From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government is set to release additional N701 billion intervention fund to the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc, to facilitate the power sector value chain.
It also disclosed plans to embark on a broader restructuring of the electricity sector towards achieving a more systematic development power market design, especially for the renewable energy.
The government further said it will partner the private sector to create the framework for real-world business cases by developing standardised (and certified) technology packages and contracts as well as a toolkit for energy cooperatives (with technical, institutional, financing and legal elements).
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo made the disclosure at the inaugural event of the Nigeria Renewable Energy Roundtable organised by Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, in partnership with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Nigeria, held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had, in March this year, approved N701 billion for power assurance guarantee, while the NBET had, earlier this month, released the first tranche of about N12 billion to 10 generating companies (GENCOS) from the intervention fund.
The release of the funds is expected to free up that value chain which, according to Osinbajo, has created several problems of its own.
“We hope this injection will help. We are also looking at several other reforms in the sector to make the market 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,” Osinbajo said.
The acting president noted that as a multi-stakeholder platform, the Nigerian Renewable Energy Roundtable has its work cut out for it, which include “to champion this new vision for renewable energy and ensure we can translate theory to practice for the greater good of the Nigerian people.”
He said: “”We also need to explore the opportunities for revolving funds for solar PV/wind projects as well as opportunities for other investment remuneration mechanisms. It is also very important that we break the deadlock of electricity market structures by exploring the options to transform the “competition for markets” approach, continue to embark on a broader restructuring of the electricity sector and strive to achieve a more systematic development of the power market design, especially for renewable energy.
“To do that, we need a framework that brings and keeps all stakeholders together towards ensuring that renewable energy becomes an engine of growth for Nigeria’s economy.”