FG Lauds CBN, Banks For Supporting Investment In Power Sector Reforms

VP Sambo,CBN Gov ,others at Bankers' Committee Forum on powerThe Federal Government has lauded the contributions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to its power sector reform programme the power sector and by extension the economic development of the Nigeria.
The Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at the Special Forum on financing the power sector reforms for economic development organized by the Bankers’ Committee, which comprises the Chief Executive Officers of all DMBs in Nigeria.
Recalling the launch by President Goodluck Jonathan of the roadmap for the power sector reform in Lagos a few years ago, Sambo expressed appreciation to the private sector for heeding the clarion call by the Federal Government on investors to support the reforms in that sector and indeed all other sectors. “The response of the private sector has been massive,” he declared.
According to him, the roadmap, which details the strategy for transforming the sector and government’s response to the needs of the sector, was the Federal Government’s way of addressing conclusively the challenges facing the power sector in Nigeria.
Speaking further, he reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to sustaining an enabling environment for investment in the power sector in order for it to meet the needs of Nigerians.
While also disclosing that the Federal Government had successfully resolved all labour matters relating to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), he promised that all was now set for the settlement of pension, severance and gratuities of all 47,913 staff of the company.

He therefore urged all stakeholders to support the Federal Government in its quest to achieve the target of 20,000 megawatts by 2020.

The Vice President while congratulating the Central Bank of Nigeria for kick starting
the privatisation process, through its N300billion Intervention Fund for the power and aviation sectors, further challenged the banking industry to participate in funding the US8 million gas-to-power project and the $3.7 billion 20,000 megawatts power transmission capacity by 2016 project, among several others.

Arc Sambo stated that “the Federal Government, through NNPC, NGC and the private sector, ,is implementing a robust programme for the realization of the Nigerian Gas Master-plan with specific interest in meeting the gas-to-power demand in the country at a planned cost of about US$8billion. Already, US$500million out of the US$1billion Euro-Bond would be utilized as counterpart funding for implementation of this project.”

On the power transmission capacity the Vice President said “the total funding for this project is estimated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to cost about US$3.7billion. I am pleased to inform you that these projects have already been arranged. US$1.6billion is coming from the sale proceeds of the NIPP/NDPHC ten new power plants, US$500million from the China-EXIM bank and the balance from the African Development Bank (AfDB), IDB and our local banks.”

Speaking further, the Vice President disclosed that privatisation of PHCN successor companies had reached completion stage with the successful resolution of labour issues and the handing over of the Generating Companies (GENCOS) and Distribution Companies (DISCOS) to new owners on Monday 30 September, 2013 in a ceremony to be conducted by President Goodluck Jonathan. This follows the full payment of the 25% of the acquisition cost and the required balance of 75% of the value of the electricity assets .He particularly commended the private sector for their confidence in the exercise.

He reiterated government’s commitment to the realisation of its ambition, among other competing and equally important sectors of transport, agriculture, education, to meet the
vision 20:2020 target of 20,000mw.

The CBN Governor Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in his remarks said the forum was to review the contribution of the Banking Industry to the Power Sector Reform Programme. He said the Apex Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance is reviewing the Development Finance Institutions and creates DFIs that would finance critical development projects.

Speaking the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation, Mr. Atedo Peterside gave a rundown of the processes leading to the success of the privatisation exercise. He challenged the banking industry not to relent in its support to the power sector, noting the huge potentials of the sector to the growth of the economy.