FG, World Bank Closer to Sealing Electricity Recovery Plan deal

The World Bank stated that the current status of Nigeria’s power sector was characterised by poor service and lack of liquidity, adding that it was a source of macro-economic imbalances and a binding constraint to the revival of growth for Nigeria.
The Bank thus stated that power sector recovery programme would focus on supporting the implementation of power sector reform, reducing losses in the electricity distribution companies (Discos), enhancing the sector’s financial viability, increasing access to electricity services, and mobilising private sector investment.
With regards to the above, both parties indicated that a deal on this was imminent and also reiterated commitment to sealing the deal soon.
“The approval of the power sector recovery programme by the Federal Executive Council demonstrates that the Federal Government is committed to the sustainable development of the power sector. The implementation of the program is critical to achieving the objectives of the government’s Economic Growth and Recovery Plan.” The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, stated in a statement.
“There is need for well-designed derisking in order to attract private investors to the sector. All the agencies of government will work in concert to ensure implementation of the power sector recovery program.” The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun also said.
“The plan also got a legislative backing with the Senate Committee Chairman on Power, Steel and Metallurgy, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe who reportedly said “The legislative arm of the Nigerian government is fully committed to the successful implementation of the power sector recovery program.”
Also giving further legislative backing to the plan was the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Power, Hon. Dan Asuquo, who said: “We will make sure our oversight functions focus on the completion of projects and initiatives that support the effectiveness of the power sector recovery program.”
“The World Bank Group congratulates Nigeria on its commitment to the program, and stressed the critical importance of the power sector to Nigeria’s development and for restoring macroeconomic resilience and growth,” the statement said.
The statement disclosed that the meeting discussed the action plan set out in the program, as well as indicating the need for strong interagency coordination to ensure that it attains its aims.
“Controlling the cost of electricity supply is a critical element of the recovery program that will require close attention to prioritizing investments based on least cost power development investment planning principles,” said the World Bank Senior Director for Energy and Extractive Industries, Riccardo Puliti, in the statement.
“A turnaround of the power sector will require the expertise and financing of the private sector.” Said the Global Director for Infrastructure and Natural Resources at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Bernard Sheahan, adding that “This would require continuous improvement in the investment climate in Nigeria and strong communications among stakeholders of the sector reform plan during its implementation.”
“A full range of instruments will be deployed to help the government mobilise investments directly from the private sector and through private sector guarantees.”the Director of Operations at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), Sarvesh Suri stated also at the meeting.

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