By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Start-ups run by African entrepreneurs have been offered a grant of about N104 million ($250,000) to design innovative solutions that will solve the climate crisis of the continent.
This funding support is being given by a Lagos-based non-governmental organisation, WeForGood International, with the backing of IHS Nigeria.
In a statement, WeForGood stated that the fund would be disbursed to viable eco-friendly sustainable enterprises owned by young African entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years and would have eco-solutions projects that would enhance environmental sustainability.
Speaking at the 2022 Sustainable Solutions Africa Project Conference in Lagos, the CEO of the group, Ms Temitayo Ade-Peters, disclosed that, “In the past three years, through our fellowship programme, we have directly supported close to 60 African startups with training and coaching and facilitated over $250,000 to promote sustainable solutions on the continent.”
“We’ve reached about 1,400 youths and entrepreneurs exploring skills for impact to further scale their reach. The start-ups we support run for-profit and not-for-profit businesses addressing one or more areas of the SDGs,” she further said at the event to mark the United Nations’ World Youth Skills Day with the theme Promoting Eco-Focused Solutions Africa’s Pathway to Sustainable Growth.
Ms Ade-Peters informed guests on the occasion that “through the support of IHS Nigeria, we have an opportunity for young people to get up to N3 million to support their individual projects” that could be used to create sustainable solutions to solve Africa’s problems, commending the company for its support for the climate.
On her part, the Director for Corporate Excellence and Programme Management at IHS Nigeria, Ms Oluwatoyin Aralepo, advised the young entrepreneurs to base their entrepreneurial development on three leadership ladders personal vision, higher standard and influence.
“Leadership has to be strategic and patient to be able to carry all members of the team along to achieve the group’s objectives,” Ms Aralepo said.
Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said that the participation of youth in the advocacy for a real shift is essential in order to combat climate change.
“Government, private sector and civil society must all look towards young people, as we aim to strengthen both formal and informal education on climate change and viable lifestyles.
In addition, sustainable production and consumption patterns must be promoted and supported by the youth as environmental champions in their local communities,” Mrs Orelepe-Adefulire said.
A Human Resources Consultant, Mrs Sandra Iheanacho, who was also at the programme, said that education was very essential to produce young Nigerian entrepreneurs that would become job creators.
“To take care of tomorrow we have to prepare by taking care of the education of our youths that are capable to create jobs,” she said.
Another speaking, Ms Yejide Aina, who is the CEO of The Illuminator’s Academy, said that Nigerian youths need a quality educational curriculum that would equip them with an innovative and entrepreneurial capacity to create economic opportunities in the country’s economy.
Verification of Bank of Agriculture Pensioners Begins
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Pensioners of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) who missed the previous verification exercises under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) now have the opportunity to be verified.
This is because the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has fixed Monday, August 22 to Wednesday, August 24, 2022, for their verification.
In a statement signed by the management of the agency, it was stated that the verification exercise is also for pensioners of other organisations who could not appear for the previous ones.
In the statement, PTAD said Bank of Agriculture pensioners and others should appear at the Afficient Event Centre located on No. 74, Sultan Road, Nassarawa G.R.A. Kano State and at the PTAD Marquee, tucked in 22 Katsina-Ala Crescent, Maitama, Abuja between 8 am and 4 pm for the three days.
PTAD emphasised that pensioners with incomplete documents should obtain a Letter of Introduction from the management of their agencies and an affidavit for the loss of documents.
The documents they are expected to present for verification include the original and photocopies of their career documents, stamped and signed BVN with a picture, one month stamped and signed bank statement, NIN or any other valid identification.
Ikeja Electric Signs Deal for Better Power Supply to Ayobo
By Adedapo Adesanya
A tripartite interconnected mini-grid agreement has been signed by Ikeja Electric Plc, Enaro Energy Limited and the Ayobo community for the provision of reliable and uninterrupted electricity supply to Ishokan Phase 1 Estate, Mercy Land Estate, and Mercy Land Phase1 residents in Ayobo, Lagos State.
