The Federal Government has charged the banking industry to participate in the funding of the country’s gas-to-power project which is estimated to cost a whopping $8 million USD.
Vice President Namadi Sambo who made the appeal also commended the role played by the industry in the success of the power privatization exercise, saying it shows confidence in the administration and the country.
Sambo was speaking Friday in Abuja, during a Special Forum on Financing the Power Sector Reforms for Economic Development, said
“Let me also congratulate the Banking Industry for its contribution so far to put our great country on the part of growth to attain our aspiration to be among the top twenty economies in the world through reliable, affordable and adequate power supply,” he said.
The Vice President while congratulating the Central Bank of Nigeria for kick starting the privatisation process, through its N300 billion 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.
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. 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 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, 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.