Sahara Power Forum Seeks Cooperation Among Stakeholders
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Stakeholders in the power sector in Nigeria have been advised to work together in harmony so as to tackle the challenges facing electricity in the country.
Participants at the maiden edition of the Sahara Power Roundtable agreed that despite the challenges impeding its development, Nigeria’s energy sector still holds enormous potentials to deliver the desired expectations and further stimulate socio-economic growth.
The high-powered forum had in attendance government officials, policymakers, industry operators across the sub-sector as well as representatives of Consumer Advocacy groups.
The objective of the meeting was to critically explore issues within energy sector with a view to proffering solutions.
Managing Director of Sahara Power Group, Mr Kola Adesina, while giving his opening remarks, acknowledged the significant efforts being made by operators and regulators in driving growth in the energy sector, but also noted that there was need to highlight the challenges in order for stakeholders to accept responsibilities for their inadequacies.
According to him, the objective of the Sahara Power Roundtable was to create a platform to bring every leading actor across the value chain together on one plenary for the benefit of journalists and the consumer.
“Through discourse and constructive conversation, we hope to examine the current state of the power sector in Nigeria and how both the intrinsic and extrinsic are combining, evolving and reacting against each other to shape the future.
“The privatization occurred in 2013 has not been a smooth one. We successor companies have had to embark on a long, protracted curve of learning to fully appreciate the complexity and the magnitude of the behemoth sector we now captain. Like young adolescents we have been compelled to grow and mature rapidly to rise up to the burden of responsibility placed on us,” he said.
While citing the progress made, he said Egbin Thermal Power Plant was generating 400 MW when Sahara Power Group took over the power plant and about $200 million was invested to improve capacity which led to increase in generation now at 1,100 MW.
Speaking on how policy can further drive the sector, he said: “There is need to constantly do a systemic revaluation of every policy that is churned out. I want to recommend to government and policy makers that any action being taken, every stakeholder, the relevant public that will be affected by the policy must assess the degree to which those policies will affect them.
“While it is easier for economists to speak to the theory of pricing from the standpoint of cost, revenue and profit, affordability is another issue some are not paying attention to. We all are aware that there are citizens in Nigeria who are not employed and/or incapable of paying the appropriate tariff, it invariably behoves on the government to step in and cover the gap so that the shortfall currently impeding on the success of the sector can be erased. The social contract of government is to ensure everybody lives a good life. So for everybody to live well there is a need for everyone to be electrified.
“Every Nigerian deserves to have electricity, it is a right. The value chain equally has a right to be paid cost reflective tariff. If the revenue of every member of the value chain is not guaranteed, there cannot be guarantee of supply of commodity in question,” he noted.
An affiliate of Sahara Group, a leading international energy conglomerate, the Sahara Power Group is one the largest private power businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its operating entities include, First Independent Power Limits, FIPL; Egbin Power Plc, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest privately owned thermal power generation plant and Ikeja Electric Plc, Nigeria’s leading Electricity Distribution Company.
The discourse had two panel sessions where the panelists including Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), U. G Mohammed; Lagos State Commissioner for Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, Mr Olawale Oluwo; President/founder, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria, Mrs Sola Salako and Head, Procurement, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc. (NBET), Mr Eugene Edeoga, examined the plethora of issues affecting players in the value chain and the relationship with consumers.
Managing Director/Publisher of Business Day, Mr Frank Aigbogun during the second panel session noted that political parties and aspirants could gain support of electorates on the basis of promise to improve power supply, while the media plays critical role in shaping the opinion of consumers.
The MD of TCN further explained the series of ongoing projects being carried out by TCN as part of efforts to boot transmission. He also noted that manpower development was identified as one of the ways to achieve sustainability in the subsector.
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Normally, the employees would go through other websites to book their business travels. It takes them time to sort through the options to find the best booking options. It is a tedious and time-consuming process affecting the employees’ crucial tasks. Therefore, there is a need for a solution to simplify the travel booking process.
Regarding travel booking for business, the platform simplifies booking by putting flight and hotel options in one package. It allows the employees to arrange their flight details and hotel through a single software.
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Employees might find it difficult to find policy-conforming flight and booking options. For instance, they might want to book a hotel closer to the office but cannot find good options. It makes them compromise on the factor of staying near the workplace. They have to book a policy-compliant hotel somewhere else. Not getting the hotel they wanted might make them feel dissatisfied.
