The Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Mr Denys Gauer said that the French Development Agency committed 370 million euros for soft loans to support the development of power sector in Nigeria.
Gauer stated this at the sixth Nigerian Alternative Energy Expo on Wednesday in Abuja.
The expo, with the theme: “Embracing Sustainable Energy for Sustainable Growth,“ was designed to forge new partnerships on how to develop further the power industry.
The Ambassador said the French government was committed to supporting country’s effort to develop renewable energy in Nigeria.
However, he expressed the belief that an increase in the electricity production was key to the diversification of the country’s economy.
In his words, “But Nigerians must give priority to renewable energy, either solar or biomass among others; those are the solutions for the future.“
The financial support is designed to provide soft loans to developing the generation, transmission and distribution value chains of the nation’s electricity.
The French government has also committed finances to develop some renewable energy projects like solar projects in Osun and wind projects in Katsina states.
Gauer said that some French companies were also ready to finance important large solar energy and biomass projects in the Nigeria.
According to him, France has been committed to helping Nigeria and other African countries to develop its power sector.
He added, “We have worked very closely with the Nigeria authorities; we have helped Nigeria participate in several multilateral initiatives on renewable initiatives.”
He said that the African initiatives for renewable energies were designed to increase the share of renewable energies from 28 to 48 percent in 2017 for the whole ECOWAS region.
There is also an international solar alliance by France and India to mobilise financial needs for solar needs in the agriculture sector.
President Muhammadu Buhari and French President Francois Hollande on May 14, signed an N14 billion loan agreement for capacity-building and upgrade of power training facilities in Nigeria.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during the visit of President Hollande to Abuja for the Second Regional Summit.
The agreement covers a 46.2 million-dollar subsidised loan granted by France Development Agency (AFD) to enhance vocational training in the power sector and a 100 million dollars subsidised line of credit granted by AFD to Zenith Bank, dedicated to the financing of investments in electricity distribution companies.