US pushes ahead with electricity plan for Nigeria

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The United States government is pushing ahead with its plan to boost electricity supply in Nigeria through the Power Africa initiative.

The US Consul General, John Bray, and the Director for Nigeria, US Agency for International Development Mission, Michael Harvey, visited Edo State on July 26 – 27 to assess the progress of partnered investments, advancing the US President Barack Obama’s signature initiative, Power Africa.

Bray was quoted in a statement as saying, “The work of bringing much more electricity to many more people in Nigeria and Africa is well underway.

“We recognise the great challenges ahead. But through Power Africa, the United States and our African partners are committed to improving lives and energising economies.”

Announced by President Obama in 2013, Power Africa is working with African governments, the private sector, and other partners to add more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60 million new connections in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

The statement said Bray and Harvey toured the construction site of Azura-Edo Independent Power Plant, a landmark 450 MW open-cycle gas turbine power plant that represents Nigeria’s first new plant in over a decade.

It said Power Africa officials and USAID worked with the government of Nigeria and the private sector to set the power plant on a successful trajectory.

The construction of Azura-Edo Power Plant would bring hundreds of jobs and the prospect of reliable energy to Edo State and beyond, the statement said.

The consul general and the USAID director also visited Ihovbor Power Plant to assess how best Power Africa could assist.

According to the statement, the US officials also discussed ongoing cooperation with Benin Electricity Distribution Company, as part of a two-year agreement signed in May 2016 for Power Africa to provide consultation aimed at improving systems and infrastructure for more reliable consumer access to electricity.

While in Benin, they met with Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, and Edaiken N’Uselu, Prince Eheneden Erediauwa.

According to the statement, Power Africa brings together the world’s top companies, political leaders, and financial institutions to help overcome Africa’s energy crisis.

Central to President Obama’s new model for development, Power Africa uses collective problem solving to enable African countries to pave their own energy future.

It said the initiative had already helped close financial transactions for production of over 4,600 MW of power transactions.

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