The World Bank said that it has made available a grant of two hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars [$250,000] to support the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, in her ongoing energy efficiency programme.
This was disclosed recently by the representatives of the World Bank, led by Jinping Zhao when they paid a scheduled visit to the company in Port Harcourt to assess the progress made so far in the pilot project.
Mr. Zhao also disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria has requested a credit facility of about $500,000 to help in enhancing the network of the Distribution Companies, Discos, with a view to improving the power sector in Nigeria.
He noted that before the credit facility would be given to any Disco in Nigeria, the World Bank would ascertain the status and requirements of such distribution company, adding that all the requirements must be met.
Zhuo said that World Bank would also partner with the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company in the area of technical support by procuring, distributing and installing energy saving bulbs in order to ensure improvement in its sustainability. He enjoined the of management PHED to train and re- train her personnel so as to encourage professionalism and better service delivery in the power sector.
“On the first technical support, we are happy to inform you that the World Bank has given a small grant of $250,000.00 to support PHED in procuring and distributing energy saving bulbs.
“Currently the Federal Government has requested the World Bank to support the distribution companies with a facility of about $500,000.00 credit but we are going to look at the status and requirements of each Disco”, Zhao said.
Earlier, the Acting Chief Executive Officer, PHED, Mr. Syed Taha in his welcome address, has said that the energy saving bulbs would save and reduce cost for the electricity users, adding that it is a way to go in the electricity industry. Mr Taha stated that PHED was committed to ensuring sustainable power distribution system in its area of operation and appealed to the World Bank to support PHED in carrying out its statutory responsibility to the people of Niger Delta in particular and Nigeria in general.
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“We believe, energy efficiency is the way to go in other to reduce our losses and especially that of our customers, we have already started the pilot programme on how energy efficiency can benefit our customers and Nigeria as a whole”, Taha said. The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, it would be recalled commenced a community based energy management pilot program in selected locations within its licensed area.
The program has been designed to assist communities in paying much lower amount for their monthly energy bills through the introduction of energy saving bulbs which two communities namely Gbaran, -Ama in Bayelsa state and Mbiatok Itam in Akwa Ibom state have already benefited from the bulb exchange free of charge.
PHEDThe objectives of the program are economic empowerment of participating customers, efficient energy management and enhanced customer relations. With the World Bank’s financial support, other communities in the Niger Delta would benefit from the energy efficiency programme of company.