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Power Sector: FG Woos Foreign Investors With $300m Risk Guarantee Scheme

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 26, (THEWILL) â€' As the country's power sector reforms continue in earnest, the Federal Government has unveiled a whopping $300 million risk guarantee incentive to woo prospective foreign investors into the sector.

This, according to the government, is to strengthen investors' confidence in the sector and guarantee quick return on their investment.

The Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, disclosed this while speaking at a Power Africa event organised by the United States Department of Commerce in Miami Floroda, United States of America recently.

Wakil disclosed that the Federal Government had earmarked a $300 million partial risk guarantee domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the World Bank as an incentive to woo prospective investors.

He told the gathering of global power sector players that the incentive package includes tax holidays and waivers for power equipment importation for generation, transmission and distribution.

A statement issued by the Minister's Special Assistant ( Media) , Olawale Rasheed, said Wakil assured prospective investors of a good return on their investment. He also promised them a very attractive tariffs regime to encourage them to invest in the country's power sector .

'The Government of Nigeria has achieved what industry experts described as one of the most holistic, ambitious and transparent privatisations of power assets in recent times. The distribution and generation assets have all been successfully handed over to the private sector since November 2013,' Wakil said at the meeting where he was a keynote speaker.

Also speaking generally on the Power Africa Initiative sponsored by the United States, the minister said 'the Government of Nigeria is poised to take advantage of the initiative as a strategic opportunity for securing the much-needed investment in the power sector.'

He disclosed that 'at implementation level, a Power Africa desk has since been established at the Federal Ministry of Power to serve as a one-stop shop for stakeholders in the industry.'

According to him, the Power Africa desk would help attract investments to the country's power sector based on funding and technical assistance provided by the United States Government.

Also, a statement issued by the US Department of Commerce said 'at the Summit, prominent government and business leaders, including Nigeria's Minister,CEOs of Africa's major power companies, and representatives from the U.S. Export-Import Bank and USAID, joined to share opportunities for accessing the energy sector in African markets.'

The statement disclosed that 'next month, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will embark on a trade mission to Ghana, Nigeria, and Ethiopia to promote U.S. exports to Africa by helping U.S. companies launch or increase their business in the energy sector in West Africa.'