By Steve Agbota
As part of its commitment to programme implementation, the World Bank said it will continue the preparation of the proposed $1 billion Performance Based Loan (PBL) to support the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) in the country.
At the just concluded two days consultation on PSRP, the World Bank Group and the Federal Government said the PSRP is a comprehensive programme of policy, legal, regulatory, operational and financial interventions that will restore service efficiency and long-term power sector viability.
They said the measures that will be implemented through 2021, are aimed at improving transparency, service delivery and re-establishing investor confidence, and hence, investment in the sector. Accelerating electricity access including through off-grid public private partnerships is an important component of the PSRP.
The Federal Government clarified progress made to date and next steps on key components of the PSRP and prepared a financing plan to ensure financial sustainability of the power sector and included it in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper submitted to the National Assembly in October 2017.
The financing plan will be monitored regularly to incorporate contingencies should the sector shortfall deviate from the base case assumptions until retail tariffs are adjusted in line with improved service delivery to attain cost recovery by 2021.
Vice President,Yemi Osinbajo said: “This administration is fully committed to implementing the PSRP. We believe that the PSRP is the clearest pathway to reform the power sector and its success is contingent on a strict adherence to performance and Programme implementation monitoring which I will continue to give a priority from my office.”
For her part, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said: “It (PSRP) is an intervention that we have been working on in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the World Bank. We are very confident that this laudable and vital Programme will make a fundamental difference in the economy in particular and the country in general.”
Also commenting, Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said: “The Federal Government is committed to addressing the challenges in the power sector as part of its efforts towards achieving economic recovery and accelerating growth.”
World Bank Senior Director for Energy and Extractive Industries, Riccardo Puliti said: “The discussions we had with the government demonstrated that there is strong momentum in the power sector and government commitment to taking the critical next steps that will allow us to present the Performance Based Loan to our Board of Executive Directors.”
World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud said: “The Bank recognizes the critical importance of the power sector to private sector financing and investment and we will continue supporting the Government’s effort to implementing its Power Sector Recovery Programme, thereby de-risking the sector for much needed private capital.”