Africa’s Peculiarities Relevant Toward Net-Zero Future-Kyari

Mohammed Shosanya

The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd., Mr. Mele Kyari,says African Continent needs “a just, differentiated transition” to enable it to harness its resources for today for the benefit of its future generations.

He disclosed this while speaking at a Regional CEO Panel organised by McKinsey & Company on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNCCC), also known as the COP28 Conference, in Dubai, UAE, on Monday.

The GCEO,said the world must understand Africa’s peculiarities in addressing the effects of climate change on energy businesses.

“I have always advocated for a differentiated and just energy transition. In Africa, we have different circumstances compared to other places in the world.

“In Africa today, 75% of our population doesn’t have access to electricity, leaving us with biomass as a key energy source. The world needs to recognize that the most practicable thing today is to substitute what we have in the short term to close the energy gap for our rising population,” he stated.

According to him,with abundant natural gas reserves of 206 trillion cubic feet (tcf) that have the potential to rise to 600tcf, Nigeria is currently utilizing gas to drive its journey towards energy transition.

He said that NNPC Ltd. is creating a regional gas pipeline network to supply natural gas across the African continent and boost its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supply to the foreign market.

Explaining that the company is currently eliminating gas flares in almost all its gas projects, Kyari said the idea is to deploy such gas towards developing power plants nationwide, which will boost nationwide electricity supply, create employment opportunities, and trigger the nation’s industrial and economic development.

He said that to demonstrate NNPC Ltd’s commitment to a net-zero future by 2025, the Company recently signed up as a participant in the United Nations Global Compact in New York, becoming the first state-owned oil company to join the global initiative.

Hakama Sidi Ali Is CBN’s New Spokesperson

Mohammed Shosanya

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has appointed Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, as its new Acting Director of Corporate Communications.

This was conveyed in a statement made available to the media during the weekend in Abuja.

Mrs Ali, a member of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), who served as Deputy Director in the same Department at the Bank before her latest appointment.

The new CBN spokesperson is a 1992 graduate of the Bayero University, Kano, where she bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication. She also has an MSc in Mass Communication and PGDE in English Language.

Apart from NIPR, Ali is also a member of other reputable professional bodies like the Chartered Institute of Loan and Risk Management (CILRM), Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPMN), Africa Development Studies Centre (ADSC), Toastmasters International and many others.

Groups Seek Urgent Remediation Of EITI Validation Report On Nigeria

Mohammed Shosanya

The Publish What You Pay (PWYP), Nigeria and the Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA) working on transparency and accountability in the Nigerian extractive industries has implored President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to urgently implement key recommendations contained in the 2023 EITI Valudation Report on Nigeria in the implementation of the EITI Process in the country.

The validation exercise, conducted by EITI is a quality assessment mechanism for measuring progress in implementing EITI standard and ensuring compliance to its requirements by member countries.

Comrade Taiwo Otitolaye,National Coordinator Publish What You Pay (PWYP), Nigeria and Adebayo Titus,Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA),conveyed this in a statement made available to Premium News.

Some of the recommendations the global EITI madd in its recent validation report are:

1. Greater government oversight of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Secretariat, its financial management and recruitment practices.

2. The EITI called on Nigeria’s government to ensure active participation and effective engagement of extractive companies in the EITI process in Nigeria.

3. That the government should ensure that civil society is fully, actively and effectively engaged in all aspects of EITI process.” This is a critical component of the global body to ensure free and independent participation of civil society.

4. The report further recommended that government should ensure that the Stakeholders Group (MSG) overseeing the EITI process is consistently constituted in timely manner and that there is sufficient opportunity for the broader industry and civil society consistencies to freely and independently nominate their representatives into the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), among others. And that more CSOs inclusion on the NSWG is highly recommended.

5. The global body is of the opinion that the “NEITI 2007 ACT” should be amended to reflect the current reality.

According to the report,Nigeria achieved a moderate score of 72 points in implementing the global EITI standard. The overall score is an average of three components scores on: stakeholders engagements; transparency; outcomes and impacts.

