By CHIMA TITUS NWOKOJI
A total of N181.42 billion has been disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to a total of 36 projects under the Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF) as at December 31, 2012. The apex bank yesterday stated that cumulative disbursements cover 15 airline projects worth N90.92 billion and 21 power projects amounting to N90.50 billion.
It would be recalled that CBN recently issued fresh guidelines to make it easier for eligible operators to access the remaining part of the fund. A circular to this effect from the Development Finance Department of CBN states that the guidelines relate to the N300 billion intervention funds to the power and airline sectors. In order to catalyze financing of the real sector of the Nigerian economy, CBN had in accordance with Section 31 of the CBN Act 2007, approved the investment of the sum of N500 billion Debenture Stock.
The sum of N200 billion was set aside for the refinancing/restructuring of SME/ manufacturing portfolios while the sum of N300 billion will be applied to power and airline projects. The facility is being issued by the Bank of Industry for investments in power projects and restructuring and refinancing of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as the manufacturing loan that was approved in March 2010. So far, a total of N119, 071,746,200 has been disbursed as at September 2012.
According to the apex bank, “the refinancing of existing loans for captive power projects for corporate entities that are not power companies will only be eligible if the investments are not older than two years from the date of the application. “For the avoidance of doubt, this restriction will not be applicable to captive power projects implemented and managed by power companies. Gas-to-Power promoters must tender verifiable evidence of off-taker purchase agreements for their projects to be eligible,” it explained.