The US government through its agency for international development, USAID, has signed a Declaration of Partnership with Infrastructure Credit Guarantee Company limited, InfraCredit, aimed at boosting power supply to Rivers State.
USAID Mission Director in Nigeria Stephen Haykin said the partnership will help bridge the gap in the provision of electricity to Port Harcourt.
According to Haykin, “the event highlights groundbreaking collaboration between USAID, InfraCredit and GEL Utility Limited to increase access to power for consumers in Port Harcourt. This co-guarantee marks the first risk-sharing arrangement between USAID and InfraCredit and emphasizes both institutions’ dedication to supporting the development of Nigeria’s power sector.
I am confident that partnership will help bridge the gap in electricity provision for Port Harcourt residents, promote economic development for local businesses as they will have increased access to affordable and reliable energy to produce more goods and provide services. This will not only improve their financial bottom line but create more jobs for youth and women.”
Mr. Haykin said the partnership would help promote economic development for local businesses in Rivers State and also increase access to affordable and reliable energy.
Power Africa, a US government-led partnership coordinated by USAID, is working to increase electricity access in Nigeria as well as across the continent. Thus far, the initiative has leveraged over $50 billion in commitments from the public and private sectors, and this partnership with InfraCredit will bolster that figure.
The Chief Executive Officer InfraCredit, Mr.Chinua Azubike, said the partnership provides a platform to share risks, provide infrastructure as well as a guarantee for long term investment in the power sector.
“This project involves a partnership between InfraCredit and USAID and the Development Credit Authority where we provided a guarantee for GEL Utility. This is significant because it is the first time that the US government is collaborating with a local institution to provide this credit enhancement and promote local currency financing.”
“The partnership is a symbolic and significant milestone for us because part of Infracredit strategic growth plan is aligned around providing and finding strategic partnership with development partners where we can share risks and leverage off their credit quality, know-how and expertise in order to solve some of our difficult problems in pulling in private capital into infrastructure in Nigeria.” Mr. Azubike added.
The transaction with GEL – the first beneficiary of the co-guarantee arrangement between InfraCredit and USAID demonstrates how private sector-led institutions can efficiently access the Nigerian debt capital market to fund the expansion of their power generation and distribution capacity.