W’Bank Board to consider $1bn for Nigeria’s power sector

Federal Government officials and their World Bank counterparts on Wednesday agreed on the necessary steps to be taken before the presentation of Nigeria’s request for $1bn for consideration by the executive board of the institution.

In a statement issued after a meeting in Abuja, the World Bank said it was committed to supporting the Federal Government’s Power Sector Recovery Programme on which the money would be spent.

The statement read in part, “The World Bank delegation informed the Federal Government that it was pleased with progress in implementing the early actions of the PSRP.

“The World Bank is committed to assisting the Federal Government with programme implementation, working closely with the PSRP Implementation Monitoring Team, which reports directly to the Vice President of Nigeria.

“The World Bank will continue the preparation of the proposed $1bn performance-based loan to support the programme. The Federal Government and the World Bank Group agreed on the necessary next steps to present the PBL to the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors for their consideration.”

The statement also quoted the comments of the various top government officials, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on the power sector programme.

Osinbajo was quoted to have 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.

“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,” the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, was quoted to have said.

The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, was also quoted to have said that the Federal Government was committed to addressing the challenges in the power sector as part of its efforts towards achieving economic recovery and accelerating growth.

The World Bank said that the discussions it had with the government official demonstrated that there was a strong momentum in the power sector and the government’s commitment to taking the critical next steps that would allow for the presentation of the performance-based loan to its Board of Executive Directors.

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, said, “The bank recognises 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.” Punch

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