The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has disbursed over N1.3 trillion to support the provision of power supply to Nigerians in the last five years.
The CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made the remark at a news conference following a meeting of the Bankers Committee in Abuja on Monday, NÀN reports. “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;
Emefiele further said that 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 1.28 trillion naira. ‘’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.
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.
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.
Emefiele, therefore, urged NNPC to take urgent steps to ensure an adequate supply of petroleum products in Nigeria, so as to reduce the rate of arbitrary increase in the 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. “In the medium term, MPC is hopeful that a proposed take-off of the Dangote Refinery in the course of the year would help to improve the supply of petroleum products in Nigeria.
“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,’’ Emefiele said.