministry is committed to ensuring that these interventions deliver tangible benefits to all Nigerian citizens by promoting economic growth and sustainable development,” it said.