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Nigerian Governors Call Suggest Ways to Boost Power Sector

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has called for a three-way collaboration among the Federal, State Governments, and the private sector to provide affordable and reliable energy solutions in Nigeria.

This was made known by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, at the Nigeria Energy Exhibition and Conference, which wrapped off its 9th edition with key stakeholders providing insights into sustainable strategies on Thursday.

The event brought together over 3,500 visitors and over 100 exhibitors representing over 21 countries.

The exhibition and conference attracted local and international investors, exhibitors and renowned speakers, including the Governor of Kaduna State; Mr Abubakar  Aliyu, the Minister of Power, Nigeria, represented by Mr Temitope Fashedemi, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power; Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, MD/CEO, Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria; and Mr Aliyu Tukur Tahir, Managing Director/CEO, NEMSA & Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation (CEIF).

Speaking at the event, Mr el-Rufai said, “Nigeria requires for its growth and development the delivery of affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for homes and businesses. The Nigeria Governors Forum believes that the solution to our enduring electricity supply deficits lies in a three-way collaboration between the federal government, state government, and private sector.

“The expansion of generation, transmission, and distribution capacity in the country needs a sound regulated environment that is market driven. The state of the power sector retraces the hoops that inform the electricity power sector reform act passed in 2005. The act provided competitive electricity with a strong regulatory oversight role of the Federal Government”.

“The situation in the power sector suggests that why there are significant roles for the State and Federal Government, the Private sector has to be the largest source of investment, management, and know-how for sustainable and affordable electricity provision. The structural bottlenecks must be addressed within a public policy perspective that gives privacy to serious private sector leadership in the power sector,” he concluded.

On his part, Mr Ade Yesufu, Exhibition Director, Nigeria Energy, speaking about the success of the event, said – “at Informa Markets, we bring together all the relevant stakeholders in the relevant sector to hold critical conversations.

“We have welcomed thousands of visitors during the past three days to not only explore the best strategies to resolving the power challenges but also to build relationships for the sustainable growth of the sector. By connecting all parties in the Energy sector, the Nigeria Energy Exhibition and Conference have successfully unearthed solutions for the challenges in the sector.

“Formerly Power Nigeria, Nigeria Energy began as a platform to provide a blueprint for Nigeria’s power sector in the coming years to not only improve access to electricity but also drive economic growth and create jobs across West Africa. This year marks our 9th edition and continues our mission as the premier energy trade event and the largest gathering of energy trade stakeholders in West Africa.”

Nigeria Energy, the largest gathering of energy trade professionals in West Africa, provided an exceptional networking hub for manufacturers, distributors, procurement professionals, dealers, and regulators and a platform to drive the discourse on key challenges affecting the Energy industry and proffer sustainable solutions.

Through the exhibitions & conferences, Nigeria Energy attracted professionals, policymakers, and service providers who value the power of knowledge-sharing, networking, and business for the end goal of transforming Nigeria’s Energy sector.

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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