On outcomes and impacts component, Nigeria achieved a high score of 92 points. The country scored moderate 71.5 points on transparency component, and recorded fairly low points of 52.5 on stakeholders engagements component. Nigeria was awarded 2 additional points for effectiveness and sustainability of its EITI implementation.

The global body said Nigeria will have to implement all recommendations and corrective actions identified in the report before the next validation exercise, commencing January 2026 or face suspension.

The groups said,the current EITI ranking of Nigeria has negative implications on the economy and the drive for foreign investments into the country’s oil, gas and mining sectors.

The current EITI ranking of Nigeria is actually a backsliding from where the country was before the recent validation exercise,they said.

They added:”The last validation exercise was conducted in 2019 when Nigeria was adjudged “Satisfactory Progress” which represented the highest ranking any member countries of the global EITI can attain at the time.

“This unfortunate backsliding by Nigeria in the global EITI ranking is a reflection of weak institution, poor stakeholders engagement, low transparency and accountability process. All these have negative implications for investors’ confidence and growth of the extractive sector.

“The EITI validation report is taken very seriously by foreign investors, multi-lateral institutions and development agencies when making investments decisions.

“The Nigeria’s fairly low score in stakeholders engagement component, particularly the extractive companies, indicates their lack of confidence in the EITI process in Nigeria, with implications on investment decisions.

“The Presidency and other agencies with oversights functions needs to act swiftly and implement these key recommendations and other reforms to enable effective EITI implementation in Nigeria”

Maulud:Scores Killed As NAF Airstrike Hits Kaduna Villagers

Score have been reportedly killed in an airstrike allegedly carried out by the Nigerian Air Force at Tudun Biri village in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, channels Television is reporting.

The incident was said to have occurred around 9pm on Sunday when villagers gathered for Maulud celebration,Channels Television reports.

A source in the community reportedly told a Channels TV Correspondent that the villagers were mistakenly bombed in the airstrike with the intention that they were bandits migrating from neighbouring Zamfara State to camp in Tudun Biri village.

The source further stated that the incident has created panic within the area as many residents have fled from the community to neighbouring villages for fear of being caught in more bomb attacks.

The the Nigerian Air Force denied responsibility for the bomb dropped in Tudun Biri.

In a WhatsApp message sent to a Channels TV Defence Correspondent, the Director of Information of the NAF, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said: “The Nigerian Air Force has not carried out any air operations within Kaduna State and environs in the last 24 hours.

“The Nigerian Air Force isn’t the only Service operating combat armed drones in the region.”

Due to the incident, Channels TV said an emergency security meeting has been convened by the Kaduna State Government.

The meeting, which is being chaired by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, has in attendance the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command of the Nigerian Air Force.

Nigeria Needs Bigger,Stronger Banks To Achieve $1trn Economy,Says NDIC

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria needs bigger banks to achieve the vision of a $1 trillion economy,the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC.

Managing Director of the corporation,
Mr. Bello Hassan,who stated this in Owerri, Imo State, while addressing journalists on the sidelines of the annual workshop organised by the corporation for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents,also said the proposed recapitalization of banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria was in order.

He said while the banking industry is sound in terms of key indicators namely Capital Adequacy, Liquidity, Earnings and Quality of Assets, achieving a $1 trillion economy requires bigger banks.

He added: “I know as we speak if you look at the performance of the industry, it is very sound, looking at the key financial soundness indicators, capital adequacy, liquidity, earnings, and quality of assets.

“But, certainly, the government is trying to grow our GDP to $1 trillion, we also need bigger banks to play in that space.

“As the government is trying to implement their agenda of growing the GDP to $1 trillion we also need bigger banks to achieve that. I believe it is within that context that the CBN is recapitalising the banks, asking the banks to recapitalise, to enhance their capital.”

