No Going Back On Nationwide Protest Today-NLC

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Labour Congress has informed Nigerians that its planned nationwide Protest on account of the recent increase in the pump price of petrol in Nigeria will hold on Wednesday.

It advised Nigerians to ignore news that it might suspend the strike which is expected to attract most Nigerians.

The Congress made its position known in a terse statement by its National President, Joe Ajaero, on Tuesday evening.

Ajaero, in the statement on the official Twitter handle of the NLC, said Nigerians should ignore the news that it may not go ahead with the strike.

He tweeted: “Ignore fake rumours, NLC is never divided.We are one united and strong labour centre.The protest rally will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) nationwide.”

Anti-Labour Practices In NUPRC Stink-PENGASSAN

Mohammed Shosanya

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGANSSAN),Tuesday picket the offices of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) in Abuja over the poor welfare of the agency’s workers.

The workers blocked the offices in the nation’s capital’s Jabi District as early as 7:30 a.m. and preventied easy access to the premises.

Premium News reports that the embattled workers displayed placards with various inscriptions which drew the attention of the agency to their deplorable state and the need to reverse same.

The Chairman of PENGANSSAN,NUPRC branch, Engr. Okey Anya,who led the protest ,insisted that the action will remain peaceful, and the embattled workers will never be intimidated by anyone.

He disclosed that workers of NUPRC have been subjected to too many anti labour practices by their management for too long.

He said:”Workers have lost their confidence and self esteem, needed for productivity, due to inhumane treatment, and poor working environment.

” We are doing a peaceful protest against our welfare that has been neglected for so long. We have a situation where pension deduction are done and not remitted to the PMAs. We have a situation where our staff who have accessed our cooperative and have had deductions made, but Management has refused to remit them.

“We have a situation where our offices in Port Harcourt did not have light for over a month, we are talking about DPR that was a standard in the industry. All these situations are anti Labour practices, and we say no to them. We cannot be giving our best in the industry, making sure that the country remains afloat and we are neglected”.

Ondo Investment Vision Excites Chevron

Mohammed Shosanya

Chevron Nigeria Limited has commended the Ondo State government for its visionary initiative in providing a dynamic platform for the state to present its vast potential and opportunities to the investment community, both within Nigeria and beyond with the “Develop Ondo 2.0” Investment Summit under the theme “Developing Possibilities.”

The Chairman/Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria/Mid-Africa Business Unit, Rick Kennedy, represented by Andrew Omomehin, General Manager, Joint Venture Operations Company, in a goodwill message acknowledges that the summit’s outcomes will significantly contribute to the ongoing efforts by the government to enhance the quality of life for the people of Ondo State.

The summit’s second edition showcases the government’s unwavering commitment to identifying and promoting investment and financing opportunities within Ondo State.

Chevron Nigeria Limited takes immense pride in its more than six decades of operations in Nigeria, playing a pivotal role in the nation’s growth and prosperity while establishing itself as the preferred partner. As a responsible corporate citizen and partner, Chevron shares the aspirations of the government and the people of Ondo State.

“We have learned through decades of experience that our business success in providing affordable, reliable, ever-cleaner energy is directly tied to the progress and prosperity of the people we work with and the communities where we operate”, Kennedy stated.

Throughout its years of operation, Chevron has actively collaborated with stakeholders, including its joint venture partner, Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), and the government, to empower communities in close proximity to its operations. The company has continually invested in strategic social projects focused on health, education, and economic development, making a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people.

Chevron Nigeria Limited pioneered the community-led participatory partnership model for social performance, known as the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU). Since its establishment in 2005, this initiative has provided funds to Regional Development Committees, enabling the execution of numerous projects across communities in the Niger Delta region. These projects have significantly improved the quality of life in these areas.

“We hope to leverage our experience of the GMoU in our implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) Host Communities Development Trust Fund”, Kennedy said, while wishing the summit great success and looking forward to witnessing the positive transformations that will result from the event.

NSIB Probes Lagos Helicopter Crash

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has commenced investigation into an accident involving a Jabiru J430, a light single airplane with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-CCQ operated by Air First Hospitality & Tours, which occurred around a little after 1500hrs local time on August 1, 2023.

Tunji Oketunbi,spokesman of the agency conveyed this in a statement made available to Premium News.

“The aircraft was on a test flight within Lagos with two passengers onboard, before it crashed around Oba Akran area of Lagos State with no fatalities.The aircraft caught fire on impact but the spread was contained by the rainfall at the time of impact.
The two souls on board were taken to the hospital,” it stated.

The NSIB is a multimodal investigation agency charged with the mandate to investigate transportation accidents and serious incidents in Nigeria with the aim of identifying the probable causes and proffer safety recommendations that can prevent reoccurrence.

