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Azuri Simplifies Rural Electrification With HomeSmart Technology



Azuri Simplifies Rural Electrification With HomeSmart Technology

By Dipo Olowookere

There is no doubt that there are several communities in Nigeria yet to be connected to the national grid and government is still finding it difficult to bring them in.

But a commercial provider of PayGo solar systems to rural off-grid communities, Azuri Technologies Limited, has made that very easy and affordable with its Azuri Quad.

At a media briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, the company’s executives disclosed that since its launch in 2016, Nigerians already enjoying its services have had sweet stories to tell to the world.

According to the General Manager of the firm in charge of the West African region, Mrs Vera Nwanze, over 300 people subscribed to its PayGo solar system in the first three weeks of the launch in Kano, adding that over 100,000 people spread across sub-Sahara Africa are already enjoying the services of the firm.

Mrs Nwanze disclosed that Azuri Technologies Ltd has the mandate to deploy 20,000 units of the system to northern part of the country within a year.

The General Manager further said that firm’s PayGo solar system has made it possible for students in rural areas of the country to study at night, excelling in schools because of this, while the system has also helped parents save money as well as reduce health hazards associated with kerosene explosions and others.

Explaining what makes Azuri Technologies different from other brands already in the market, Mrs Nwanze said the Azuri Quad is simple to install with all components provided.

She added that when properly used, the solar system can last more than 10 years, pointing out that the system has a HomeSmart intelligence technology, a unique control system which adapts its output depending on weather conditions and customers’ energy usage patterns, which is unique to the company.

In addition, the company’s Vice President of Market Development, Mr Paul Foster, who also addressed the media yesterday, disclosed that subscribers can have their battery box (Azuri Quad) changed if faulty.

He assured Nigerians that they can never regret obtaining the solar system from company because it was made of high quality and due diligence.

The PayGo system, the 10W Azuri Quad, has a lithium battery, a solar panel fixed outside and four individually powered high brightness LED lamps to illuminate the home.

It also has a USB port, with charging cable and connectors for most mobile phones, making it possible for users to stay in touch with friends and family.

In addition, the customer enjoys a payment plan spread over three years, after which the system is unlocked to use for free thereafter.

It is also important to stress that the unit comes with a transistor radio to keep users abreast with happenings around the world.

The system has full digital switching, allowing the user to control all lights and charging from the central unit.

Mrs Nwanze, who appealed to the government to put in place stable policies, disclosed that an enabling environment will help grow the renewable energy sector, which she said can be the solution to Nigeria’s power problem.

She said the Azuri Quad system, since its launch last year, has helped boost the country’s economy, which fell into recession in 2016.

Mrs Nwanze explained that this was made possible with the employment created such as agents of the firm who help in recharging accounts of customers.

She further noted that the firm regularly sensitise its customers on how to maximally use the product.

The General Manager said the company, in partnership with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), will illuminate rural areas in the region.

Yesterday’s briefing, which took place in Lagos, was attended by the company’s Operations Manager, Ochai Adejoh; Vice-President of Market Development, Paul Foster; General Manager Nigeria/Ghana, Vera Nwanze; and the Business Development Manager, Lande Abudu.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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Naira Shortage: President Buhari Calls for Calm



President Buhari

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to remain calm as they express their anger over the shortage of Naira in the financial system.

Since last week, many citizens of the country have been unable to access their funds in the banks because of a shortage in the supply of the redesigned Naira notes.

This has resulted in a huge crowd at banking premises across the nation, with several persons queuing at Automated Teller Machine (ATM) terminals waiting to withdraw their money with success.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations last year and said the old notes would no longer be legal tender from January 31, 2023.

However, while many Nigerians approached their banks last Sunday to quickly deposit their funds to beat the deadline, the CBN announced that the deadline had been moved to February 10, 2023.

The next day, while customers attempted to withdraw their funds over the counter, they were informed that the apex bank had directed them (commercial banks) not to honour cash withdrawal requests.

Also, cash withdrawal from ATMs was limited, making it very difficult for businesses to operate, triggering a protest in Ibadan on Friday.

When the demonstration was going on, Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were meeting with President Buhari to persuade him to do something about the Naira scarcity.

After the gathering, he said in a social media post that, “I am aware of the cash shortages and hardship being faced by people and businesses on account of the Naira redesign.

“I want to assure you that we are doing everything to resolve these issues. Nigerians should expect significant improvements between now and the February 10 deadline.

“I met with a delegation of Governors today on the matter. All the complaints about the execution of the currency change are being seriously looked into.

