Elumelu cautions Senate against compromise in power probe
Says powerful Nigerians kill power sector • World Bank moves to improve investment in Nigeria • N213b NEMSF fund will change economics of energy sector, says CBN
A FORMER Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Power during the probe of Sixth Assembly, Godwin Ndudi Elumelu, has advised the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating the nation’s power sector to resist compromise and put Nigeria first if the exercise must yield desired results for the country.
In a chat with newsmen in Abuja on Monday, Elumelu who cautioned against ethnic and geo-political considerations in the probe, also accused well-placed Nigerians of being responsible for the rot in the power sector, adding that a situation where government would spend $1.545billion on nine Gas Turbines when 18 of same equipment were bought for $404.million within a short period was evil and a rape of the nation’s economy.
Specifically, he said some top government functionaries were using their companies and cronnies to corner contracts, which were never executed after huge sums of money were collected. He cited the case of an unnamed ex-governor, who was a contractor of the IPP while serving as governor between 2007 and 2010.
In another development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said its N213 billion Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF) would improve generation, distribution and transmission of power in the country.
Special Assistant to CBN Governor on Energy Sector, Mr. Yinka Balogun, stated this in Abuja yesterday at a roundtable on “Releasing Private Sector Capital for Investment in the Power Sector.”
He said the intervention fund would ensure that the power sector delivered tangible improvement in power supply for the benefit of all Nigerians.
“CBN will disburse these funds in partnership with “deposit money banks” to address the shortfalls in revenue for operators to boost power supply and settle legacy gas debt.
“We believe that once the power sector issues are fixed, Nigeria will return to the path of sustainability at other sectors,” he said.
Balogun said the funds were mainly for distribution companies and would be monitored to ensure that they were used to purchase specific equipment such as meters and transformers.
He said that the apex bank had started disbursement to power companies that met the conditions of the funds and urged other interested parties to take part in the intervention fund.
Also, Mr. Obinna Ihedioha, Vice President, Infrastructure Investment, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), said that NSIA planned to invest in the power sector.
“The power sector is very important and that is why we are looking at creating a credit investment facility for investors to boost the sector.
“We want to facilitate infrastructure development in the country, so we have also contributed $400 million to the Nigerian infrastructure fund.
“We are looking at allocating those funds into different sectors and power of course is one of the major areas we are looking at.