Today, it is widely known that for a nation like Nigeria, diversifying energy supply and reducing dependence on imported fuels, generating energy that produces no greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels will greatly spur economic growth, development, jobs, increase the living standard of the people and further help businesses reduce excessive cost.
Mr Mark Obisesan, a renewable energy expert and a public affairs analyst, recently shared his views and gleamed more light on the growth prospects of renewable energy for Nigeria and Nigerians.
What led your foray into renewable energy in Nigeria?
Several years ago, I tried to set up a small factory somewhere in Kwara State to produce bottled water. It was a tough experience as we had to run the factory on a diesel engine. This drove the cost of overheads so high that it swallowed up most of the profits.
It was that experience that opened my eyes to the importance of cheap and steady power supply. But while my business struggled from inadequate power supply, the host community were in a more difficult situation. They hardly had power to charge their phones or to even run small businesses. It was almost like they were completely shut out of the world. Their experience got me thinking about how we can solve the challenges of electricity in Nigeria. That was how I stumbled on how to use renewable energy to solve Nigeria’s electricity shortages after an extensive research.
What kind of opportunities exist with renewable energy in Nigeria?
The opportunities that renewable energy provides in Nigeria are limitless. You must first realize that over 80 million Nigerians lack access to electricity, according to a world bank report. Our ability to use renewable energy to provide affordable electricity for these 80 million Nigerians will drastically boost the productivity of millions of Nigerians.
This gap in supply also provides a market opportunity for entrepreneurs like me to create value and profit from such value creation.
Furthermore, we will need to create thousands of decent jobs to effectively take advantage of the opportunity. In other words, there will be employment opportunities for young Nigerians, opportunities for the government to raise more taxes and an enabling environment for more small businesses to thrive.
Are there any policy hurdles you envisage?
The biggest challenge currently facing the power sector is too much interference from the government. On one hand, the government claims it has privatized the power sector (GENCOS & DISCOS) but has continued to regulate the pricing. This makes it difficult for the Discos to profit from their investments which further discourages private capital from coming into the sector.
However, in terms of renewable energy, the absence of a robust policy from the federal government has been largely responsible for the slow pace of adoption. The initial costs (especial solar and wind) are quite high and the government may need to find areas of intervention to ensure that the cost of providing such electricity remains low.
The government may also seek to reduce the cost of land where large installations of solar panels are made so as to also drive down the cost of electricity. There are several other ways that the government, by way of policy, can support the development of renewable energy in Nigeria.
Is renewable energy sufficient to solve the current power challenges in the country?
The potential of renewable energy in Nigeria is limitless. Studies have shown that solar thermal power alone can potentially generate 427,000MW, whereas Nigeria currently generates less than 13,000MW. This does not mean renewable energy can solve all of Nigeria’s electricity challenges, it can, however, boost access to electricity for Nigerians especially those living in rural communities. Surely, renewable energy will help to complement our generating capacity and grant several more Nigeria access to electricity supply.
What does the future hold for renewable energy in Nigeria?
The future of renewable energy in Nigeria is filled with prospects. The growing demand for electricity in Nigeria is forcing citizens to seek alternatives and better options for electricity. This demand will certainly spur the need for renewable energy.
More so, the global clamour for clean energy and the funding available for investment in renewable energy will certainly make it attractive to entrepreneurs and policymakers in the near future.
For me, I’m taking a huge bet on the fact that the future of electricity supply in Nigeria is pointing towards renewable energy.
Access Holdings Merges Sigma, FGPL for Formidable PFA Business
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
To create a formidable pension funds administration (PFA) business in Nigeria, Access Holdings Plc has merged its subsidiary, First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL), with Sigma Pensions Limited.
The marriage between the two PFAs was made possible after Access Holdings acquired an indirect equity stake in Sigma.
Recall that in October, the company announced that it was buying a stake in Sigma to revolutionise the PFA sector.
On Thursday, a court approved the merger between the firm and FGPL, giving room for the organisations to become one and offer innovative products to customers.
A notice signed by the group company secretary of Access Holdings, Mr Sunday Ekwochi, confirmed the development.
