“Like you all know, we have disbursed over 1.3 trillion naira in the last five years to support through the Generators or Discos or to acquire equipment or to buy meters or to improve what is being paid to electricity generating companies.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has disbursed over N1.3 trillion to support power supply to Nigerians in the last five years.
His remarks come as Nigerians, in the past few weeks, have continued to battle poor power supply worsened by scarcity of fuel to power homes and businesses and also economic downturn.
President Muhammadu Buhari had equally expressed concern over the suffering Nigerians are going through and promised to intervene.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made the remark at a news conference following a meeting of the Bankers Committee in Abuja on Monday.
“So, what we are trying to say here is that the CBN has always been there to support the power sector.
‘’Like you all know, we have disbursed over 1.3 trillion naira in the last five years to support through the Generators or Discos or to acquire equipment or to buy meters or to improve what is being paid to electricity generating companies;
‘’So that they can continue to pay for their gas and then the system can continue to operate.’’
Premium Times earlier today reported how President Buhari ‘summoned’ Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, and the Chief Economic Adviser, Doyin Salami, to a meeting at the Presidential Villa on Monday afternoon.
The President was reportedly scheduled to meet separately with them and he would be apprised of the latest developments in Imo State, the power sector and the state of the economy.
The President while condemning the spate of violence in Imo State in the aftermath of the destruction of buildings and assets of the Police and the home of George Obiozor, President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, pledged to review the security situation in South-east Nigeria.
President Buhari had also voiced his concern over the frequent power outages, apologising to Nigerians and assuring a quick relief to the situation.
Mr Emefiele on Monday said the bank had disbursed N11.11 billion to power sector players under the Nigeria bulk electronic trading payments assurance facility, bringing the cumulative disbursement under this facility to N1.28 trillion.
‘’The sum of N12.64 billion was also released to Discos under Nigeria electricity market stabilisation facility phase two line two.
“Both interventions were designed to improve access to capital and ease development of enabling infrastructure in the Nigeria electricity supply chain sector,’’ he added.
Mr Emefiele, however, pledged the apex bank’s commitment to continue to support Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to provide stable power supply to Nigerians.
He said that the apex bank would be engaging with the Power Minister and NERC to see what could be done to support them.
Mr Emefiele also said that the bank would be providing interventions for the NNPC to ensure they import petroleum products that would end the shortage in the country.
He noted that the Minister of Finance was holding engagements with Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to see to what could be done to ensure that adequate funding was provided to make petroleum products adequately available in the country.
“We are also saying we will be engaging NNPC ourselves, if there’s any kind of intervention that we can provide to help make it easy for them to bring in these products, so that this shortage can stop.
“Then we will see that when supply increases, people are relatively confident that when they sell whatever they’re holding, be it petrol or diesel that they can easily go and replace them, then the arbitrary price increases will reduce.
“When arbitrary price reduces, of course, we can begin to see that there will be gradual moderation in the price of this product.
’’This would ultimately result in the moderation in the prices of other products that its price would have gone up as a result of the arbitrary increase in the price of these items.
“This is simply how we think CBN can work with them,’’ he said.
Mr Emefiele, therefore, urged NNPC to take urgent steps to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products in Nigeria, so as to reduce the rate of arbitrary increase in price of this petroleum products by oil marketers.
He also noted the unprecedented rate of oil theft recorded in recent times and its debilitating impact on government revenue and the nation’s reserve.
“MPC also noted that the rising price of diesel is compounded by the problem of inadequate electricity supply in Nigeria, which has adversely impacted domestic prices.
“MPC advises the CBN management and fiscal authorities to take specific and urgent action to avoid many power generating stations shut down for turnaround maintenance, resulting in the current unwarranted shutdown of our generated assets,’’ Mr Emefiele said.