By Adedapo Adesanya
Some persons suspected to be involved in the business of illicit drugs have been apprehended by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in different parts of Nigeria.
A statement issued by the spokesman of the NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi, on Sunday said the agency arrested the suspects in the past week with over 16,000 kilograms (16 tons) of narcotics.
In Lagos, anti-narcotics officers who have been on the trail of a 48-year-old, Mr Aro Aderinde, for weeks and arrested him on Sunday, October 16, over alleged involvement in the export of 3,149kgs cannabis Sativa (C/S) concealed in coconut fibres via container number MSKU 1820587.
Similarly, two women: Ms Hauwawu Bashiru and Mrs Basirat Adebisi Yahaya, linked to the attempt to export 90 kilograms of methamphetamine through Pastor Anietie Okon Effiong of Promise of Zion Church, Oron, Akwa Ibom state, were equally arrested in Lagos and moved to Uyo to face charges along with the clergyman.
The NDLEA spokesman stated that Pastor Effiong was earlier arrested on Saturday, August 6.
Meanwhile, an alleged drug dealer in the Mushin-Isolo axis of Lagos, Mr Monday Michael, 45, was also arrested on Monday, October 17, with 365.7kgs of cannabis in two Toyota Sienna space buses marked FST 189 FD and FST 273 GF.
Another person, Mr Abdulkadir Mohammed, 47, wanted over the seizure of 5,640kgs cannabis at a warehouse in the Chukuku area of Kuje, Abuja, was nabbed on Sunday, October 16, following the arrest of his wife, Mrs Saadatu Abdullahi, 35, who was found at the store when it was raided.
In Edo, at least 10 suspects were arrested concerning the seizure of 4,870.2kgs of cannabis in parts of the state. On Wednesday, October 19, operatives stormed Ohusu forest boundary, Ovia southwest local government area, where they recovered a total of 3,159.7kgs and arrested three suspects: Mr Effiong Udo; Mr Daniel Asuquo Ebong and Mr Asuquo Effiong.
Similarly, on Saturday, October 22, operatives intercepted a Toyota Sienna space bus conveying 49 bags of C/S weighing 638.5kgs along Uwenusi road in Uhunmonde LGA, while 36kgs of the same substance stored in the bush along Uromi/Ubiaja road were equally recovered. In another operation, three suspects: Mr John Paul, Mr Liberty Rolland, and Mr Aboki Stephen, were arrested at Okpe in Akoko Edo with 55kgs of cannabis.
No less than 127kgs of C/S were seized, and a suspect, Mr Pius Okon John arrested, while 854kgs of the same substance were recovered when operatives raided Okpe forest, where some cannabis farms were destroyed. Three suspects: Mr David Obada, Mr Blessing Okechukwu and Mr Odoh Sunday, caught with the 854kgs C/S were arrested.
In a similar vein, NDLEA operatives in Ondo state stormed the Aponmu forest in Idanre LGA, where 52 bags of C/S that weighed 676kgs and the truck being used to load the consignment were recovered on Sunday 16th October, while the trio of Mr Christopher Amuzoga, Mr Chikogu Samuel and Miss Ijeoma Okenna were arrested with 690kgs of cannabis at Ipele forest on Tuesday, October 18.
In Kano, operatives arrested Mr Isah Suleman Mohammed and Miss Sandra Okafor in Dakata area on Friday, October 21, after they were caught with 538 blocks of C/S weighing 391.2kgs; 259,000 tablets of tramadol; 100 bottles of Codeine based syrup, and 150,000 tablets of pregabalin.
This followed the arrest of Mr Abel John and Miss Helen James with 328.7kgs C/S at Gonin Gora area of Kaduna, while 5,000 tablets of tramadol and 25,000 tablets of Exol-5 were recovered along Abuja-Kaduna express road. In the same vein, a suspect, Mr Yahaya Musa, was arrested on Sunday, October 16, at Tashar Yari, Kaduna, with over 30,000 tablets of tramadol, diazepam, and exol-5.
Meanwhile, in Bauchi, a suspect, Mr Ogbonna Ikechukwu, was arrested at Gadar Maiwa, Ningi LGA, with 67, 960 tablets of various types of psychotropic substances, while in Akwa Ibom state, operatives raided the Marina market, Eket, where quantities of illicit substances along with One million one hundred and ninety-three thousand and sixty Naira (N1,193,000.060) cash and Eight hundred and forty-nine thousand (N849,000.00) fake currency were recovered from fleeing suspects.
