The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $210 million loan to help Nigeria upgrade its dilapidated electricity transmission and distribution network, the bank said in a statement late on Friday

The loan to Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) will support rural electrification efforts in Nigeria by facilitating private sector development and rollout of off-grid solutions, as well as the installation of dedicated power systems for Federal Universities. It will facilitate the construction of 330KV double circuit quad transmission lines and sub-stations across the country.

The AfDB funded project will run across seven states and will improve the capacity of the power grid where it is most constrained.

Nigeria privatised most of its power sector in 2013 but retained control of its monopoly grid, operated by TCN. Most of the country’s power generation is from thermal power stations that use gas.

The creaking power grid has often been blamed for hobbling growth in west Africa’s largest economy. The Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Mohammed, said the power grid upgrade will boost electricity in the northeast


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