Nigeria’s United Bank for Africa (UBA) had invested $700 million (R7.2 billion) this year financing power assets in Africa’s second-biggest economy and was looking to put $2bn into power projects across Africa over the next three years, chief executive Phillips Oduoza said yesterday.
Oduoza expected the bank to grow loans by about 14 percent in the next six months.
Nigeria is reforming its electricity sector in a privatisation scheme meant to end chronic power shortages. President Goodluck Jonathan said last week that bidders for state electricity assets had completed payments, clearing a major hurdle in the process.
“We have been financing different parts of the power sector, both generation and distribution,” Oduoza said on the sidelines of an economic conference in the capital, Abuja.
Of the $2bn, he said about $1.2bn would earmarked for Nigerian deals.
The state-owned monopoly power firm has been broken up into 11 generation companies and six distribution companies, all being sold separately to private consortiums.
UBA said it expected to grow its loan book by 30 percent this year as it targeted consumer and infrastructure financing.
“The top-line loan growth [in the] first half was about 14 percent… for the next half we are expecting about the same thing,” Oduoza said.
He said other African countries continued to be a growing part of the business, making up about 22 percent to 25 percent this year, up from 19 percent last year. – Reuters