Nigeria,Others To Join Global Battery Energy Storage Consortium

Mohammed Shosanya

African countries,including Nigeria have formally expressed interest to join the groundbreaking Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Consortium, launched last week during COP28, which could revolutionise Africa’s energy landscape by developing advanced energy storage solutions through collaboration and innovation.

Joining the BESS Consortium, a multi-stakeholder partnership initiative of the Global Leadership Council, commits members to participate in efforts to reach energy storage commitments of 5 GW through the end of 2024.

This will in turn provide a roadmap to ultimately achieving 400 GW of renewable energy by 2030,a statement said .

According to the statement,Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo. have formally expressed interest to join the Consortium.

These countries are expected to receive support from BESS Consortium resource partners that include the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Africa50 and Masdar.

Resource partners will help prepare projects, improve the regulatory environment and unlock private and public investment.

Malawi’s President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera said, “Malawi is committed to maintaining a renewable energy generation pathway for a sustainable future – and it’s projects like the BESS Consortium that will make our low carbon pathway a reality. We need more projects like that.”

Mauritania’s Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy, Nany Ould Chrougha expressed satisfaction over his country’s membership in the consortium. He believes that the need for battery storage is paramount for the country, which already records 40% reliance on renewable energy, and is set to become increasingly dependent, particularly, on solar and wind power.

African Development Bank President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said, “The African Development Bank is proud to be at the forefront of this transformative journey, leveraging strategic partnerships and financial commitments to drive progress. As we move forward, let us remain steadfast in our dedication to a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous Africa—one powered by the limitless potential of renewable energy and the resilience of the African spirit. Together, we can light up and power Africa for generations to come.”

He also highlighted the synergies between the BESS consortium and the Bank’s flagship Desert to Power initiative.

Dr Rajiv J. Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation and Co-chair of the Global Leadership Council said, “Without sufficient storage capacity, countries will be unable to add renewable energy to their grids at the scale needed to reduce emissions and create economic opportunity. The BESS Consortium is an example of the sort of big, bold action required to break down the barriers keeping so many people and communities from joining the climate transformations underway.”

Barbados, Belize and India have also joined the BESS Consortium.

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley said, “Barbados is committed to playing a leading role in urging concrete deliverables on climate and climate financing. We are here with the BESS Consortium today because we support their efforts to improve access to battery energy storage systems as part of the energy transition in countries like ours.”

The Global Leadership Council is a high-level coalition of global leaders brought together by the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. It includes leaders of multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, international agencies, NGOs, corporate executives, and government representatives.

COP 28:Aviation Minister Unveils Nigeria’s Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy

Mohammed Shosanya

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo has launched Nigeria’s Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy at United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP 28 UAE) in Dubai UAE.

The minister,who also represented President Bola Tinubu,delivered a pivotal presentation at the African Pavilion during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28 UAE).

The President highlighted Nigeria’s commitment to a comprehensive transition from fossil fuels to low-emission fuel across all sectors of the economy.

A statement by Mr. Gbenga Saka
Special Adviser on Digital Media to the minister on Monday said the Nigeria’s Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy is a document which serves as a testament to the nation’s unwavering dedication to achieving sustainable and environmentally responsible practices.

“The event marked a significant milestone in Nigeria’s pursuit of a low-carbon future,” he noted.

He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to global climate efforts and thanked all involved for their support in this crucial initiative.

Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman Wins 2023 Daily Trust African of the Year

Mohammed Shosanya

Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, a South African altruist, has emerged the 2023 Daily Trust African of the Year.

Dr. Sooliman, a medical doctor who gave up his career to pursue the field of humanitarian aid, which for him transcends the boundaries of race, religion, culture, class and geography, was chosen out of nine finalists drawn from a list of 736 nominations received at the end of the first phase of the selection process for the award in October, 2023.

