By Tobias Pius, with wire report
Nigeria’s decrepit power sector is about to benefit from a $500 million loan the World Bank has approved to aid in revamping its lacklustre service delivery.
Problems such as decaying infrastructure, dwindling customer billing for electricity, and a dilapidated government-owned grid that might cave in if operated at full tilt, have been the bane of the power sector’s existence over the decades, which has led to the World Bank detailing the country’s loss to about $26.2 billion, mainly because of unstable supply and over 40 per cent of the entire population of 200 million people still not connected to the grid.
A statement from the World Bank with regards to the assigned fund said the money will help distribution companies “make necessary investments to rehabilitate networks, install electric meters for more accurate customer billing and to improve quality of service for those already connected to the grid”.
The fund, when deployed, can go a long way in fixing transmission and distribution infrastructure that have been in a dilapidated and deplorable state from poor maintenance and inadequate funding, and make it easier to evacuate power to consumption points. It will also enable improved performances in terms of revenue collection through proper customer billing of supplied power with the aid of installed electric meters which prior to now about 40 percent of the power supplied was never billed.