The statement added:”The NSIB, hereby, solicits information from the general public in form of pictures, video or recording evidences to assist in conducting a comprehensive investigation.

“The Bureau can be reached through and NSIB_Nigeria on its social media platforms. The Bureau can also be reached on its emergency line +234-807-709-0909.”

Efficient Grid,Attractive Pricing Regime Panacea To Robust Investment In Nigeria’s Power Sector-Seplat Boss

Mohammed Shosanya

The Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Energy Plc, Roger Brown has emphasized the need to create a resilient and efficient power grids and put in place an attractive regulatory and pricing regime to encourage investment and innovation across the chain in Nigeria

He said this at the opening ceremony of the ongoing Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference & Exhibition (NAICE) 2023 held in Lagos. He spoke on the theme of the SPE NAICE 2023 themed: ‘Balancing Energy Accessibility, Affordability, and Sustainability: Strategic Options for Africa’.

He said it was important to recognise that gas has a place as transition fuel and Africa has a right to use its resources.

Nigeria needs to encourage off-grid solutions for remote areas, leapfrog technologies by moving straight to renewables where it makes sense, and develop sales and distribution infrastructure for clean cooking fuel like bottled gas,he also said.

“Pricing must balance affordable energy with attractive returns for the companies providing it. We have to improve governance and attractiveness of African energy providers to ensure lowest cost of capital. There is the need to also increase investment in African energy from just 3% of global energy investment today. Cleaner cooking fuel must be a more attractive proposition than collecting wood, which is free, he added.

According to him,gllobal investment needed to achieve net zero target by 2050 is projected at $3.5 trillion per annum,adding that the headline figure hides some divergent dynamics and frictions.

He advocated the need for allocation of capital to developing economies which will be responsible for most of the growth in emissions, reallocation of capital away from hydrocarbon sector (divestment, restricting capital, engagement), and allocation of capital to low-carbon technologies.

Speaking on the need to ensure sustainability, the Seplat Energy CEO said increasing Africa’s access to energy should not come at the expense of the environment. “Africa has huge natural gas resources that can be utilised to deliver significant social and economic gains at low cost to the environment. Renewables were essential to achieve universal energy access across Africa. Africa also has significant mineral resources essential for batteries and fuel cells,” he explained.

He noted that “delivering universal access to energy across Africa will deliver huge social and economic benefits. But it will only be attractive if governments can create the right pricing and regulatory regimes to make it both attractive to invest, and affordable for consumers. Africa has the right to develop and must use its natural resources to do that.

“The transition cannot be funded solely by debt. Access to energy and energy security is critical and Africa needs affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern electricity for all as SDG7.”

Nigeria, he stated, needs to move away from reliance on diesel/petrol generators; as such move would improve health, and lower cost of electricity, which is severely holding back development in all sectors.

“Gas is the transition solution. Upstream oil and gas development is critical to fund the transition but needs to be much more efficient, as e need to eliminate theft /flaring / leaks, and operate with lower carbon intensity. Africa needs to balance the “E (environment)” and “S (social development)” and North and South must work together in a balanced way, which means we must balance energy security with affordability and sustainability,” the Seplat CEO advised.

Mining Industry Can Stop Nigeria’s Reliance On Crude Oil -SEC

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria’s mining industry can play a vital role in diversifying the country’s economy away from crude oil dependency.

This is further strengthened by the discovery of over 44 minerals across the country,the Executive Commissioner Operations of the SEC, Mr. Dayo Obisan said .

He spoke at the end of a two-day workshop on financing the Nigerian solid minerals sector through the capital market and the critical role of the commodities exchanges.

He also said the solid minerals sector possesses immense transformative potential for sustainable economic growth in Nigeria and holds immense potential to contribute significantly to national economic diversification and sustainable development goals.

“However, despite the sector’s vast potential, the mining industry in Nigeria has faced significant challenges, with one of the most critical being inadequate access to capital. The traditional sources of capital, such as bank loans are a total mismatch in terms of capital structuring for the project types in the mining sector, leading to the importance of long-term sources of funding required for mining projects.

He said financiers’ perceptions of the high risks associated with mining have led to limited opportunities for raising capital, making it a pressing concern to attract strategic investors into the sector adding that the sector requires investments in various stages, from exploration to development, and investors need to be convinced of the potential for quick wins in mining.

He said:“Today, we come together to address these challenges by providing appropriate capital structuring and creating an enabling environment for mining companies to raise funds through the capital market.

“We all acknowledge that the success of any industry, including mining, is heavily reliant on access to adequate and sustainable funding. The peculiarities of the mining sector, such as high upfront capital requirements and lengthy development periods, make it essential for players in this industry to have access to long-term financing. This is where the capital market steps in as a catalyst for economic transformation.

