The World Bank on Tuesday granted Nigeria a loan of $350m (N107.4bn at the official exchange rate of N307 to a dollar) for the development of rural electrification projects in Nigeria.
It also announced Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency as the implementing organisation of the Federal Government that would be in charge of the loan.
The bank stated that 80 million people in Nigeria were without access to electricity, while about 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa did not have power supply in their various communities.
The global financial institution disclosed this at a press conference that was held during the ongoing ‘Action Learning Event on Upscaling Mini Grids for Low-cost and Timely Access to Electricity’ in Abuja.
The Country Director for Nigeria, World Bank, Rachid Benmessaoud, said the $350m loan was given to the government, but noted that a lot of the fund would go to the private sector.
Responding to enquiries about the loan, Benmessaoud, who was represented by the World Bank Global Lead, Energy Access, Mr. Mac Cosgrove-Davies, stated, “With regards to the question on the loan, yes indeed, this is a loan to the government.
“That said, the Rural Electrification Agency will be the implementing agency for the loan and much of the funds will actually be going to the private sector. A lot of the funds that go from the World Bank to the government will be provided to the private sector.”