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CBN: FG spends N1.3trn on power post-privatisation

A total of N1.3 trillion has been injected into the power sector as intervention funds since the pri-vatisation of the power sector in 2014 to date. The House of Representatives has insisted that all agencies that benefited from the N1.3 trillion intervention fund must account for every dime. Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this yesterday when he appeared before the House ad hoc committee on interventions in the power sector. Represented by the CBN’s deputy governor (operations), Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, the CBN governor explained that all the interventions are in form of loans.

He disclosed that N213 billion was used as set up intervention fund in 2015, under the Nigerian electricity stabilization facility after the privatisation in 2014. Shonubi explained: “After the privatisation, it was discovered that NEPA owed a lot of concerns and they were asking for their money. And so, it was the issue of liquidity for NEPA that brought in the CBN and the stabilization fund was established to enable them meet up buying gas and other things.” He said out of the initial N213 billion, only N189.1 billion was drawn down, with N60.8 billion refunded so far, leaving an outstanding of N120 billion. He noted another N701 billion intervention, as well as N600 billion requested by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and guaranteed 100 per cent by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

According to him, the N701 billion was a Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc. (NBET) facility, provided with a 10-year tenure and two-year moratorium. Adebisi disclosed that out of the last N600 billion intervention, only N85.41 billion has so far been paid out. But chairman of the ad hoc committee, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa said the House was worried with the huge sums of money injected into the sector without commensurate power supply, threatening that they will have no problem “shaking the table” to get to the root of the matter. He observed notable discrepancies in the figures given by the CBN, Federal Ministry of Finance, the NBET, on interventions in the power sector. The lawmaker emphasised that failure of agencies to appear at the same time when invited by parliament makes the job difficult as such discrepancies would have been reconciled if all the three agencies appeared at the same time. Responding to questions after the session, Ado-Doguwa said: “In our engagement with CBN today, we have confirmed that significant amount of public resources have been injected into the power sector.

And our concerns as members representing the people is to find out why despite these disbursements of public funds, taxpayers’ money; why we still have problem bedevilling the power sector of Nigeria? That has to be stopped. “Whether it was N1.3 trillion or something different, based on the discrepancies that we have established, it is for us now to identify and subsequently, we will engage the Ministry of Finance and the CBN on the same table. “We have given a resolution of this committee and by extension a resolution of the House that some of these agencies, especially beneficiary organisations to this whopping sum of N1.3 trillion, which we have established so far, to come back and appear, so that we can sort these discrepancies and establish what went wrong or what went right,” he stated.

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