The Federal Government and France have signed a 14 billion naira loan agreement for capacity-building and upgrade of power training facility in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by Mr Olivier Delefosse, Country Director, French Development Agency (AFD). Delefosse said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during the recent visit of President François Hollande of the France to Abuja to attend the Second Regional Summit. According to him, the agreements were signed between AFD and the Ministry of Finance in the presence of Hollande and President Muhamadi Buhari. “A 46.2 million U.S. dollars (about N13bn) subsidised loan granted by AFD to the Government of Nigeria, to enhance vocational training in the power sector, was signed.
“A 100 million U.S. dollars (about N248bn) subsidised line of credit granted by AFD to Zenith Bank, dedicated to the financing of investments of electricity distribution companies (DisCos), was signed.” Delefosse also said that additional and paired financing agreements were signed by Mrs Laurence Breton-Moyet, AFD Chief Operating Officer and a member of the AFD Executive Board. “A 350,000 euro (about 120 million naira) Grant Agreement was signed between AFD, Schneider Electric Nigeria and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN),” he said. “The agreement aimed at implementing a Technical Partnership between Schneider Electric Nigeria and NAPTIN for the development of a flexible and affordable training program for freelance electricians.
According to him, this is in order to improve the quality and safety standards for domestic installations in Nigeria and promote structured entrepreneurship in the power sector; “A 350,000 euro Grant Agreement was signed between AFD, CODIFOR (AFPI International) and the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED). Delefosse said that the agreement is aimed at implementing a Technical Partnership between CODIFOR and NAPTIN for the enhancement of private interest participation in the governance of the Nigerian power sector. “A 2.3 million euro Grant Agreement was signed between AFD and ANED, funded by the African Infrastructure Trust Fund of the EU. “It is aimed at implementing a technical assistance for DISCOs, ANED and local banks in order to improve the quality of electricity distribution projects, and access to finance.
“This project is combined with the above-mentioned Line of credit of 100 MUSD for CAPEX investment for the DisCos,” he said. Delefosse said the agreements confirmed the strong partnership between AFD, the federal government and local and international public and private stakeholders in favour of the power sector in Nigeria. He said power is a key priority for AFD group in Nigeria, through private loans to electricity generating companies (GenCos) and sovereign loans for Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Delefosse said other areas through which AFD supported Nigeria’s power sector are credit facilities to local banks for DisCos investments, support to the vocational training and credit facilities for green energy projects. The AFD Country Director said Hollande also made an announcement related to the launch of the French Initiative for Lake Chad. According to him, the Initiative will be carried out by AFD.