The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are currently negotiating new financial stimulus worth N180 billion to support electricity operators in Nigeria’s power sector.
The paper gathered from an exclusive interview with the acting Managing Director of NBET, Mr. Waziri Bintube, at the weekend in Abuja that negotiations on the new package had advanced with the CBN favourably disposed to it.
NBET is a government agency responsible for the bulk purchase of electricity from generation companies (Gencos) for resell to distribution companies (Discos). It acts as a financial stabiliser in power trades between the Gencos and Discos.
Bintube, however, said the CBN had in addition to the N213 billion it approved in its Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF) for disbursement to operators at a concessionary term, agreed to put another N180 billion into the facility.
He also said NBET had not touched its capitalisation fund, and that while the CBN expects to wrap up its first N213 billion to the market, the new N180 billion would immediately kick in.
“The NBET has a working capital, up to $350 million was given to us under the Euro bond facility and we have that amount in our kitty which we can deploy in exceptional situations. In addition, the government has given us N50 billion from its privatisation proceed on Egbin, and which we have put in our escrow account, the purpose of that is to breach the time difference when the Gencos want their money and when they can be paid.
“In addition, there are some off-the-line supports like the Central Bank’s Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation fund that was granted by the CBN to cover obligations in the market from the date of privatisation. That was another form of support to the market.
“We are currently negotiating with the CBN again to come in with a second tranche. They have some amount that they are yet to disburse but even after that, we are looking at getting the board to approve another second tranche on top of the N213 billion that has already been approved. We are looking at about N180 billion,” said Bintube.
Asked if the negotiations have largely being positive, he said: “Yes, we have the assurance of the CBN governor. He is very dedicated to resolving the logjam and ensuring that all the key pillars of the economy work because they are interrelated.”
He added: “If the power plants work, the manufacturers will have lesser problems, the banks will get paid for their products and then there will be less need for foreign products to come in and that reduces the request for foreign exchange. Just imagine that if our refineries are working, we will not need to depend on importation which takes away a lot from us including profits and jobs.”
Bintube also disclosed that NBET in conjunction with United States’ President Barack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, recently trained key government agencies and officials involved in evaluating, reviewing and regulating power projects in the country on understanding Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and Put Call Options Agreements (PCOAs).
He said the training was done to help the agencies and its officials understand the contents and significance of the PPAs and PCOAs considering that they would always have to come across it for review and approvals for investors who are interested in building power plants in Nigeria.
According to him, the ministries of power, finance, justice and Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), as well as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were some of the agencies that were trained on the use of the industry documents.
“Over the past several months, NBET has been negotiating PPAs and PCOAs with numerous gas and solar independent power project developers who are actively developing utility scale projects which will create circa 5,000 megawatts of new generation capacity for the country.
“The NBET PPA-PCOA training was designed to familiarise key government officials with the PPA and PCOA documents which will then be submitted to their respective offices for approval,” Bintube added.
Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Speaks on Looted Palliatives, Explains Delay
Looted Palliatives: Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Speaks
Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has spoken on the recent actions of criminals and thugs who hijacked the #EndSARS protest and looted warehouses where COVID-19 palliatives were kept for distributions.
The group refuted claims that the stolen items were hoarded for certain people instead of distribution to the vulnerable they were meant for. This is despite the fact that some of the palliatives were already rotten by the time criminals broke into the warehouses.
Some of the looters, who spoke with the press, said a sizeable number of the items were already rotten and destroyed by rodents, while one of the lawmakers tasked with distribution claimed he planned to distribute the items on his birthday. A statement that angered many Nigerians.
However, in a statement issued on behalf of the group by Osita Nwanisobi, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, CBN, on Monday, CACOVID said due to the huge size of the items meant to be distributed, the complex process involved in manufacturing, packaging and the eventual distribution to 2 million most vulnerable families across the 774 local government in the country, the group agreed to conduct the supply in stages, especially given locked down imposed by the Federal Government during the period.
The statement reads, “Members of the Private Sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) wish to call for calm, amidst the looting of COVID-19 palliatives meant for distribution in various State Government warehouses across the country.
“The Coalition is deeply concerned by the recent events and is urging those involved in the wanton destruction of public and private property to immediately desist from these raids, in order to allow the States to proceed with a peaceful and fair distribution of these palliatives to the neediest and most vulnerable in our society.
“Over the past few months, the private sector, through CACOVID has been working with governors, the FCT Minister, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to procure, deliver, and distribute these food relief items to almost 2 million most vulnerable families (over 10 million Nigerians) across the 774 local government areas of the country, as part of the private sector’s support towards the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The sheer scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders and deliveries, which coincided with the lockdowns and reduced movement across the country, compelled CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner.
“The very large size of the order and the production cycle required to meet the demand caused delays in delivering the food items to the states in an expeditious manner; hence, the resultant delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.”
Makinde Directs Schools to Reopen After #EndSARS Protest
Schools to Reopen After #EndSARS Protest, Says Governor Makinde
The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has directed schools across the Ibadan metropolis to resume normal activities immediately after the #EndSARS protest.
Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, the commissioner for education, Oyo State, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Ibadan.
According to Olaleye, the directive was after a careful review of the situation in the Ibadan metropolis as promised by Governor Makinde in a state broadcast on October 20.
This was after the governor ordered the closure of all schools, private and public, in the Ibadan metropolis for three days and promised to review the situation on October 23.
Olaleye said the governor thanks the youths who have been cooperating with security operatives in the state to ensure peace and order.
NIMC to Register, Issue 2.5 million National Identification Monthly
The National Identity Management Commission has said it would improve registration and issuance of the National Identification Numbers to both Nigerians and legal residents to the current 500,000 to 2.5 million per month.
Aliya Aziz, Director-General, NIMC, said this was the commission’s renewed commitment towards the provision of identity services to the nation.
He gave the assurance while playing host to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, who was on an official visit to the commission’s head office in Abuja.
Aziz said in a statement issued in Abuja by the Head, Corporate Communication, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, that the commission would meet and surpass the monthly target.
This, he said, would be part of the policy statements in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.
The NIMC boss told his guest that the commission had competent human resources and was looking forward to government support and intervention in injecting the much needed material resources to realise the set objectives.
Pantami charged the commission to increase and improve its performance with regards to NIN registration and issuance, as he also reiterated the target of 2.5 million monthly enrolments.
The minister told his host that the importance of digital identity in actualising the digital economy goals could not be overemphasised and commended the strides recorded by the NIMC despite limited resources.
He assured the commission of government’s support and guidance towards ensuring the fulfilment of its mandate, adding that he had initiated moves to improve staff welfare at the NIMC.
Pantami also assured the NIMC management and staff of his resolve to improve the state of the current infrastructure and equipment to enable the commission to sustain its performance.
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