Lagos Moves to Regulate Electricity Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State government is in the process of enacting a law to regulate the electricity market in the state, Business Post has learnt.
This call was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy, Mr Olalere Odusote, while delivering a keynote address at the closing of the 3rd Lagos Real Estate Market Place Conference And Exhibition in Lagos.
Speaking at the event themed A Town Hall Meeting On The Lagos Real Estate Emerging Markets – Mitigating The Potential Risks, the Commissioner explained that this became necessary as most private individuals and businesses in Lagos utilised diesel-powered generators rather than electricity from the national grid.
According to him, the two distribution companies in Lagos State, the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) – established nine years ago, sell about 800 to 900 megawatts initially and have only improved to 1,000 megawatts nine years after.
“Nothing has changed in the national grid sector nine years after.
“However, Lagos State, within a spate of nine years, had grown from having about 8,000 megawatts of installed diesel capacity to about 23,000 megawatts.
“The diesel market of the off-grid market has grown by about 300 per cent, but the grid market has not grown at all or just about one to two per cent,” he said.
He added that the state injected almost 1,000 transformers into the grid to improve electricity supply to its residents, but without the desired result.
Mr Odusote said a lot of the energy utilised in Lagos comes from diesel generators and that because of the high population of the city, the emission from that energy source had become unsustainable.
The Commissioner explained that Lagos had been projected to be the city with the largest population in the world in 50 years; therefore, energy for the housing infrastructure needed for the population must be put into consideration.
Mr Odusote said that was why the state government came up with the Lagos Electricity sector policy, with the aim of providing universal access to electricity for all residents of the state.
He stated that the draft of the Lagos electricity law had been completed and was before the state’s House of Assembly for consideration.
Mr Odusote explained that the bill, when implemented, would take regulation of electricity from the centre and domicile it with the Lagos regulatory agency.
“The Nigerian constitution domiciles the responsibility of regulation and distribution of electricity with the state government, but when the law was passed in 2002, many states were not ready for the responsibility.
“Many housing estates in the state run on diesel generators because they are unable to benefit from the grid, yet they cannot share from the excess capacity they currently have because the Federal Government does not permit it.
“Lagos is now ready, willing and in the process of passing the law. It means we will be able to locally determine our faith when it comes to electricity,” he said.
According to him, the Lagos Regulatory Agency will work with the residents and the state government to determine the need of the electricity market and make laws that will enable investors to invest in identified gaps.
The Commissioner said the state was working with the Federal Government to ensure its laws were reviewed and the new law passed at the National Assembly aligned with the state’s law and in line with the development of the sector.
Mr Odusote explained that the state was working with the stakeholders and other private sector operators to create a framework that would ensure that by 2036, there is the availability of electricity in the state.
GE Reduces Emissions With Mobile Gas Turbines
By Adedapo Adesanya
General Electric (GE) has announced that its mobile gas turbines, typically used for emergency use, cannot only meet the emissions requirements in line with World Bank Standards but even surpass them and meet the most stringent emissions standard requirements.
In the State of California, GE developed an innovative technical solution on four TM2500 aero-derivative gas turbines deployed at the Department of Water Resources (DWR) sites in Yuba City and Roseville. The solution reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by over 90 per cent, surpassing World Bank Emissions Standards. It marked the world’s first-of-a-kind solution on a GE mobile TM2500. The technology helped lower emissions while supporting the statewide energy grid during extreme climate-driven events, including drought or wildfires.
Speaking on the advancement, Mr Clive Nickolay, CEO of GE Gas Power’s Aeroderivative business line, said, “GE’s aero-derivative mobile technology, typically used for emergency power, represents a perfect complement to renewable energy and peaking power use cases worldwide.
“We’re excited about GE’s efforts to provide power plant operators with a technical solution that will allow them to quickly install peak power when needed while drastically reducing NOx and CO emissions levels to low single digits.”
The technical solution includes engineering studies for the integration and installation of a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology system—a proven and effective solution to limit post-combustion emissions.
The technology works by removing common emissions through a catalytic converter transforming the nitrogen oxides contained in the exhaust gas into water vapour and nitrogen. The new solution unlocks dramatic enhancements to emissions performance while ensuring the TM2500 can provide reliable, affordable, and lower-carbon electricity to the grid.
