Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said that the continuous growth of the power sector is of critical importance to the Buhari led Administration.
Osinbajo made this known while delivering his keynote address at the Power Sector Round Table 2019 meeting, hosted by Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL), at the Kainji Hydro Power Plant in Niger State on Tuesday. Theme of the Meeting was, “Next Level for the Nigerian Power Sector – Unlocking Real Liquidity”,
The Vice President, who was represented by the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, said the Federal Government has supported the power sector through the provision of various interventions, saying it recently approved the third round of intervention funding for the sector totaling about N1.5 trillion in the last two years.
He disclosed that the Federal Government plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, noting that it can only be achieved with a thriving power sector to drive industrialization. He however, pointed out that ‘if the country is to achieve its aim of channeling funding to other critical sectors, it is pertinent that structural reforms be put in place to enable the power sector fund itself sustainable’.
Osinbajo therefore, charged stakeholders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) to proffer long – term solution to the viability and liquidity of the sector by attracting investments and putting in place the essential infrastructure support to meet the demand of power at both the retail and commercial ends of the economy. He further charged them to come up with suitable recommendations that would unlock real liquidity and position the sector to a more pivotal role in advancing growth and development for the economy at the ‘Next Level’.
The Minister of State, Power, Mr. Goddy Jeddy- Agba (OFR), reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to support the growth of the power sector, while assuring the Meeting that “government would do its utmost best to establish appropriate policies that would address key issues raised here”.
On his part, the Chairman, Board of Directors of MESL, Col. Sani Bello (rtd) urged the Federal Government to intervene in ensuring that monthly invoices payment for energy generation companies was improved from the 15 percent it is presently getting to 80 percent, saying “as at May 2019, we only received 15 percent. I don’t think any generating company can survive with that”. He also called on government to provide cost reflective tariff.
In his presentation, the Partner and Chief Economist of PwC Nigeria, Andrew Nevin said the liquidity situation facing the Discos and Gencos would be solved, if 50% of electricity is dedicated to industries, pointing out that the electricity market could get N400bn liquidity if industries tariff was raised to N80 per kilowatt hour. This he said, would create about 1.8 million jobs in Nigeria, and lift about 100 million people out of poverty as well as increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) thereby, promoting the Economic Growth Plan of the Federal Government.