The bank, which disclosed this in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Friday, said the approval was given in Washington on Thursday.
According to the bank, the investments under the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project will increase the power transfer capacity of the transmission network and enable distribution companies to supply consumers with additional power.
Together with other investments and policy measures, the project will contribute to ensuring adequate and reliable electricity supply that is necessary for Nigeria’s continued economic development, the bank said.
It added that the loan would also support private sector participation, capacity development and better governance in the Transmission Company of Nigeria and sector institutions.
The statement quoted the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, as expressing hopes that private sector operators would complement the efforts of the Federal Government in addressing the transmission challenges of the electricity industry.
Fashola stated, “The Federal Government is committed to addressing the challenges in the public-owned transmission network and the financing being provided by the World Bank under the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project underlines this commitment.
“The Federal Government anticipates that private sector financing in the privately-owned segments of the value-chain will complement the government’s efforts in bringing better quality service to the citizens.”
On his part, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, said, “The Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project will help address key bottlenecks in the transmission network and improve access to affordable and reliable electricity service to citizens.”
The World Bank said the project was part of the Power Sector Recovery Programme by the Federal Government – a comprehensive package of policy, legal, regulatory, operational and financial interventions that will restore the financial viability of the power sector.
It added that the measures, which will be implemented through 2021, were aimed at improving transparency and service delivery and re-establishing investor confidence in the sector.