Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said the federal government has provided N40Bn to settle outstanding electricity bills of its ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs.
Udoma said this while addressing The Situation Room, a group of civil society organizations, noting that the gesture was part of strategy to revamp the power sector.
The Minister said the step was imperative because the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, predicated on the 2017 Budget, would not be effective without a bolstered power sector.
“In order to do that, it is important that every segment of the power sector is commercialized so that the government itself is making sure to settle its bills to the Discos to make sure that power is effective”
“So, we are looking at N40 billion to settle some of the bills MDAs have in the power sector.” he said.
He said that the budget was designed to expand partnership between public and private sector as well as developmental capital to leverage and spur resources for growth.
Udoma also said that the FG would also invest N9.5 billion on rural electrification projects in federal universities in its quest for sustainable power.
He said that N10 billion had also been earmarked for the construction of 3,050-megawatt Mambilla hydropower project.
He added that N10.02 billion had been put aside for the completion of power evacuation facility for 400-megawatt Kashimbila hydropower plant.
Earlier, Clement Nwankwo, Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, PLAC and Convener of The Situation Room, said that the Budget Office needed to explain certain aspects of the 2017 Budget to the public.
Nwankwo said that the budget was critical to national development and that its explanation was necessary to answer the numerous questions being asked by Nigerians.
By Bright Bassey