FG Hands Over Zungeru Power Plant To Mainstream Energy Subsidiary,Penstock Ltd

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Government has officially transferred operations of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant to Penstock Limited.

The government explained that the move is expected to boost Nigeria’s power generation capacity and contribute significantly to meeting the country’s growing energy demands.

This was announced on Tuesday during the first meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) for the year 2024 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He also disclosed plans by the Federal Government to recapitalize and restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to bolster Nigeria’s agricultural sector and achieve national food security.

Speaking at the meeting, Vice President Shettima noted the potential of BOA to play a central role in achieving national food security, citing its extensive branch network across all senatorial

NCDMB,Mozambique Share Knowledge On Local Content

Mayowa Balogun

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has concluded a two-day Local Content development experience-sharing session with a delegation from Mozambique’s national oil company, Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH).

The development follows Nigeria’s leadership role in the development of Local Content in Africa.

The engagement was held on the sidelines of the 8th Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference, in Lagos.

NCDMB’s delegation was led by the Executive Secretary, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe, while Mozambique’s team was led by the Chairman of Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, Mr. Estevao Rafeal Pale,a statement said.

According to the statement,the experience-sharing session was facilitated by Aberdeen Global Strategies & Solutions, under the leadership of Dr. Mark Osa Igiehon, who consults for ENH Mozambique.

Speaking,the Executive Secretary conveyed NCDMB’s commitment to supporting African oil-producing nations in developing and implementing local content policies as a strategy for improving indigenous participation and value optimization from hydrocarbons and mineral resources.

He lauded the giant strides recorded by Mozambique in its gas sector and advised against repeating the mistakes made by Nigeria in the early years of its oil and gas industry.

Represented by the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, NCDMB, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu, the Executive Secretary explained that every oil and gas-producing nation must choose to either focus on optimizing revenue generation or maximizing in-country value from the activities of the industry.

He stated that the revenue generation option encourages oil and gas operators to seek the cheapest and fastest route to first oil, while the Government collects maximum revenue in the form of taxes and royalties for development and pays little attention to value addition from industry operations.

He explained that the alternative option focuses on maximizing in-country value and promoting the development and use of local capacities. This model obligates operators in the industry to consider long-term value, while the Government takes lower revenue in exchange for higher in-country value and pays greater attention to life-cycle support for operators.

Speaking further, the NCDMB boss listed key parameters that are critical to in-country value addition and growth of the oil and gas sector on a sustainable basis.

These factors are regulatory framework, gap analysis,capacity building,funding and incentives,research and development,and access to market.

He hinted that a Local Content policy backed with appropriate legislation is very fundamental in local content practice, adding that baseline and periodic gap analyses are essential to determine gaps that need to be closed in the areas of skills, facilities and infrastructure.

He also stressed the need to develop in-country capacities and capabilities and utilise them through oil and gas projects.

The knowledge-sharing programme also featured a presentation on Funds and Funding of NCDMB​, delivered by the Director of Finance and Personnel Management, NCDMB​, Dr. Obinna Ofili.

The Director was represented by the Head, Credit Analysis and Risk Management, Mrs. Chika Enwerem–Okidi, and underlined the need for dedicated funding that would be applied to developing local content in the oil sector.

The Director mentioned that the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) is provided for in section 104 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act and is contributed by 1% of every contract awarded in the upstream section of the oil and gas industry.

He added that the NCDF has been deployed in several successful projects, including the building of human and material capacities, the $350 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, the ongoing development of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGAPS), the construction of the NCDMB 17-story corporate headquarters, and 3rd party investments, many of which created jobs for Nigerians and yield interest for the Board.

The second day of the knowledge-sharing programme featured presentations on the operating framework for planning, research and statistics, capacity building, projects certification and authorization and monitoring and evaluation.

The Director of Projects Certification and Authorization, Engr. Abayomi Bamidele highlighted NCDMB’s role in the award of contracts for oil and gas projects and how opportunities are captured for the local economy, using the Nigerian Content Plan and the Contracting Strategy submitted by operating companies for the Board’s review and approval.