At Yuba and Roseville, GE worked with the engineering, procurement, and construction company Kiewit Power Constructors Co. to install the world’s first-of-this-kind solution on a GE mobile gas power turbine to solve DWR’s emissions challenge. The emissions control solution includes 11-meter-high modules and a 22-meter-high stack. Each of the four TM2500 can produce up to 34 megawatts (MW) of electricity for a total of 136 MW and is now equipped with a system to reduce pollutants to 2.5 parts per million, the legal limit set by the state of California.
Adding his input, Mr Nosizwe Dlengezele, Regional Sales Executive for GE Gas Power business in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the world’s fastest-growing populations, and natural gas offers a solution that’s more efficient and flexible to enable the integration of more renewables to the grid and ultimately reduce emissions.
“Our TM2500 aero-derivative gas turbines are installed in countries such as Nigeria, Angola, and Ghana, to provide much-needed power because of its enhanced mobility, easy installation and critical grid backup. It also has lower emissions than diesel generators when operating on gas, and the availability of an SCR solution will now enable our customers to further reduce NOx and CO emissions by 90 per cent.”
A key feature of the TM2500 units is its fast start ability providing full power in five minutes. This provides utilities and grid operators like California Independent System Operator (CAISO) or the Western Area Power Authority (WAPA) the ability to quickly support the grid in case of emergencies or loss of intermittent power.
The quick start capability was successfully put to use when the units were brought online to support a strained statewide energy grid during California’s extreme heat wave on Sept 6, 2022.
GE’s trailer-mounted TM2500 is derived from jet-engine technology powering the world’s airlines and is mounted on a wheeled trailer for ultimate mobility. With more than 20 years of experience and over 300 units installed around the world, GE’s TM2500 is a proven solution for providing a baseload bridge to permanent power installations or for generating backup/peak power in the wake of natural disasters, plant shutdowns, grid instability or in isolated locations.
GE powers plants that deliver flexible, efficient, and reliable power to millions of people around the world. With almost 70 years of presence in Sub-Saharan Africa, GE has been collaborating with energy stakeholders to deploy innovative technologies tailored to respond to the needs of the Sub-Saharan Africa region with reliable baseload and flexible power. GE delivers across the entire energy ecosystem from generation to transmission and distribution, and throughout the region, GE-built technologies are supported by GE local service and maintenance teams working together to help ensure access to reliable and sustainable energy.
Senate Threatens to Withhold 2023 Capital Budget of State House, Others
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Senate has threatened to withhold the 2023 capital budget of 100 federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) until they answer the queries raised against them by the Auditor General for the Federation.
Senate President, Mr Ahmad Lawan, issued this threat on the floor of the upper chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday while ruling on a point of order.
The threat followed a point of order raised by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Mr Matthew Urhoghide, who informed his colleagues that some agencies refused to appear before the team despite invitations sent to them.
Some of the MDAs include the State House, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministries of Interior, Transportation, Mines and Solid Mineral Development, Information, Communication, Petroleum, Defence, Police Affairs, and Sports.
Others are Works and Housing, Women Affairs, the State House, Presidential Fleet, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Independent National Electoral Commission, North East Development Commission, Nigerian Intelligence Agency, and the Nigerian Air Force, among others.
The queries covered in the auditor general’s report are from 2015-2018.
Speaking, Mr Lawan upheld Mr Urhoghide’s point of order and insisted that the public officers who utilised funds appropriated to their MDAs must give account.
He said, “Your point of order is sustained fully and completely, totally sustained; you are right on the dot to bring to the plenary your grievances.
“Secondly, I once served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee for eight years. My only problem is when you write agencies, and they refuse to honour the invite, you’d many times be forced to bring them through a warrant of arrest.
“Reading this list at plenary gives the agencies the opportunity to know now if they were not aware before for those that may claim ignorance.”
The Senate then gave the agencies a one-week deadline to communicate with the committee and set a date to appear before them or have their capital budgets withheld.
“I am taking the opportunity here to advise that in the next one week, if the name of any agency is here, that agency should reach the Committee on Public Accounts of the Senate to sort out when the agency would appear before the committee.
“If there is no communication whatsoever and no cogent and verifiable reason are given, we will slash the agencies’ budget.”
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