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FG Harps on Collaboration in Power Sector

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Key stakeholders in the energy industry have pledged commitment to the growth of Nigeria’s power sector at the Nigeria Energy Exhibition and Conference, emphasising efficient collaboration.

Those who matter in the industry are at the event, which started on September 20 at the Landmark Center and will end on September 22, 2022, pledged to collaborate effectively across the value chain to meet Nigeria’s growing energy needs.

Speaking at the conference, Mr Abubakar D. Aliyu, Nigeria’s Minister of Power, represented by Mr Temitope Fashedemi, Permanent Secretary, said, “We understand Nigeria’s economic development aspiration demands a higher energy capacity than what we have available presently.

“Our current unmet energy needs are huge, and they are bound to increase due to urbanization and population expansion. This makes it clear that access to energy is critical in advancing our country’s development agenda. Consequently, an enabling policy and investments in modern energy technologies are required.

“I believe that collaboration is critical to achieving our energy goals. The much-needed finance required to provide energy access resides with the private sector. And the task of liberating finance through the right policies, incentives, and establishment of an investment-friendly environment is what the government is committed to achieving. As such, collaborations with the private sector and our development partners are essential in accelerating our efforts towards sustainable energy supply,” he stated.

While commenting on the event, the Minister said, “Energy is conceptually one of the most important infrastructure requirements for human existence because it is one of the most important components of economic development. This unique event provides us with not just the opportunities to engage with public and private sector players, but also allows us to share knowledge with international energy experts and investors to develop new solutions.”

Mr Ade Yesufu, Exhibition Director, Nigeria Energy, said, “Over the next three days, we have the opportunity to network with top-level providers and key stakeholders in the industry to discuss what reliable power solutions can be implemented to meet Nigeria’s growing demand and how we can work together to pave the way for the decentralisation of the power sector.

“Alongside the exhibition, we have a three-day high-level knowledge packed conference which will feature the most powerful panel discussions across building power capacity, financing power projects, increasing efficiency through new technologies and exploring renewable energy mix with special focus on green hydrogen.”

The Nigeria Energy Exhibition and Conference is supported by leading global players in the power and infrastructure industry, including SkipperSeil Limited, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Ikeja Electric, Simba Industries, Tetracore Group, Mojec International, Tranos, Powerpro, Himel and Mikano International, Eaton, Lucy Electric, Greenville LNG, and Jubaili Bros.

These key industry players will showcase the latest and commercially sustainable power solutions at Nigeria Energy, alongside a further in-depth look into finding real-world solutions for Nigeria’s power sector challenges at the conference.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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SERAP Drags FG to Court over $23m Abacha Loot

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By Adedapo Adesanya

A suit has been filed against the federal government by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) over the recently recovered $23 million looted by ex-Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

In a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1700/2022 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the group is asking the court to “direct and compel President Buhari and Mr Abubakar Malami to release and widely publish a copy of the agreement on the Abacha loot with the US.”

In a statement on Sunday by SERAP Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is joined in the suit as respondent.

The United States government had in August signed an agreement with the federal government to repatriate the $23 million Abacha loot to Nigeria. It was in addition to the $311.7 million Abacha loot repatriated from the US to Nigeria in 2020.

“The Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations impose transparency obligations on the Federal Government to widely publish the agreement on the $23 million Abacha loot,” SERAP argued in the suit.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement with the U.S. would allow Nigerians to scrutinise it, and to monitor the spending of the repatriated loot to ensure that the money is not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.

“The repatriated $23 million Abacha loot is vulnerable to corruption and mismanagement. A substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 may have been mismanaged, diverted, or re-stolen, and in any case remain unaccounted for.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement would ensure that persons with public responsibilities are answerable to the people for the performance of their duties, including the management of repatriated loot,” SERAP said.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Atinuke Adejuyigbe, said the Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their government’s activities.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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Lagos to Severely Punish Those Behind Mushin Collapsed Building

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The owner of the building that collapsed in the Mushin area of Lagos State and others would be “severely punished,” the state government has promised.

On Friday, it was reported that a 3-storey building on 2/4 Oye Sonuga Street, Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos collapsed, killing four people and injuring others.

In a statement issued yesterday, the new Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, said the state government would go after whoever is indicted in the incident, hinting that an investigation has commenced to unravel what happened.

During a visit to the scene of the unfortunate incident, the Commissioner directed that the adjoining building be pulled down for safety reasons, adding that efforts are on to rescue those who might have been trapped in the rubble.

He disclosed that the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory have been directed to unravel the cause of the collapse.

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NNPC Opens Talk with Financers on Gas Projects

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has established talks with the United States Finance Corporation and the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) to seek financing for its multi-billion-dollar gas projects.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, disclosed this at the Nigerian International Economic Partnership held in New York as part of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Mr Kyari said: “Inclusion (in energy transition) means we need to be supported. We are already talking to the US DFC, and the EXIM so that they can give us financing and funding for our gas projects, and this is very critical so that we can have that flexibility to move forward and at the back of this.

“I’m sure some of you may be aware that today, we are getting a grant to build baseline carbon emission studies in our country by the United States Government. This is very helpful in the sense that President Muhammadu Buhari, has also asked that we need to be supported. Currently, the major source of financing we are having is from the African Exim.”

Nigeria’s transition to net zero by 2060 requires enormous investments in gas projects which have been positioned as the country’s major transition fuel.

Mr Kyari said Nigeria is looking for opportunities to leverage the gas resources in the country to provide the possibility required for the energy transition.

It will cost $410 billion to transit, according to the federal government, and huge gas projects like the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NNPC, ECOWAS Commission, and Morocco to deliver pipelines along the African corridor will gulp billions of dollars.

“We are embarking on massive infrastructure and to see how we can deliver the Morocco gas pipeline which will pass through some countries to provide a number of securities including bringing people out of poverty and increasing gas supply in the domestic market,” Mr Kyari said.

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