USAID, InfraCredit partner to increase electricity access in Rivers

By Chimezie Godfrey

The U. S Agency for International Development (USAID) and Infrastructure Credit Guarantee Company Limited (InfraCredit) have signed partnership agreement to provide increased access to electricity to consumers in Rivers.

The USAID Mission Director, Stephen M. Haykin, said the N13 billion ($35.6million) co-guarantee for 15-years bond, will allow Gel, Utility Limited, a member of Genesis Energy Group that develops, operates and provides both on and off grid power solutions, access long term local currency financing at a reasonable interest rate and tenor.

He pointed out that the financing terms, consistent with a favourable investment environment, will permit Gel to expand its generation and distribution capacity in areas with low energy access.

“Today’s partnership marks the first ever risk sharing arrangement between USAID and InfraCredit and emphasizes both institutions’ dedication to supporting the development of Nigeria’s power sector.

“As  a result, more consumers in Port-Harcourt will have access to a reliable power supply.”

Earlier at the signing ceremony, InfraCredit Chief Executive Officer, Chinua Azubuike said InfraCredit is committed to facilitating investments in the power sector by providing guarantees in collaboration with its strategic partners such as Power Africa.

“When we are able to draw on (Power Africa’s) capacity, networks, competence and credit quality.

“We can achieve our mutual objective of bridging the power infrastructure gap. 

Azubuike stated that the transaction with Gel, the first beneficiary of the co-guarantee arrangement between InfraCredit and USAID demonstrates how private sector led institutions can effectively access the Nigerian debt capital market to fund the expansion of their power generating and distributing capacity.

He also revealed that the proceed of the bond stemming from this co-guarantee agreement will fund  the implementation of the excess power program in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and fund replacement of Gel-Unity Limited’s current short term financing with long term local currency debt.