In order to address the financing challenges faced by the mining industry, the SEC Commissioner said stakeholders must recognize the crucial role of the capital market in providing the needed funding for large-scale mining projects as the capital market offers a wide array of financial instruments and products, attracting long-term investments and diversified sources of funding.

He said by tapping into this market, mining companies can strengthen their financial position and promote transparency, accountability, and good corporate governance practices to attract both domestic and foreign investors, stimulating investment inflows and fostering growth in the sector.

“We need to adopt practical solutions that leverage the capital market’s strengths. Some of the key considerations for capital formation in the mining industry include the size of the exploration company, the availability of strategic investors, and the trend of commodity prices. Additionally, alternative financing methods such as off-take financing, streaming finance, and royalty grants can provide short-term capital to support working capital needs or secure payment upon delivery of minerals while securing a share of future production.

“On the part of the Ministry, the Solid Mineral Development Fund (SMDF) established by the Federal Government in 2007 has also been leveraged to drive investments in the mining sector. The SMDF operates as a funding vehicle aimed at improving economic parameters and unlocking growth across the mining value chain. We commend the FMMSD for its efforts in repositioning the Fund and making it operational. The Fund’s strategic investments across the mining value chain will undoubtedly drive growth aspirations and catalyze other investments in exploration, mine development, and production” he stated.

He stated that to address these challenges, some practical solutions may include, but not limited to; attracting strategic investors who have established mining operations can bring expertise, technology, resources, and access to international markets. Such partnerships can be in the form of equity capital or debt financing, allowing miners to benefit from immediate cash injections and technology support.

“Bridge financing can also serve as interim funding to meet short-term project needs until long-term financing becomes available. It provides a means of support for working capital while projects are in the development stage. Revenue Assurance through Off-Take Financing arrangements between mining companies and buyers can also provide short-term capital by pre-selling the mine’s products at an agreed price. This mechanism ensures a market for the products and offers financial stability to the mining companies.

“Upfront Commodity Sale through Streaming Finance involves selling the right to a commodity by the miner in exchange for an upfront payment from the purchaser. This method allows miners to receive payment upon delivery of the minerals while securing a share of future mineral production at a discounted price. Regarding royalty grants, mining companies can enter royalty contracts to receive upfront cash payments in exchange for a percentage of revenue or profit generated from selling minerals or products produced at the mine. This approach provides an alternative financing method for developed projects with quantifiable commodity outputs.

“Additionally, we cannot overlook the significance of commodities exchanges in this equation. Commodity exchanges play a crucial role in the context of solid minerals as they provide specialized, organized markets for buying and selling commodities under established rules and regulations. The Nigerian Commodities Trading Ecosystem offers a well-regulated environment for trading commodities. The successes recorded in agriculture project financing through commodities exchanges demonstrate the potential impact on the mining sector. By formalizing the trading of solid minerals, commodity exchanges can reduce transaction costs, stimulate interest from the investing community in funding mining projects, and provide valuable geoscience data for future investments.

He expressed the firm belief that the Nigerian Commodities Trading Ecosystem and the capital market can act as transformational catalysts to bring about positive changes in the solid minerals sector. By connecting the mining sector to organized trading platforms provided by commodity exchanges, we can enhance transparency, efficiency, and traceability in the trading of mineral commodities, thereby reducing illegal mining activities.

Subsidy: Nigeria Needs Behavioral Change On Renewable Energy -REEEA

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria needs critical rapprochement and behavioural change towards renewable energy and energy efficiency in the country,Professor Magnus Onuoha, President of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Associations (Alliance) REEEA,has said.

The change,he said,should come not just as a policy document but as an implementable system for both domestic, rural, urban, commercial and industrial development

Onouha,who spoke during at the inauguration of new elected members of the governing Council, explained that the move became necessary as the fuel subsidy removal, the Electricity Act recently signed into law, rising cost of energy dominant systems and measures

He hinted that the organization received so many solution driven recommendations, advisory, from which it was able to come up with several areas of focus which would serve as the fulcrum of the Governing Council for the next three years.

He said,among these include funding more projects with local naira and leveraging to enable growth of community-based developers for off-grid communities;technical assistance and capacity building accelerator programs for renewable energy entrepreneurs and developers; Revenue assurances to support and fund large scale renewable energy projects;payment mechanisms to support clean energy expansion and Policy recommendation to build social acceptance for Nigeria to use natural gas as a transition fuel.

Others are leveraging on the Electricity Act recently passed into law- engaging the states for integrated electricity within their states to generate power that satisfies the needs of the state;accelerating investment in the emerging green hydrogen space; electric mobility solutions – vehicles,bikes, bicycles, tricycles and Development of carbon market opportunities and revenue arising therefrom.

