The Federal Government and stockbrokers at the weekend reached consensus on the need to collaborate on a viable mechanism to provide long-term capital to support recently privatized power companies.
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Power, and Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), the self-regulatory body that regulates the stockbroking practice, at the 3rd annual national workshop of the CIS expressed willingness to work together to address the financial challenges of the power firms.
The Federal Government had in 2013 sold the unbundled power companies from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to private investors. Ten electricity distribution companies (discos) and five generation companies (gencos) were privatized and sold to new core investors.
However, funding has remained a lingering challenge as the new investors struggle to raise huge funds required to rehabilitate the power companies and stabilize power supply to the populace.
Worried by the funding challenge, Minister of Power, Professor Chinedo Nebo, at the weekend said the ministry was ready to work with the CIS to provide amenable funding for the discos and gencos.
According to him, government is willing to work with the stockbroking community and other stakeholders in the capital market to overcome the funding challenge facing the power companies.
President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr. Ariyo Olushekun, said stockbrokers would work with the government to create innovative financial solutions for the power companies noting that the Nigerian capital market has the capacity to meet the financing needs of the power companies.
Nebo, who spoke through his senior special adviser, Mr. Frank Edozien, reiterated that government was committed to the delivery of steady power supply to the nation in a not too distant future and was doing everything possible to realise that aspiration.
“The ministry of power is determined to deliver on the power agenda and we are willing to collaborate with CIS and the entire capital market community in that regard,” Nebo said.
Olushekun commended the efforts of the Minister aimed at ensuring that the country enjoys steady power supply pointing out that power is very vital for economic development of the country.
He noted that stockbrokers decided to focus on power and other key sectors because of their importance to the revitalization of the economy.
“We are determined to keep generating new ideas and strategies, which hopefully, our policy makers will consider and incorporate into the planning process,” Olushekun said.