The Federal Government has approved a $1bn bond for the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader to purchase electricity from the power generating companies.

Our correspondent gathered from top officers of the Ministry of Power in Abuja that the sum was approved on Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council.

According to sources, who pleaded not to be named because they were not authorised to speak on the subject, the fund will be used to help improve infrastructure in the sector, as well as give the power sector reform a huge boost.

“It was approved yesterday (Wednesday) at the Federal Executive Council meeting and it is for the bulk trader. It is a $1bn bond and it is for the NBET,” one of the sources told our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday.

A statement from the ministry confirmed that the sum would be used by the bulk trader to purchase electricity.

“The Federal Government has empowered NBET with the sum of $1bn, which has been approved in form of bond. It will enable it purchase electricity from the generating companies,” the statement explained.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has declared that it will not go back on its resolve to privatise the power sector.

The affirmation, our correspondent gathered, was as a result of the series of bottlenecks that had plagued the ongoing privatisation process.

To dispel fears that the process might collapse, the government went ahead to state that it would soon approve the Power Road Map II, which will strengthen and take care of gaps that have been identified in the initial document.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, was quoted to have stated this during a meeting with a delegation from the United States Agency for International Development.

On Wednesday, The PUNCH had exclusively reported that fresh hurdles were threatening the power sector reform and how that might lead to its eventual collapse; but the government said it was determined to ensure that the process succeeded despite the odds against it.

Nebo was quoted as saying, “We must hit the ground running… and we need more help now even in the area of strengthening of institutions that will implement our plan.

“We are calling for more investment. We want genuine investors to take advantage of the revolution that is about to happen in the sector.”

The minister described the reform in the sector as phenomenal, stressing that it would surpass what happened in the telecommunication sector because power was crucial for both business and non-business related activities.

To achieve the sector’s target, he said the government would “develop the critical mass of experts in all areas of generation, transmission and distribution.”