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Things are looking up for Badamasi Maiwalda, 32, an iron bender in Kano, northern Nigeria. Until now Badamasi’s iron bending workshop has struggled to operate due to the worn out and damaged state of the Nigerian power sector’s generation and distribution capacity.
But now UKaid from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development is providing expert management advice to Nigeria’s Ministry of Power, which means that for the first time, electricity companies are producing realistic and achievable business plans – which will result in consistent and reliable electricity supply for Nigerians.
The benefits of a stronger energy sector will reach right across Nigerian society. It can transform key services from schools and shops to hospitals and clinics. Reliable power supply will make roads safer as street lighting and traffic lights function again. And Badamasi, and millions of Nigerians like him, will finally get the power they need to earn a living.
Improving access to electricity is a key factor in improving economic growth - as many as 1.6bn people globally, largely in rural areas, have no access to electricity. The UK is supporting the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP) which will deliver urgently needed energy supplies to the poorest countries providing enough energy to support 2.5mn households by 2015 and at the same time help meet climate change goals.