The initiative is in line with the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission’s (NERC) goal of ensuring there is a reliable and steady power supply across communities in the country through partnerships between distribution companies (DisCos) and independent power generators.
The agreement, which was signed on Wednesday at Ikeja Electric’s corporate headquarters in Alausa, Lagos, will rely on the interconnected mini-grid initiative of the power sector to provide the customers with an uninterrupted power supply.
Speaking on this, Mrs Seqinah Adewunmi, the Chief Finance Officer of Ikeja Electric, who represented the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Folake Soetan, during the signing of the agreements, stated that the initiative was a landmark in the history of the power sector in the state.
She added that those communities will be the first to experience uninterrupted power supply via a blend of grid and off-grid generation and distribution of power.
According to her, “it will demonstrate the possibility that our customers can enjoy 24 hours power supply which is in line with the core mission of Ikeja Electric to be the provider of choice wherever power is consumed.”
She congratulated everyone that has been part of the process, revealing that the initiative will transform the ways in which electricity is being distributed in Nigeria.
She further stated that this initiative will set the pace for bigger things to happen as the plan is to expand to other communities within the Ikeja Electric Franchise area.
On his part, Mr Oluwaseun Smith, the Managing Director of Enaro Energy, expressed his appreciation that the project was finally coming to fruition, adding that the journey began about two and half years ago and was glad that all the efforts towards ensuring the signing of the contract were worth it.
He stated that Enaro Energy was committed to providing the necessary resources to ensure the success of the project.
Obasanjo Charges Africa to Decide Its Energy Future
By Adedapo Adesanya
Former president of Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, has said Africa must take charge of its own energy destiny and use its rich resource assets for the benefit of its own people.
His comments come in support of the Africa Oil Week (AOW), which is necessitated as the world scrambles to find new sources of oil and gas to meet its energy needs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In this context, Mr Obasanjo noted that African countries cannot be beholden to the unrealistic ideals of the Global North for an exclusively renewables-driven economy, saying this is particularly true when the developed world is itself accepting the need for hydrocarbons.
“Like the rest of the world, Africa must follow energy policies that promote socio-economic development and sustainable hydrocarbon use,” he said.
The former Head of State, who ruled Africa’s largest crude oil producer from 1999 to 2007 said, “Africa is the lowest producer of greenhouse-gas emissions and needs to lift nearly half-a-billion citizens out of poverty.
“Responsible management of our hydrocarbons and investment in our economies is necessary to ensure a just energy transition and sustainable growth for our people.”
The European Union (EU) had previously said it intends to cut Russian-supplied oil by up to 90 per cent by the end of 2022, and the announcement has already caused global energy costs to soar.
Africa is one of the potential new sources of energy to replace this supply, with an estimated 61 billion barrels of oil equivalent being discovered in the region over the past 10 years.
Mr Obasanjo’s view aligns with that of the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), which also called on member countries and other global institutions to use petroleum as a catalyst for energy security, sustainable development, and economic diversification in Africa through collaboration and partnerships.
Mr Obasanjo has been a major leader of Africa’s post-colonial period, having overseen Nigeria’s transition to representative democracy. Since his move out of the government sphere, he has been a senior statesman, active in defining geopolitical issues – including energy.
He also helped to shape the modern Nigerian oil industry, inaugurating policy reforms that have seen the country become an energy superpower on the African continent.
“Creating an African oil industry that benefits Africa’s people needs strong policy and regulation.
“During my time in government, we launched oil-and-gas policy reforms that helped to build a modern oil and gas hub. There were many learnings that we can apply across the wider region. I look forward to discussing these opportunities for Africa.”
He then called for accelerated dialogue on the sustainable development of hydrocarbons, and the role of Africa as a supplier of global energy needs.
“There has been much talk at forums such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos about a just energy transition. However, we must not allow Africa to be dictated to. The discussions at AOW will be pivotal in charting a new energy course for Africa. We will decide what is best for us,” he said.
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