Why World Bank backs Osinbajo-led power reforms with $750m

 Why World Bank backs Osinbajo-led power reforms with $750m

World Bank approves $611m for UBE

The World Bank Board has approved a $750 million facility for the Nigerian Power Sector in a bid to support the Buhari administration in providing constant power supply to Nigerians. The facility under the Bank’s The Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) buys time in favour of the Nigerian consumers as it forestalls the increase of tariffs especially for the lowest rungs of the consumers and imposes an obligation on DISCOS to step up their service delivery including issues of metering. The comprehensive power reforms being instituted by President Muhammadu Buhari has seen the administration sign strategic power deals including one with the German government and Siemens. In a statement by Shubham Chaudhury the World Bank Country Director on Wednesday, he said, “The target was to also achieve financial and fiscal sustainability and enhance accountability in Nigeria’s power sector.”

“The Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) is expected to increase annual electricity supplied to the distribution grid, enhance power sector financial viability while reducing annual tariff shortfalls, and protecting the poor from the impact of tariff adjustments. ALSO READ: COVID-19: FEC approves 2.3trn for Osinbajo’s Economic Sustainability Plan “This will enable the turnaround of the power sector while helping the Federal Government to redirect large fiscal resources from highly regressive tariff shortfall financing towards critical crisis-responsive and pro-poor expenditures.

It will also increase public awareness about ongoing power sector reforms and performance.” The Buhari administration has been working assiduously to improve on-grid and off-grid power supply. For the on-grid sector, it would be recalled that President Buhari had on 8 March appointed Prof. Osinbajo to head the Power Sector Reforms Working Group. The composition of the group was to consolidate the efforts of the federal and state governments to fix the power sector.

The group was tasked by the President with incorporating the ongoing efforts of the National Economic Council on power sector reforms and distribution company owners and ensure all power sector initiatives were on the same page under Osinbajo’s leadership. Membership of the group comprises the representative of the National Economic Council, NEC and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna, the Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; and Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari, who is the secretary of the group.

Ayomide Oyewole

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