Friday, October 21, 2011

US Eximbank targets Nigerian power sector

19 October 2011

By Joe Brock
ABUJA (Reuters) - The U.S. Export-Import Bank signed a deal with Nigeria's power minister on Tuesday to provide $1.5 billion for U.S. companies to work in the underperforming power sector, which is holding back growth in sub-Saharan Africa's second-largest economy.

Nigeria has the world's seventh-largest natural gas reserves, yet is blighted by persistent electricity outages which force businesses and individuals who can afford them to rely on diesel generators.

President Goodluck Jonathan pledged before his election victory in April to privatise electricity generation and distribution.

Nigeria's privatisation agency has said it hopes to complete the sale of six power plants and 11 distribution firms by the first quarter of 2012 as part of a multi-billion dollar plan.

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