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Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has called on solar power promoters/sponsors in the country to find lasting solutions to issues hindering the operations of 16 solar power projects across the country, which is estimated to add 1300mw to the nation’s generation capacity.
The minister stated this during a meeting with representatives of Ministry of Federal Capital Territory, state governments, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, NBET, distribution companies and prospective solar power promoters/sponsors and investors recently in Abuja.
The participants agreed that the meeting was timely and that addition of all 16 projects with a total of 1,300mw capacities would be highly beneficial for the country’s energy mix, but the projects have been unable to progress because of lack of bankable Power Purchase Agreements, PPAs.
The minister also said that government was mindful of the burden of the premium price of solar power in the pricing regime approved by NBET, which the sponsors/promoters considered difficult in light of contracting for solar power at the prevailing premium tariff, hence they are looking at subsidy requirement to cushion the adverse effect on their investment.
Solar sponsors have expressed concern and frustration that bankable PPAs had not been signed after so many years of negotiations with NBET.
However, the promoters agreed to meet over the next few days to redefine and update the pricing regime as well as make specific suggestions on incentives such as duty waivers, VAT exemption and access to concessional credit facilities to help bring down the price of solar equipment.
Some of the promoters agreed to take on an obligation to find off-takers of the premium power they will sell to NBET under the PPA.
Fashola informed that over the next few weeks, the ministry, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and NBET would define the process and magnitude of capacity to be procured under competitive procurement for solar power.
NERC would also commit to incorporating the competitively procured solar power into the tariff regime, so that NBET is not exposed to any subsidy requirement.