The Federal Government on Thursday said it would invest 1.6 billion dollars to upgrade and expand the power transmission network.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, made this known when a delegation of the Bankers’ Forum visited him in his office in Abuja.

Nebo said the investment, which was to ensure stable power supply in the country, had been approved by the National Economic Council.

He said the fund would be sourced from the proceeds of the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) in the country.

Nebo said the Federal Government would also source 500 million dollars from the World Bank and 150 million dollars from African Development Bank (AfDB) to turn around the sector.

He said that the renewed vigor was geared toward infrastructure development of the transmission sub-sector, which was important to power supply chain.

The minister described transmission as the life-wire in the electricity value chain, and expressed government’s commitment to expanding transmission capacity to 120 per cent of generation.

He said the Federal government was also trying to address the issue of gas challenge to the power plants and adequate funding for the sector as a whole.

Nebo called on the banking sector to intensify their partnership with the Federal Government and private investors in the sector as a way of fast tracking its development.

He stressed the need for the banking sector to help genuine investors and individuals willing to invest in the sector with loans.

Earlier, Mr Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director, Heritage Bank and Chairman of the forum, said that the visit was to show their support for the transformation of the power sector.

Sekibo pledged the forum’s continued support for the sector, and called on other stakeholders to join the transformation train.

He stressed the need for government to tackle the issue of gas challenge, infrastructure decay and adequate funding for the sector to make it more vibrant. (NAN)