Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has disclosed the reason why Western powers have been an obstacle to Nigeria’s progress towards improving power output through the use of coal.
During a discussion on the importance of addressing infrastructure gaps in developing countries at the World Bank, International Monetary Fund General Meetings in Washington on Wednesday, October 5, Mrs. Adeosun accused the western powers of using the global warming mantra to block Nigeria’s plans for increased power supply.
“We want to build a coal power plant because we are a country blessed with coal, yet we have a power problem. So it doesn’t take a genius to work out that it will make sense to build a coal power plant.
“However, we are being blocked from doing so, because it is not green. This is not fair because they have an entire western industrialisation that was built on coal-fired energy.
“This is a competitive advantage that was used to develop Europe, yet now that Nigeria wants to do it, they say it’s not green, so we cannot. They suggest that we use solar and the wind, which is the more expensive. So yes, Africa must invest in its infrastructure, but we must also make sure that the playing field is level.”
Adeosun maintained that in spite of the need for foreign borrowing to finance Nigeria’s infrastructure gap, the strategy was to get the cheapest money since the country being very conservative about our debt and that federal government is trying to get the cheapest money possible from multilateral agencies.
“We are working very hard to make sure that we get multilateral funds first before we go to the euro bond market, which is a little bit more expensive.”
According to the minister, the country’s strategy was to get public-private investments because even if Nigeria dedicated five years’ full budget to bridging infrastructure gap, it would still be insufficient.