By Samuel Oyejola
The Country Director of the World Bank in Nigeria, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud has revealed that 80 million Nigerians lack access to electricity while millions more suffer from poor service.
Benmessaoud revealed this at the ongoing World Bank-Rural Electrification Agency summit in Abuja on Tuesday.
At the summit themed Up-scaling Mini Grids for Low-Cost and Timely Access to Electricity, the World bank Officer who was represented by Mac Cosgrove-Davis said that the Rural Electrification Agency expects mini grids to fill a substantial portion of that gap covering to 8000 villages nationwide.
While stating that the government is pushing hard towards universal electrification he said that Nigerian government has asked the World bank for support for a national Electrification Project that focuses on off-grid opportunities including mini grids.
“The Government of Nigeria is pushing hard toward universal electrification. The Nigerian government has asked the World Bank’s support for a National Electrification Project that focuses on off-grid opportunities including mini grids and the World Bank is delighted to respond to this request,” he said.
He said that the World Bank would help Nigeria make most of international expertise and experience as it fits the country’s setting.
He challenged international stakeholders and development partners to partner with stakeholders in the country to provide electricity for Nigerians.