Buhari signs N600bn intervention fund for power sector

The power sector is going to get another intervention of N600bn from the Federal Government soon.

President Muhammad Buhari has signed for the release of the funds; it was gathered on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Market Operator, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Edmond Eje, disclosed this while speaking on the sidelines of the third MO interactive stakeholders’ forum.

The Federal Government has been intervening in the power sector and the release of the latest N600bn will make it the third key intervention so far carried out by the government after it officially handed over the distribution and generation arms of the sector to private investors in November 2013.

On September 30, 2014, the Federal Government announced a loan of N213bn to the privatised power firms.

On March I, 2017, the Federal Executive Council also announced the provision of N701bn as Power Assurance Guarantee for the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company for two years to pay the generation firms.

When asked whether the latest N600bn was specifically for the distribution, generation or transmission company, Eje could not be specific.

When reminded that the Federal Government had at different intervals pumped in N213bn and N701bn to support power distribution, generation and gas companies, the MO stated that it was wrong to say the funds were meant to take care of just one arm of the sector.

On how soon the government would release the N600bn, Eje stated that the government was not happy that the funds had yet to be deployed.

Some stakeholders had frowned on the interventions of government in the power sector as they argued that the industry was largely in private hands.

About two weeks ago, the Senate kicked against the continuous disbursement of bailout funds by the Federal Government to power firms.

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