European Union (EU) will spend 150 million Euros (N50 billion) on the development of power sector in Nigeria, Mr Michel Arrion, the Ambassador and Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria, said on Wednesday.
Arrion made this known at the 5th Edition of EU-Nigeria Business Forum (EUNIBF) pre-event news conference in Lagos.
He said that the grant would be used mainly for the training of young engineers and funding of some technical aspects of the sector.
According to him, EU is collaborating with National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) to inject young engineers into the sector.
Arrion described energy sector as an important aspect of the Nigerian economy, saying that nothing would work well if the sector was not adequately funded.
“The EU is already financing a transmission project in Kastina State and we have spent over five million Euro, about N1.6 billion, on it,’’ he said.
Arrion said that the forthcoming business forum would focus on creating opportunities for EU and Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to create their businesses through the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).
“We want to identify opportunities in the textile value chain and proffer options for accessing long term finance for the critical power sector in Nigeria.
“The 5th EUNIBF has been designed to discuss business opportunities and address bottlenecks to investments, particularly in the power sector.
“We will focus on diversification of the economy through SMEs,” he said.
Also, Mr Filippo Amato, the Counsellor, Head of Trade and Economics Section of EU, said that EU has granted over 750 million Euros to Nigeria between 2008 and 2013.
Amato said that 512 million Euros had been spent from 2015 to date.
He said that 2016 business forum would take place in Lagos from Nov.10 to 11 with the theme: “Harnessing Nigeria’s Potential for Economic Growth’’.
Amato said that key speakers lined up for the event include Gov. Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State and Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
Others are President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, and Minister of Works, Housing and Land, Mr Babatunde Fashola.
He said that the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma and the State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovak Republic, Lukas Parizek, would attend the forum.