The six-member Selection Board of the Daily Trust African of the Year, which was chaired by the Executive Chairman of AllAfrica Global Media Incorporated, Mr. Amadou Mahtar Ba, in acting capacity, announced the emergence of the medical doctor as the winner on Friday, December 1, 2023, following a virtual meeting of the Board held on November 20, 2023,a statement said.

The statement said: “After careful consideration of the works of the nine finalists, the Selection Board has unanimously decided that Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, a South African medical doctor who gave up his career to pursue the field of humanitarian aid, is the deserving winner of the 2023 African of the Year Award”.

The statement, signed by the Ag. Group Chief Executive Officer of the Media Trust Group, Ahmed I. Shekarau, described Dr Sooliman as “a worthy and exemplary humanitarian, characterised by his solid belief in the common humanity that unites people of the world.

“He has guided the Gift of the Givers Foundation for more than 30 years to respond to and dispatch humanitarian and medical supplies to disaster areas on the continent and abroad”, the statement added.

The statement explained further that Dr Sooliman and his relief workers have since 1992 identified with, and provided relief materials wherever disasters strike. “From the provision of food parcels in impoverished communities in South Africa to search and rescue teams and medical specialists in response to natural and man-made disasters, Gift of the Givers has shown commitment to alleviating human sufferings in varying contexts”.

It mentioned examples of the Foundation’s interventions in Turkey, shortly after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake of 6th February, 2023; the provision of food parcels, potable water, mattresses, clothing and hygiene packs to community members affected by the devastating flooding in Komani (formerly Queenstown) in Eastern Cape of South Africa, in February, 2023; as well as notable interventions in Libya, in the wake of the distressing flooding of September 11, 2023 in Shahhat City.

The Gift of Givers has since the outbreak of the October 7, 2023 war in Gaza Strip equally been providing humanitarian support to victims, resulting in the killing of the head of its relief workers in the Region, Ahmed Abbasi, on the 16th of November, 2023.

The Daily Trust African of the Year Award Selection Board members, after reviewing the credentials of the nine Africans who made it to the final round of the selection process, unanimously agreed that Dr Sooliman met all the criteria and is most deserving of the award.

The nine finalists included Qabale Duba, a Kenyan Nurse/Epidemiologist by profession, who is using the Qabale Duba Foundation to educate nomadic pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya; and Tatenda Ndambakuwa, a Zimbabwean Mathematician and Urban Planner, who is passionate about ending hunger, and is using her organization called Shiri, a digital platform, to connect farmers to critical resources like weather updates, market prices, and farming tips.

Also among the finalists is Dr. Ola Orekunrin, a Nigerian medical doctor and helicopter pilot, who founded the Flying Doctors Nigeria, West Africa’s first Air Ambulance Service, which she uses to take trauma care to the most remote parts of West Africa.

NNPC/SNEPCo Revamp Lagos Airport Arrival Hall

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), on Friday, inaugurated a new-look Arrival Hall “E” at Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, which has been remodelled to help ease immigration checks.

Among other improvements, the arrival hall was redesigned and redecorated with the number of clearance counters increased from seven to 32 along with IT equipment and facility upgrades,a statement said.

In an address delivered at the occasion,Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the project is not merely a physical transformation; it is a symbol of our dedication to foster seamless passenger journeys and upholding Nigeria’s reputation as a welcoming destination.

His address was read by the Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations, Olugbenga Oyerinde.

Minister of interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo,was quoted in the statement as saying that: “History, is waiting to be written. I’m happy NNPC, SNEPCo and their co-venturers have chosen to be on the right side of history.”

The Chief Upstream Investment Officer (CUIO), NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS), Bala Wunti, who was represented by the External Affairs Manager, Mrs. Julie Utang, remarked that the project “is a testament to what can be achieved when organisations come together.”

The remarks were echoed by SNEPCo Managing Director, Mrs. Elohor Aiboni. “Let today be a reminder of the potential that lies in collaborative efforts and the positive impact it can have on our nation’s infrastructure and overall development,” Elohor said.

Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration, Mrs. Wura-Ola Adepoju, commended NNPC and SNEPCo for the initiative as did the Regional General Manager, Southwest, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Sunday Ayodele.

Other dignitaries who witnessed the handover included Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Values and Social Justice, Mr. Fela Durotoye; Kabiyesi Olota of Ota, HRM Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege; and Director/Head Corporate Relations of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, (SPDC) Mr. Igo Weli.

SNEPCo, which manages the deep-water business of Shell in Nigeria, has a long-standing belief in the power of collaboration and partnership. It is expected that the partnership with the Murtala Muhammed International Airport will contribute significantly to the efficient screening of the over two million travellers who pass through the gateway annually.

UBA Wins Multiple Awards

Mohammed Shosanya

Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, clinched nine prestigious awards at The Bankers Awards 2023, organized by The Banker Magazine – a publication of Financial Times of London.

The awards presented to the Bank at a ceremony in London, United Kingdom last Thursday, included the highly coveted Bank of the Year Africa 2023, solidifying UBA’s position as the leading financial institution on the African continent,a statement said.

According to the statement,the bank’s subsidiaries also emerged as the Bank of the Year in eight of the 20 countries where it operates in Africa. The winning subsidiaries are UBA Cameroon, UBA Chad, UBA Ghana, UBA Cote d’Ivoire, UBA Mozambique, UBA Congo, UBA Sierra Leone, and UBA Tanzania, underscoring the bank’s dominance and impact across diverse African markets.

This would be the second time in the past three years that the Bank has won the regional award as the best bank in Africa, as it had emerged winner in 2021.

UBA’s Group Managing Director, Oliver Alawuba, who received the awards on behalf of the bank, expressed his gratitude and excitement about the awards, and said the recognitions come as a reassurance that the bank is on track in its goal of consolidating its leadership position in Africa, and creating superior value for its stakeholders.

“UBA is honoured to be named the Bank of the Year in these eight countries and to receive the overall Award for Africa. This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and innovative spirit of the entire UBA team. We remain committed to delivering top-notch banking services that positively impact the lives of our customers across the continent.

“We have our millions of customers across the globe and our many thousands of staff to thank for this. They are the very reason why we keep winning and receiving these accolades.”

The Banker Awards is widely recognized as a benchmark for banking excellence globally, and UBA’s multiple victories underscore the institution’s commitment to providing exceptional financial services and superior financial intermediation on the continent.

As Africa’s Bank of the Year, UBA has demonstrated its ability to navigate the complexities of the African banking landscape and emerge as a leading force in driving economic growth and financial inclusion.

Speaking earlier about UBA’s consistent excellence in the financial services sector across the continent which has earned the bank great accolades overtime, Editor of the Banker, Joy Macknight, said that as always, UBA remains a clear winner across a wide range of criteria, having performed impressively across its footprint with a strong financial performance across most of its markets.

“In a year of strong competition among the continent’s major banking groups, UBA has gained the edge on its rivals to win the Bank of the Year award for Africa for the 2nd time in three years. Congratulations. The award recognises the bank’s strength across Africa, including many of its most competitive markets,” Macknight stated.

UBA won the 2023 FMDQ Gold Awards in three Categories including the Best FX Liquidity Provider, Dealing Institution of the Year and Best Money Market Liquidity Provider. This recognition is a testament to UBA’s impressive capital strength and capacity to provide liquidity to the Nigerian financial market even in the face of harsh economic realities. Despite the headwinds, UBA Group has consistently maintained its position as Nigeria’s leading financial institution.

In June, the banking group announced impressive half-year financial results, and further increased the performance in Quarter 3, 2023, with profit before tax (PBT) soared to N502.01 billion, Shareholders’ Funds standing strong at N1.778 trillion, and total assets, reaching N16.24 trillion.

These outstanding figures not only reflect UBA’s institutional strength, but also demonstrate its position as a corporate role model in Nigeria and across Africa.