He noted that in order to support to the solutions, the association, shall be engaging different levels of professionals: including “The Federal and State Governments; Development Partners, Resellers in the Informal Sectors: such as those in Alaba, the National finance system: The Ministry of Finance, Nigeria Customs Service, even the Immigration Service, the traditional power systems: Generation companies, distribution companies, transmission company of Nigeria.

Others levels of collaboration, the President said include: “The traditional power systems: Generation companies, distribution companies, transmission company of Nigeria.

He added:”A major critical component of all these solutions, I can’t emphasize enough is “capacity building / training”
Without the requisite capacity, we can not build indigenous expertise and sustain growth.

“We must develop the capacity to be developers, installers, advocates and policy formulators. If we do not have capacity, we shall be at the mercy of others. With enough capacity, we can create green jobs, create employment, create entrepreneurs and evolve women and youth empowerment.

“But it must be the right sort of capacity built on strenuously developed experience, curriculum and dynamic content. Beyond installation and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies, there are millions of ancillary jobs/efforts that accrue from there”.

Shell,JV Lead In PIA Implementation, Says NUPRC

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has assessed Shell Petroleum Development Company -operated onshore joint venture as industry leader in the implementation of the chapter three of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) dealing with host community development.

Speaking at the announcement of fund managers for Host Community Trust Funds recently in Abuja, NUPRC’s Assistant Director, Host Communities Department, Olatokunbo Karimu, said from the 61 fully incorporated Host Community Development Trusts (HCDTs) in the industry, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) with its joint venture partners has the highest number of fully incorporated HCDTs of 23 followed by Agip with 13 while Newcross Petroleum has seven in the third position.

Karimu said:“We have a total of 113 HCDT submissions. We’ve issued approval to incorporate 84 and we have a total of 61 fully incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission.”

SPDC, on behalf of the NNPC/SPDC/TotalEnergies/NAOC joint venture has upped the JV’s HCDT to 25 and has unveiled the trusts in three of its states of operations of Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta. “We plan to complete the incorporation of the 33 HCDTs for the joint venture by the end of the year and our next port of call for HCDT unveiling is Imo State where the joint venture’s multimillion dollar Assa North/Ohaji South Gas Development Project is situated,” SPDC Director and Country Head, Corporate Relations, Igo Weli said.

On when the incorporated HCDTs would be operational, Weli explained that the next step was the setting up of Management Committees by the Trusts which will in turn establish Host Community Advisory Committees to complete the structure for the new dispensation to take off with access to funds for community projects.

The SPDC-operated joint venture and Shell’s deep-water business, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production company in partnership with NNPC have earmarked over $56 million from their 2022 operations for distribution to the HCDTs in compliance with the PIA.

Weli however cautioned that a host community would only enjoy the full benefit of the fund if they ensured undisrupted operations of the settlor and security of its facilities. “Where operations are disrupted or the settlor’s facilities are destroyed, the benefit to the HCDT will be adversely affected,” he said.

He advised the host communities to create a conducive and safe business environment for their settlors to achieve a dispensation of ‘shared prosperity’.

4 Survive Helicopter Crash In Lagos

Helicopter crash,Tuesday occurred iat Oba Akran Road in Lagos.

NEMA officials confirmed that two white men and two black men who were crew members involved in the accident were all rescued alive.

The incident happened near the AP filling station, by UBA branch causing chaos in the area.

The helicopter, which had been spotted flying around Ikeja under bridge, suddenly crashed and burst into flames.

The reasons behind the crash have not been determined as at press time.

Premium News gathered that aviation authorities investigating the incident.

Impose Consumption Tax On Tobacco, CISLAC Tells Tinubu

Mohammed Shosanya

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC),has implored President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to impose consumption tax on tobacco to address public health issues in Nigeria.

Speaking with newsmen in Kano at end of one day media round table on Taxation and Tobacco, the executive Director, CISLAC, Auwalu Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani urged the President to as a matter of urgency put the machinery running to implement effective tobacco tax regimes in Nigeria.

He was represented at the event by the Senior Programme Officer,CISLAC,Solomon Adoga.

He disclosed that World Bank Development Update on Nigeria has it that Nigeria could generate more than N600 billion annually by increasing excise duties on tobacco and alcohol.

He noted that “Nigeria is yet to achieve 6% of total allocation to health and thereby contributing little to improve the state of health care in the country.

“Amidst the poor state of health care in the country, the prevalence of consumption of harmful products such as tobacco continues to further stretch the already overwhelmed facilities in the country and calls for more concerted efforts on the part of government to control the use of such products.”

He lamented that “Nigeria remains one of the leading tobacco markets in Africa, with its young and growing population a constant attraction to the tobacco industry. ”

He said:”Government must move to protect its young people and children by ensuring it does not succumb to the interference tactics of the tobacco industry that only aims to undermine effective tobacco control in the country”.