The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday failed to account for the $11 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the execution of the deserted National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).
The funds were withdrawn from the ECA between 2005 and 2007 to finance the NIPPs.
The Accountant General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed had during the investigative hearing held on 22nd July 2020 submitted relevant approvals of the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the release of the $11 billion for the period under review.
Apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele at an investigative hearing arranged by the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Power Sector Reforms, only provided an explanation on the N1.51 trillion Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility approved and disbursed to Nigerian Electricity Trading Company (NBET) after the privatisation exercise.
Represented by the deputy governor of the CBN, Adebisi Shonubi, he said the CBN, in compliance with the Federal Executive Council’s approval, granted the sum of N213 billion, out of which N189.1 billion has been released to date while N60.8 billion had been repaid by operators who got the fund through NBET.
The apex bank also approved N701 billion for the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility out of which N694.98 billion has been disbursed at the end of 2018.
Shonubi further stated that N85.41 billion has been disbursed based on the company’s advice out of the N600 billion approved for NBET.
The money was released in order to enable new investors to clear the legacy debts inherited from the old Power Holding Company of Nigeria prior to the privatisation of power assets.
Shonubi observed that liquidity is a key challenge faced by the power sector, adding that all the intervention funds were guaranteed by the Federal Ministry of Finance Incorporated on behalf of the Nigerian government.