“I will ensure that everything is resolved in a lasting manner, and we will all enjoy the long-term benefits of the decision.”

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Local Currency Appreciates at P2P, I&E, Depreciates at Black Market



local currency nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

The local currency appreciated by N2 on the United States Dollar at the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) foreign exchange (FX) window, closing at N760/$1 on Friday, February 3, compared with the previous day’s N762/$1, indicating a form of ease as tensions rose across the country following a cash crunch that has triggered anger and aggression in some states.

President Muhammadu Buhari stepped in on Friday and pleaded with Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the crisis caused by the scarcity of new Naira notes.

The President said he had seen reports about cash shortages and the effect on local businesses and ordinary people.

In the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment, the Naira recorded a 50 Kobo or 0.11 per cent upward movement against the US Dollar to trade at N461.50/$1 compared with the preceding day’s N462.00/$1.

The day’s trading data showed that the value of forex transactions during the official market slightly increased by 3.54 per cent or $4.08 million to $119.43 million from the $115.35 million recorded a day before.

But in the black market, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the Dollar by N1 to close at N753/$1, in contrast to Thursday’s exchange rate of N752/$1.

In the interbank window, the domestic currency closed flat against the British Pound Sterling and the Euro on Friday at N568.32/£1 and N507.14/€1, respectively.

At the cryptocurrency market, there was a mixed outcome across the tokens tracked by Business Post as moves by the US Federal Reserve to raise rates by 25 basis points continued to send jittery signals.

Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 2.8 per cent rise to sell at $329.32, Dogecoin (DOGE) grew by 2.4 per cent to trade at $0.0935, Solana (SOL) appreciated by 1.1 per cent to $24.49, Ethereum (ETH) improved by 0.9 per cent to $1,654.18, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 0.6 per cent addition to quote at $0.4006, while Litecoin (LTC) rose by 0.4 per cent to $99.15.

However, Bitcoin (BTC) declined by 0.7 per cent to trade at $23,356.32, and Ripple (XRP) recorded a 0.2 per cent slump to trade at $0.4092, while Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closed flat at $1.00 each.

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Brent Falls Below $80 on Fresh Rate Hike Concerns



Brent Price

By Adedapo Adesanya

Brent fell below $80 per barrel as economic indicators raised fears and concerns about higher interest rates amid Europe’s plans to continue restricting Russia.

The international crude benchmark depreciated by $2.23 or 2.7 per cent to $79.94 a barrel, as the US West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) pointed south by $2.49 or 3.3 per cent to trade at $73.39 per barrel.

Prices fell to over three-week lows in a volatile session after strong US jobs data raised concerns about higher interest rates and as investors sought more clarity on the imminent EU embargo on Russian refined products.

It was a tough week for the commodity as Brent registered a 7.8 per cent decline this week while WTI dropped 7.9 per cent.

Job growth in the US accelerated sharply in January amid a persistently resilient labour market. However, analysts note that a further moderation in wage gains should give the Federal Reserve some comfort in its fight against inflation.

The strength in hiring, which occurred despite layoffs in the technology sector as well as in sectors like housing and finance that are sensitive to interest rates, doused market expectations that the US central bank was close to pausing its monetary policy tightening cycle.

The US central bank on Wednesday scaled back to a milder rate increase than those over the past year, but policymakers also projected that ongoing increases in borrowing costs would be needed.

Market analysts noted that the increases in interest rates in 2023 are likely to weigh on the US and European economies, boosting fears of an economic slowdown that is highly likely to dent global crude oil demand.

Also, European Union countries agreed to set price caps on Russian refined oil products to limit Moscow’s funds for its invasion of Ukraine.

EU diplomats said the price caps are $100 per barrel on products that trade at a premium to crude, principally diesel, and $45 per barrel for products that trade at a discount, such as fuel oil and naphtha.

Ambassadors for the 27 EU countries agreed on the European Commission proposal, which will apply from Sunday.

The price caps, together with an EU ban on Russian oil product imports, are part of a broader agreement among the Group of Seven (G7) countries.

It follows a $60 per barrel cap on Russian crude that G7 countries imposed on December 5 as the G7, the EU and Australia seek to limit Russia’s ability to fund its war in Ukraine.

Both caps prohibit Western insurance, shipping and other companies from financing, insuring, trading, brokering or carrying cargoes of Russian crude and oil products unless they were bought at or below the set price caps.

The Russian government said the EU embargo on Russia’s refined oil products would lead to a further imbalance in global energy markets.

In US supply, energy firms this week cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs by the most since June 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said. US oil rigs fell 10 to 599 this week, their lowest since September, while gas rigs dropped by two to 158.

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