…As CBN injects $298.71m into Forex market***
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the present administration has invested N900 billion in the power sector since its assumption of office in 2015.
Osinbajo stated this when he paid a courtesy visit on the Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozien on Friday in Asaba.
“Since assumption of office, we have invested so far in terms of support N700 billion in the power sector. Earlier, we invested N200 billion.
The vice president said further that the Federal Government was in the process of investing another N600 billion in the sector.
On futher steps to improve power supply in the country, the vice president said that the federal government had decided to take a second look at the power sector.
According to him, one of the reasons why there are challenges in the power sector is that each of the Distribution Companies (Discos) controls a particular territory.
“And now we are saying that any company that wants to provide power to any territory, should be able to provide power for the territory and the people.
‘We have been able to break the existing monopoly in the power sector. Whether upgrade or not, the discos should be able to serve the people.
“Another strategy we are trying to introduce is to open up the power sector by restructuring,” he said.
On the second Niger Bridge, Osinbajo said that the project was very important to the Federal Government.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari did not only negotiate for the equipment being used for the construction of the bridge, but is also paying special attention to the project.
“I was here six weeks ago to look at the progress of the work there and I must say that the project is going on well.
“I hope that very soon we should be completing not just the bridge, but also all surrounding infrastructure both here in Asaba and the other end of the bridge,” he added.
Earlier, in his address of welcome, the Asagba of Asaba noted that poor power supply had been a major challenge in the Delta capital and appealed to the federal government to intervene in the situation.
He also appealed to government to compensate the people of Asaba on the 1967 massacre which claimed many lives, by establishing a federal university in the town.
According to him, Asaba is the only state capital in Nigeria without a federal university.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has made an intervention of $298.71million in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).
The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, disclosed this in Abuja on Friday, in addition to another injection of 39.69 million Chinese Yuan (CNY); in the spot and short-tenured forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market.
He explained that the interventions in U.S. dollars, just as in previous transactions, were to meet requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors.
He added that in the same vein, the transactions in Chinese Yuan were for Renminbi-denominated Letters of Credit.
Okorafor expressed the satisfaction of the bank’s management with the stability in the foreign exchange market, adding that it would continue to make necessary interventions to ensure liquidity in the Nigerian market.
He said that the bank was further encouraged by the improved inflow of foreign exchange, which had kept the exchange rate around the N360/$1 for close to 30 months.
The director urged Nigerians to continue to support the policies of CBN aimed at boosting the production capacity of local industries as well as creating jobs for citizens.
He assured that the apex bank would remain committed to ensuring that all the sectors of the foreign exchange market continued to enjoy access to the needed foreign exchange.
The dollar presently exchanged at N360 to the dollar while CNY1 exchanged at N55 at the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market on Friday.