Acting President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed that the government was set to release a second tranche of the N701 billion for power assurance guarantee approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in March this year for the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc.
The Federal Government had through NBET earlier this month released the first tranche of about N12 billion to 10 generating companies (GenCos) from the N701 billion intervention fund.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Nigerian Renewable Energy Roundtable organised by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in partnership with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Osinbajo said: “We want to embark on a broader restructuring of the electricity sector and strive to achieve a more systematic development of power market design, especially for the renewable energy.”
He stressed there was need for the relevant authorities to come up with a frame-work that brings together all stakeholders towards ensuring that renewable energy becomes the engine of growth for the Nigerian economy.
“We have mentioned several of the plans, the power sector plans and so many of those initiatives. The latest is to break the gridlock in the liquidity of the entire electricity value chain and so our payment assurance system of over N701 billion has been approved by the Federal Executive Council and in fact, the first payment has been made and we are on to make up the second payment.
“We hope that we will free up that value chain which has created several problems of its own and we hope that this injection will help. We are also looking at several other reforms in the sector hoping that the market can become self-sustaining, independent and run on its own and free up all of the private sector energy that is waiting to come into the market,” he said.
He said that the administration’s plan is to also expand the Solar Home System programme to one million households, creating a few more million jobs for Nigerians.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Ajayi Boroface, expressed the readiness of the National Assembly to partner with the Executive to come up with the necessary legislations that will create the enabling environment to exploit these resources effectively for the development of the country.
Boroface, who attributed the difficulty in implementing government programmes in the energy sector to lack of necessary policy and institutional framework, as well as the political will of the leadership of the country, expressed optimism, stating that the presence of the Acting President at the energy roundtable would go a long way to drive the sector for the benefit of the country.
Also, Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, Beni Lar, noted that electricity is a basic tool that drives industrialisation, technological advancement, engineering transformation and economic growth all over the world.
She said without power, the country would achieve nothing.
Meanwhile, Chairman, NESG, Kyari Bukar, said that the cost comparison of the electricity generation in Nigeria reveals that renewables are one of the strongest options for Nigeria.
He said renewable energy was at present fully competitive with conventional generation, adding that the debate on the need to diversify the economy could not be over-emphasised.
Source: The Guardian