NIGERIA SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH BRAZIL ON HYDRO-POWER PROJECTS
NIGERIA has expressed its readiness to partner with Brazil and the private sector to develop its hydro-power projects to address the problem of energy deficit in the country.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo, expressed the view in a paper he presented on energy entitled: 'Light for All', in Brasilia, Brazil, on Saturday.
Sambo noted that already, Nigeria and Brazil had established an energy commission aimed at addressing the energy challenges of Nigeria.
'As you know, we also have this Nigeria-Brazil Energy Commission.
'We will be looking forward to possible meeting with organs that are already planning to discuss the development of the Mambilla hydro-power and other hydro-power projects in Nigeria as well as the development of the gas sector.
'This time, we have a commission that is specifically meant to address the relationship of our putting up partnership with Brazilian companies in terms of energy,' he said.
The vice-president noted that the Federal Government had already appointed a Special Adviser on Energy, to specifically handle the issue of power.
He said a delegation of Nigerians selected from the office of the Special Adviser on Energy, Ministry of Power, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Presidency would soon meet with the Brazilian authorities to discuss the way forward for the Nigerian power sector.
'Power is our major priority, although our stage is that we are still at the level of planning to have adequate power generation, which here in Brazil you have already gone beyond that,' he stated.
Sambo noted the Brazilian government's attainment of self-sufficiency in energy generation.
'You already have your energy, the major thing is to be able to distribute it to the less privileged, the areas that could not get this energy, which is slightly over 10 million people,' he said.
He, however, expressed optimism that with the huge investment being made by the government in the energy sector, Nigeria would soon record an appreciable level of energy generation and distribution for the speedy socio-economic transformation of its economy.
The Coordinator of the Light for All Programme in Brazil, Mr Paulo Cerqueira, had narrated how his country was able to overcome its energy challenges.
He said less than 10 per cent of Brazil's population of 191 million was without steady electricity supply.
Cerqueira said that with the introduction of the Light for All Programme, more than 125,000 families had returned to the rural areas, 391,000 people were gainfully employed and 2.4 families enjoyed improved quality of life.
He surprised most Nigerians at the venue of the presentation, when he said that Brazilians could not remember the last time they experienced any power interruption.