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The travel booking tool provides employees with a convenient booking experience. The user interface is simple to access and operate and is user-friendly. Travelers can also access real-time visibility of travel policy on the booking window. It allows the employees hassle-free booking.
A few corporate tools provide a one-stop solution for the company’s end-to-end business travel management needs. It encompasses planning, booking, and support all on one platform.
With these tools, employees and companies can access multiple services like flight, itinerary creation, hotel booking, expense management, weather updates, etc. They find all of these on one platform. It makes business trips and booking easier and more accessible for travelers.
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International booking is a little daunting for employees who have not done it before. There are many factors like foreign time zones, weather, cuisines, and most of all; they must navigate an unknown place.
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Seplat Sues Co-founder Orjiako, Amaze Limited to Protect Shareholders, Others
By Dipo Olowookere
A legal action has been instituted against the co-founder of Seplat Energy Plc, Mr A.B.C. Orjiako, by the indigenous energy company at the Federal High Court in Abuja over breaches of an agreement between them.
A statement issued by Seplat disclosed that the organisation entered into a consultancy deal with Mr Orjiako, through his firm, Amaze Limited.
According to the disclosure, which was made pursuant to Rule 17.10 of the Rulebook of the Nigerian Exchange Limited, 2015, also known as issuer’s rule, Mr Orjiako failed to do something about the alleged breaches after his attention was called to infractions.
As a result, Seplat Energy terminated the “consultancy agreement between the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary and its co-founder, Dr. A.B.C Orjiako, acting through Amaze Limited” with immediate effect and is seeking “appropriate legal remedies.”
“Under the consultancy agreement, Dr Orjiako was obliged to provide defined assistance with certain external stakeholder engagements following his retirement from the board after the 2022 Annual General Meeting in May 2022,” a part of the notice stated.
It was further noted that the board of directors of the organisation “unanimously approved” the termination of the contract “following repeated warnings about breaches of a material nature, such as unilaterally making significant commitments on Seplat’s letterhead without prior board authority or knowledge.”
It explained that the suit “was necessary to protect the company and its shareholders, directors, and officers from potential and increasing liability arising from the conduct of the consultants, Dr Orjiako and Amaze Limited.
“Seplat Energy reiterates its commitment to high standards of corporate governance across all areas of its business. The matter is now sub judice and awaiting resolution by the court,” the statement noted.
FAAC Allocation to FG, States, LGs in March Shrinks to N722.7bn
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The amount shared to the three tiers of government, the federal government, state governments, and local governments, by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), decreased in March 2023 from the money distributed in February.
A communique issued on Wednesday after the FAAC meeting in Abuja disclosed that N722.7 billion was disbursed from the revenue generated by the country last month compared with the N750.2 billion shared in February.
A breakdown showed that the total distributable revenue of N722.677 billion comprised distributable statutory revenue of N366.800 billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N224.232 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) of N11.645 billion and N120.000 billion Augmentation from Forex Equalisation Account.
In the disclosure signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations of the Office of the Account-General of the Federation (OAGF), Mr Bawa Mokwa, it was disclosed that in February, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Companies Income Tax (CIT), Oil and Gas Royalties, Import and Excise Duties all decreased significantly while Value Added Tax (VAT) and Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) decreased marginally.
Explaining how the money was disbursed, FAAC said from the N722.677 billion, the federal government received N269.063 billion, the state governments got N236.464 billion, and the local councils were given N173.936 billion, while N43.214 billion was shared to the oil-producing states as 13 per cent derivation revenue.
Further, from the N366.800 billion distributable statutory revenue, the federal government received N178.683 billion, the state governments received N90.630 billion, and the local government councils received N69.872 billion, with relevant states getting N27.614 billion as 13 per cent derivation revenue.
In addition, from the distributable N224.232 billion from VAT, the federal government received N33.635 billion, the state governments received N112.116 billion, and the local councils received N78.481 billion.
The statement also said N11.645 billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) was distributed as follows: the Federal Government received N1.747 billion, the State Governments received N5.822 billion, and the Local Government Councils received N4.076 billion.
From the N120.000 billion Augmentation, the Federal Government received N54.998 billion, the State Governments received N27.896 billion, the Local Government Councils received N21.506 billion, and a total sum of N15.600 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13 per cent of mineral revenue.
In February 2023, the total deductions for the cost of the collection were N27.449 billion, and total deductions for transfers, savings, recoveries and refunds were N109.909 billion, while the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $473,754.57, the same amount it had remained since December 2022.
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