By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a total of $247.3m dollars loans for different projects, including electricity, to be undertaken by the Federal Government.
Of the sum, $150m will be sourced from the African Development Bank and $50m from Africa Grow Together to committed to rural electrification projects,
Minister of Finance , Zainab Ahmed disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of FEC presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She explained that when fully executed, the project would provide electricity to over 500 000 people across the country.
She said: ‘Council approved three memos for ministry of finance.
First it approved $150 million loan facility from African development bank and $50 million loan from African Grow Together Fund to finance the Nigeria electrification project. The project is a nation wide initiative to be implemented by the rural electrification agency. The project aligns with the strategy of federal government on electrifying rural community. The project has four components, first is solar hybrid mini-grid for rural economic development, the second is productive appliances equipment for up-grade of communities and the third is energising education while the fourth component is institutional capacity building.
‘The impact of the project when fully implemented, about 500,000 people will be able to have access to electricity for about 105,000 households. The maximum power that will be generated will be 76.5 megawatts installed generating capacity part of which is 68,000 megawatts of solar.
‘Eight universities will benefit from this scheme and about 20,000 small, micro, medium enterprises across different communities in the nation.
“The second approval, the north Core dorsal regional transmission project. This is a project that is part of the pipeline for the west Africa power priority projects. The intention is for the creation of regional power pull in the region of west Africa. The project aims to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, Burkina Faso with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade amongst participants.
“The project is in the total sum of $640 million out of which each of the four countries involved has a component. Nigeria has the smallest component in this pact which is a total loan of $27.3 million IADE facility, it is a concessionary loan. This is a loan that the four countries are taking together, the other three countries have concluded theirs, so this is one of the final stages for Nigeria to conclude its process.”
The minister also disclosed that FEC approved $20m for Lagos Strategic Master Plan from the Frwmxh Development Agency.
“The third load approval is $20 million, for the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan, this facility is from the French Development Agency. The objective of the project is to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of Lagos urban area and to promote urban development sitting by efficient and effective transport system. The project has two major components, first is to rehabilitate urban roads and the creation of minimum of eight equality bus corridors and the creation of two multi-model inter-changes at Marina and Mile 2. The second objective is to provide technical support for implementation and management.
“When completed, the project is expected to impact 1.8 million inhabitants of Lagos State and accumulative 1.5 million users per day for inter-model inter-changes without about 620,000 boarding at Mile 2 and 480,000 boarding at Marina. Another estimated 630,000 boarding at QBS.
“The project is being undertaken by Lagos State agency, LAMATA under its own strategy. So the federal government is borrowing to unlearn to Lagos following the same terms and conditions that we signed. Our assessment is that Lagos state has the capacity to repay the loan, Ahmed said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, announced FEC’s approval of the renegotiation of an earlier $8.7 billion loan facility for rail projects in the country, such that $3billion of it would be secured at commercial rate.
He explained that “there was an approval for $8.7billion for Ibadan to Kano to Oshogbo, to Minna to Abuja. Minna to Kaduna, Kaduna to Kano (rail line). What we sought for was the variation because the financing authority wanted to fund just $5.7 billion. We needed approval to negotiate the remainder as a commercial loan”.
He added that President Buhari also approved that “we add Oshogbo to Ekiti as part of the construction. It was not there earlier. That will cost us a total of $500million.”
Other approvals were for N474.4 million for the purchase of 23 operational vehicles (2 Hiace and 21 Hilux) for the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.