“Sequel to our announcement on October 25, 2022, Access Holdings Plc, trading as Access Corporation, today announces the completion of its acquisition of an indirect equity stake in Sigma and the merger of its subsidiary, FGPL, with Sigma.
“Following the sanction of the scheme of merger between Sigma and FGPL by the Federal High Court on December 1, 2022, FGPL has been dissolved without winding up, leaving Sigma as the surviving entity,” a part of the statement dated Friday, December 2, 2022.
“Following the successful completion of the merger, our plan is to leverage the synergies of these entities, as well as the corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to create a formidable pension funds administration business,” the group chief executive of Access Holdings, Mr Herbert Wigwe, stated.
FrieslandCampina Buoys Unlisted Securities Market by 1.11%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the positive zone on Friday, December 2, as it appreciated by 1.11 per cent at the close of business.
This was driven by a gain in the stock price of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc. The company appreciated by N5.29 price to close at N66.63 per share versus the previous day’s price of N61.34 per share.
This outweighed the 1 Kobo loss recorded by UBN Property Plc during the session as the price of the property investment company went down to 91 Kobo per unit from the preceding session’s 92 Kobo.
When the market closed for the day, the total value of the unlisted securities market increased by N10.27 billion to N933.71 billion from N923.44 billion.
In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) stretched by 7.82 basis points to 710.58 basis points from the 702.76 basis points in the previous session.
During the session, there was a surge in the volume of securities by 140,993.7 per cent as investors exchanged 2.2 million units, in contrast to the previous day’s 14,508 units.
Likewise, the value of shares traded at the session ballooned by 1,526.6 per cent to N10.7 million from the N657,534.75 recorded a day earlier, while the number of deals improved by 400 per cent to 20 deals from four deals.
When the market closed for the day, AG Mortgage Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc occupied second place with 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, while Lighthouse Financials Services Plc was in third place with 224.7 million units valued at N112.3 million.
Also, CSCS Plc ended the day as the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) by trading 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 29.1 billion units valued at N7.7 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc was in third place after selling 16.8 million units worth N1.9 billion.
Naira Sells N730/$1 in Black Market, N748/$1 at P2P, N445.33/$1 at I&E
By Adedapo Adesanya
Normalcy seems to have returned to the currency market in Nigeria as the Naira further appreciated against the United States Dollar at the various segments of the ecosystem.
In the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market, the Nigerian currency gained 50 Kobo or 0.11 per cent to quote at N445.33/$1, in contrast to Thursday’s rate of N445.83/$1.
It was observed that domestic currency withstood significant FX demand pressure during the trading session as forex traders completed transactions worth $159.02 million compared with the $99.50 million executed a day earlier, indicating a 59.1 per cent or $59.52 million increase in FX turnover.
Also, in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window, the local currency appreciated against the greenback by N14 or 1.8 per cent to trade at N748/$1 compared with the preceding day’s N762/$1.
In the same vein, the value of the Nigerian currency to its American counterpart improved by N10 yesterday to sell for N735/$1 against N745/$1 of the preceding trading session.
However, in the interbank segment, the Naira lost N3.19 against the Euro on Friday as it closed at N464.98/€1 versus Thursday’s exchange rate of N461.79/€1, and against the Pound Sterling, it depreciated by N7.66 to quote at N542.33/£1 compared with the previous day’s N534.67/£1.
Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market rebounded yesterday as investors showed renewed interest in digital assets, causing the value of Dogecoin (DOGE) to rise by 2.6 per cent to $0.1016.
Further, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 1.8 per cent increase to sell at $0.3189, Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go up by 1.3 per cent to close at $1,289.56, and Solana (SOL) appreciated by 1.4 per cent to trade at $13.65.
In addition, Binance Coin (BNB) grew by 1.1 per cent to settle at $291.72, Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 1.0 per cent to trade at $77.23, Ripple (XRP) made a 0.9 per cent rise to finish at $0.3924, and Bitcoin (BTC) rose by 0.5 per cent to $17,030.33.
However, the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) closed flat at $1.00 on Friday.
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