The Federal Government is to set up a $50bn Biofuels Industry Equity Fund to be used in developing biofuels and making them accessible to the citizens in commercial quantities, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said.
According to the CBN, the initiative is part of moves aimed at diversifying the Nigerian economy away from crude oil, as well boosting the agricultural sector and creating job opportunities for the citizens.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this at the sensitisation workshop on biofuels development in Nigeria, which was organised by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency in Abuja on Tuesday.
Emefiele, who was represented by a Deputy Director of the bank, Mr. Lawrence Odey, stated that a vibrant domestic biofuel industry would provide the desired alternative energy source that would reduce Nigeria’s current level of energy import and conserve foreign exchange.
He said, “In the face of growing global concerns for protecting the environment, funding biofuels development as a commercial venture is becoming a developmental agenda. To that extent, the scope of funding sources have become variable.
“On the domestic front, it is important to note that the Nigerian Biofuels Policy and Incentives Draft document has outlined funding arrangements and incentives arrangements for firms involved in biofuels production.”
He added, “Government envisages equity funding arrangements to be known as Biofuels Industry Equity Fund of $50bn and to be jointly funded by parastatals and development banks, including the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and Development Bank of Nigeria.
“When established, the fund is expected to provide credit on favourable terms to meet the peculiarities of the industry and Nigeria.”
Also speaking at the workshop, the Acting Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Mr. Victor Shidok, said the government had renewed its emphasis on the development of other sources of energy as alternatives to petroleum products.