18 December 2014, Lagos – The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said that it would commence disbursement of the N212 billion Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility, NEMSF.
The Facility is aimed at settling certain outstanding debts in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, amounting to 213 billion and guarantee the take-off of the Transitional Electricity Market, TEM.
In specific terms, the proposed facility will cover legacy gas debts and the shortfall in revenue during the Interim Rule Period, IRP.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the annual Bankers Committee retreat, CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said that, “Following the signing of agreements with relevant stakeholders, the CBN has agreed with the Bankers’ Committee to begin disbursements towards these legacy debts by early next year.”
Emefiele said that during the retreat the Bankers Committee decided to focus on three critical sectors namely power, agriculture and MSMEs.
He said, “The Bankers’ Committee acknowledges that these three sectors are absolutely vital to the Nigerian economy. Therefore, we would like to emphasize our commitment to providing finance for these sectors with a view to promoting economic development.
In order to address the challenges identified by the committee during deliberations, we resolved as follows:“We are committed to expanding bank lending in agribusiness sectors that have natural competitive advantages versus imports e.g. wheat, rice, aquaculture, etc. We will explore large corporates as anchors to lend to participants across the value chain to improve the capacity of Nigeria’s agribusiness to create sustainable jobs and inclusive growth.
“The Bankers’ Committee will continue to collaborate to provide the necessary finance for transformation of the Power sector value chain across generation, distribution, and transmission sub-sectors. We will explore opportunities for renewable energy and encourage sustainability, efficiency, and operations in line with global best practices in the development of the power sector.We will also maintain our support for funding gas to power projects across the country.
“We will increase aggregate bank lending to MSMEs and expand the number of micro, small and medium enterprises that have access to bank credit. We will improve the rigour in credit analysis and encourage discipline in borrowing culture to achieve a reduction in credit defaults in the sector. In order to harness the entrepreneurial skills in our youths and young graduates, the CBN shall, through its Anchor-Lending Programme, provide grants and SME loans to NYSC graduates who develop interest in Agribusiness.
*Babajide Komolafe – Vanguard