The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed Federal Government commitment to establish a $50bn Biofuels Industry Equity Fund.

The fund according to the apex bank will be used in developing biofuels and making them accessible to the citizens in commercial quantities.

Speaking at a sensitization workshop on biofuels development in Nigeria put together by Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency in Abuja, The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the initiative is part of effort geared towards diversifying the Nigerian economy away from crude oil, as well boosting the agricultural sector and creating job opportunities for the citizens.

Represented by the 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.”