He underlined that local content should be promoted as a national agenda for every country and the right data must be collected to establish current realities and gaps to the target.

He emphasised the need for in-country capacity building based on areas of strengths and weaknesses as well as continuous projects to keep the developed capacities engaged.

The knowledge-sharing programme was very interactive and the Mozambican officials sought clarifications on the Board’s model of enforcing Local Content Compliance,monitoring projects, supervising third-party investments, and many other areas.

The programme was convened in line with the Sectorial and Regional Market Linkage Pillar of the Nigerian Content 10-year strategic roadmap.

The roadmap requires NCDMB to support other African oil-producing countries and to develop new markets and partnership opportunities for the benefit of competent Nigerian operating and oil service companies.

Strike: MEMAN Denies Rift With Transport Unions

Mercy Salawu

The Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN) has said there’s no conflict between its members and the transport unions.

The clarification came on the heels of strike initiated by the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) which started on Monday.

A statement from the association said,Individual marketers are in discussions with their transporters for fair rates, adhering to the Petroleum Industry Act and FCCPC Act, which prohibits jointly setting rates.

It added:Pump price deregulation promotes healthy competition, encouraging cost-reduction measures for better customer value. It’s a gradual process that requires time for full price recovery and market competition.

“All stakeholders, including operators and MDAs, must collaborate to optimize the supply chain for affordability amid the challenging environment. MEMAN and its members recognize the industry’s complexities and commits to sustainable solutions in cooperation with relevant stakeholders”

Oil Markerters:Nigeria’s Hostile Economic Environment Will Collapse Our Business

Mohammed Shosanya

The National President, Nigerian Gas and Oil Suppliers Association (NOGASA),has lamented that Nigeria’s hostile economic environment will collapse its operation.

Its President,Chief Bennett Korie,who disclosed this at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja,blamed the rising cost of diesel and the high dollar rate for the worsening petrol price in the country.

He warned that should the Federal Government fail to address the challenges, the hostile business environment will naturally liquidate marketers of petrol to fold up before the end of February 2024.

He implored the Federal Government to impose price regulation on Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) diesel, proposing capping its pump price similar to that of petrol.

He said: “Fix that diesel problem then PMS will be stable. If NNPCL will keep the PMS Price from June to date, is there anything wrong with doing it for AGO?

“So, let the government, if the government wants to be fair, wants to do the deregulation proper, the diesel too should go the same way PMS is going.

“Heavens will not fall if you sell AGO N650/litre. The same magic that they have in PMS, the government should apply it on AGO, and then you should see things ease.”

He urged the government to adopt the N750/$ 2024 Budget exchange rate benchmark as its official exchange rate in order to tame the worsening exchange rate crisis.

He disclosed that most private refineries including the modular ones are afraid to commence production because they are not sure of the price to fix.

According to him,some agencies as the Nigeria Ports Authority and the Nigerian Maritime and Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are still collecting their payments in dollars to aggravate the forex challenge.

He urged the government to intervene in the bank interest rate, which is also accountable for the current hostile business environment in the country.

He also advised the government to do all its domestic crude oil transactions in Naira to lessen the scarcity of dollar.

On how to adopt the Naira as the currency for crude oil business in the country, he said: “If you are buying crude oil from the government you pay in dollar so how are you rate how much you are going to sell how much it is going to be tomorrow. So, it is going to affect you tomorrow.

“If we have one price from the government then when you are buying crude oil from the government, from NNPCL, you multiply it by the government rate and then you convert Naira and begin to sell to Nigeria in Naira.”

He also urged the Federal Government to pay the outstanding bridging claims to marketers,adding that the government should “reintroduce and strengthen the Petroleum Equalization Fund to enable marketers to recoup and reinvest their funds for the benefit of the industry and economy.”

Korie also urged the government to fix the roads in the country in other to reduce the tear and wear of the trucks

Nigeria’s Oil Industry Attracts Billion Dollar Capex -NUPRC

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria recorded capital expenditure (Capex) worth billions of dollars within the last two and a half years characterised by the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, stated this recently in Lagos after receiving The Sun Public Service Award 2023, during the newspaper’s 21st Anniversary Award Dinner.

Speaking after receiving his award, the commission chief executive said the award would further encourage him and his team to be more dedicated to the service of the nation.

Revealing that he had received over 40 different awards in the last one year, Komolafe noted that awards signified the reward mechanism in the society, stressing that when the resourceful ones were rewarded, it further inspires others to be resourceful and contribute to the task of nation-building.

“First, let me seize this opportunity to thank the management and staff of The Sun for honouring me with this award. Indeed, in the last one year, I’ve received over 40 awards. But this award will further encourage us to dedicate ourselves to the service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Like the Chairman of the occasion mentioned in his speech, the task of nation building is a collective effort. It is not for people in government alone. It is actually for all the citizenry. And this award speaks to the reward mechanism in our society. When the resourceful ones are rewarded, it further inspires others to be resourceful and contribute to the task of nation building”, Komolafe said.

He dedicated the award to his darling wife and other members of the commission.

Specifically to the oil and gas industry and the mandate of the commission, he said since their resumption at the NUPRC in the last two and a half years as pioneer staff and management, they have dedicated themselves to the service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

According to him, the team had been discharging their duties silently and assiduously in ensuring the implementation of their statutory mandate effectively, resulting to the success stories being told.

However, Komolafe revealed that the country has recorded capital expenditure (Capex) worth billions of dollars within the last two and a half years of the implementation of the PIA, coupled with the enabling regulations being churned out and implemented by the commission.

From the feedback received from the industry, he said the country now has about 30 rigs in its upstream oil and gas sector, against 11 active rigs in 2011, attributing the significant improvement to the restoration of investors’ confidence in the industry.

Komolafe explained, “That is huge success for us, and you know that rig count is a measure of vibrant activities in the oil industry. We have been able to attract confidence, certainty, predictability into the Industry.

“If you check, we’ve attracted Capex going into billions of dollars into the Nigerian upstream. So, gradually, we are happy that we have success stories to tell just in about less than two and half years, and while doing this with my dedicated team, we never knew that people were watching.

“So, what you have seen today is a message that the Nigerian society are watching and that the award will further serve to propel us to higher service in the service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Explaining further, the commission chief executive said NUPRC had churned out over 17 regulations with the objective of giving meaning to the intent of the PIA.

He said these regulations serve as regulatory tools to ensure certainty and predictability in the activities of the industry as against pre-PIA regime.

He said the “oil industry is now in an era of post-PIA regime where we proudly would say that, now, there is certainty and attraction of investors’ confidence.”

Adelabu Says Judicial Pronouncements Attract Private Investments In Nigeria’s Power Sector

Mohammed Shosanya

Minister of Power, Chief Adedayo Adelabu,Tuesday,commended the Nigerian judiciary for playing vital role in attracting private investment in the power sector of the economy.

He gave the commendation, while speaking during the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC’s 4th seminar for Judges, held at National Judiciary Institute, Mohammed Bello Centre, Airport Road, Abuja.

According to him,the Nigerian judiciary has helped Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, with notable pronouncements and the act of the judiciary goes far in attracting private investment in the power sector.

He said: “In the financial services industry, we say that investments will only follow certainty; and there appears to be no greater means of providing certainty than predictable, clear and logical judicial precedent that is dispensed by a competent bench.

“As we navigate our path towards a more a commercially viable electricity market that is characterised legal and contractual obligations, the imperative to understand the peculiar and nuanced nature of a regulated electricity market becomes even more imperative.

“This seminar is part of the broader vision of the Commission and NJI to engage the members of the judiciary on important developments in the sector.

“The judiciary’s pivotal role, through notable pronouncements, contributes significantly to attracting private investment in the power sector.”

He recalled that, Nigeria has started on the journey towards critical reforms in the power sector towards producing revolutionary results.

He added that: “Prior administrations have contributed immensely in this regard but the legislative changes that have occurred in the past year have placed the sector on the path of a total paradigm shift.

“The notable legislative changes have been the amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the granting of unfettered powers to sub-nationals to develop electricity markets within their jurisdictions and the Electricity Act 2023 that was assented to by Mr. President in the first month of his administration.

“The Electricity Act 2023 introduces far reaching features that propel market liberalisation, extend regulatory reach, and establish a more coherent policy framework that will mitigate of the operational and systemic risks in NESI.”

Tinubu, Governors Must Address Hunger,Poverty In Nigeria

Ishowo Olanrewaju

In the midst of Nigeria’s persistent economic woes, it’s time for a candid evaluation of government policies and our political landscape. The recent turbulence has exposed glaring discrepancies, thereby signalling a need for us to reassess our approach to governance and economic management.

First and foremost,the floating of the naira by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu demands immediate scrutiny. The Federal Government’s attempt at controlling exchange rates undermines the autonomy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, a blatant violation of the Section 16 of CBN Act which imposes a duty on the apex bank to fix and determine the rate of the naira vis-a-vis other currency.

Such interference erodes investors trust in our institutions and only worsens the economic instability we’re dealing with hence runaway inflation takes the centre stage.

Yet,as we point fingers at government missteps, let’s not forget the broader context. For eight years,many hailed the Buhari administration despite warnings from experts and relevant stakeholders on the dangerous terrains he was leading us to, only for these same category of people to make a u-turn and blame him for the current state of affairs. This inconsistency exposes a fundamental hypocrisy within our society and a reluctance to take responsibility for our failures.

Moreover, attention must extend beyond the federal level. It is imperative for state governments to be held accountable for their utilization of security votes, increased federal allocations, and their failure to conduct local government elections. This deliberate act perpetrates a culture of impunity, lack of respect for local democracy and stifles grassroot development.

Furthermore,addressing the plight of state workers is paramount. With the increase in federal allocation, state governments must step up and ensure that their respective wage award for their employees reflects the economic realities. This would not only improve their lives but also stimulate the local economy.

I want to use this medium to implore governors who are yet to initiate payment of wage awards to workers in their respective states to as a matter of urgency prioritise and commence this payment.

Additionally, I want to specifically appeal to NGF Chairman and Kwara State Governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to review the current wage award to workers in the state as the present N10,000 being paid to them has lost its economic value in the light of prevailing inflationary conditions.

In conclusion, Nigeria’s economic challenges are complex and require collective action. The federal government must review its policies and focus on diversification.

State governments should have a rethink their choice of projects, prioritize accountability in spending, and conduct local government elections. Taking responsibility as citizens and demanding transparency from our leaders is equally important.

Ishowo Olanrewaju
Public Affairs Analyst and an Advocate of Good Governance

Mele Kyari Assesses Energy Security’s Role In Wealth Creation

Mohammed Shosanya

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Mr. Mele Kyari,has said that no public wealth creation endeavour can achieve any meaningful success without energy security.

He stated this in a presentation at the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) Public Wealth Management Conference which held in Abuja on Tuesday.

A statement signed by Olufemi Soneye,Chief Corporate Communications Officer,NNPC quoted Kyari as noting that all other wealth creating activities such as agriculture rely heavily on one form of energy or the other to thrive.

“If you don’t have energy, you don’t have agriculture. You can do all the agriculture but you can’t take it to the market, you may not be able to preserve it, you can’t even export it. So, all those indices are clearly connected to the ability to create energy,” he emphasized.e

He disclosed that Nigeria has a huge energy deficit with about 70% of the population lacking access to clean cooking fuel and over 50% lacking access to electricity.

He listed some of the impediments to the achievement of energy security in Nigeria to include lack of investment in the energy sector due to uncertainty in the business environment and multiple taxation, adding that in the last 10 years, less than 3% of the total investment flow into Africa came into Nigeria.

He, however, assured that NNPC Ltd was working hard to lay the foundation for sustainable wealth creation by filling the energy deficit gap, stressing that the company’s growth trajectory from a loss position N803bn in 2018 to N2.5tr in 2022 was a testimony to the abundant potential of NNPC Ltd to lead the process of wealth creation in the country.

He emphasized that in spite of the challenges, NNPC Ltd is still the highest tax paying corporate entity in Nigeria.

NNPP: Kwankwaso, Aniebonam Factions Renew Political Rift

Mohammed Shosanya

A faction of the New Nigeria People’s Party( NNPP) loyal to Boniface Aniebonam, founder of the party has labelled former Governor of Kano state, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as an ingrate, who is trying to hijack the party’s structure after using it as a platform to contest for presidency in 2023.

The North Central Secretary of the party, Philip Haruna, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, said he personally introduced Kwankwaso to the NNPP founder, Aniebonam on the condition that he would be compensated with N100million if he successfully convince him to allow the use of the platform to contest the 2023 presidential poll.

Although Haruna admitted that it was a gentleman agreement at the time, he revealed that Kwankwaso reneged on the agreement having failed to sail through in the general elections.

He accused Kwankwaso of betraying the party’s trust, noting that the introduction which he ochestrated pitched him against the founder of the party, which happened prior to the general elections.

He said: “I’m here today to let the whole world know nothing but the truth about the plans of Senator Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso to overheat the National Polity by using every illegitimate means to Highjack NNPP from Dr. Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam (A Southern Nigeria High Chief) who gave him NNPP as a platform to Contest in 2023 as a Presidential Candidate.

“I want the associate of Senator Kwankwaso, the President of Nigeria His Excellency Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu and well-meaning Nigerians to please ask Senator Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso two simple question which is, when was the party registered and when did he join the party?

“Of course they are people who have been managing and running this party for the past 21 years before Senator Kwankwanso joined in 2022.

“Recognizing the unwavering crisis that has been rocking our great party New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)….. It’s therefore the right time for me to speak out.

“I have been keeping quiet for so long because I was the one who introduced His Excellency Senator Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso to the Founder of NNPP my Father and mentor, Dr Aniebonam Okechukwu Boniface.

“I wish to say it unequivocally that Kwankwaso promised to pay me N100 Million Naira as my Consultancy fee if I succeeded in getting Dr Boniface Aniebonam convinced to give him NNPP as a Platform to Contest 2023 Election as a Presidential Candidate but I know he might like to deny this because it was a purely gentleman agreement because I trusted him, one of his loyalist the defunct national secretary of NNPP Dipo Olayokun once told me that Kwankwanso said he did not discuss how much is to pay me

“I want Nigerians and his associate to ask him, how much did he pay the man who introduced him to the founder of the New Nigeria people’s Party (NNPP) not even a dime was given to me”.

CBN, ONSA Move To Penalize Forex Racketeers

Mohammed Shosanys

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) have partnered to investigate and penalise those involved in illicit activities within the foreign exchange market.

ONSA’s Head of Strategic Communications,Zakari Mijinjawa,disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the CBN and ONSA’s efforts to combat illicit activities in the FX market are being undermined by speculators — both domestic and international — operating through various channels, thereby exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigerian naira and contributing to inflation and economic instability.

“Recall that to address the exchange rate volatility, CBN initiated a comprehensive strategy to enhance liquidity in the forex market, including unifying FX market segments, clearing outstanding FX obligations, introducing new operational mechanisms for Bureau De Change operators, enforcing the Net Open Position limit for commercial banks, and adjusting the remunerable Standing Deposit Facility cap,” the statement reads.

“To reduce the pressure on the naira, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raised a 7,000-man special task force across its 14 zonal commands to clamp down on dollar racketeers.

“Yet, recent intelligence reports have highlighted continued illicit activities within the Nigerian foreign exchange market. The ONSA and CBN are therefore, embarking on this collaborative approach to tackle these infractions.”

According to the statement, the partnership will involve a coordinated effort with key law enforcement agencies, including the Nigeria police force (NPF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

Mijinyawa said the joint efforts demonstrate the Nigerian government’s commitment to improving its anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework and exiting the grey list of the financial action task force.

He added that the efforts will make progress in ensuring a stable and transparent FX market, fostering investor confidence, and advancing the nation’s economic wellbeing.