EKEDC Expresses Commitment To Health,Wellness,Sports Development

Mohammed Shosanya

One of Nigeria’s leading utility firm, Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has reiterated its commitment to supporting health and wellness and Sports Development initiatives.

The company expressed this at the EKEDC Tennis Tournament at Ikoyi Club 1938,a statement said.

Accoeding to the statement,the audience at the week-long tournament witnessed the display of grit, resilience and healthy competition among participants.

The week-long tournament which is in line with the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility pillars, Health and Wellness, had captains of industries, businessmen and professionals in attendance. The participants were grouped into the different business units of EKEDC with Ibeju District emerging as overall champions while Lekki District were the runners-up.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of EKEDC, Mrs Rekhiat Momoh emphasized the importance of health and wellness in the society.

She said: “This tournament underscores and aligns with our healthy competitive spirit and striving for excellence. We will stop at nothing until we achieve our aim of providing a safe, reliable and constant electricity supply to all our customers. Beyond that, in line with our tagline of empowering the quality of lives, we will also improve our immediate communities through impactful Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives as well as strategic partnerships and sponsorships such as this aimed at promoting Health and Wellness. We are also committed to sports development because that is another area that can bring growth to our immediate community.”

The Chairman of the Ikoyi Club Tennis section, Diran Famakinwa, said this year’s tournament is the third edition and has not failed to bring out exciting performances from the participants. He said, “Each day brought out its beautiful performance and I can say this year’s own was keenly contested with a stunning display of athleticism and team spirit.”

EKEDC’s commitment to health and wellness extends beyond the tennis court. As part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, the company has implemented various programs aimed at improving the well-being of its employees and the communities it serves.

Energy Journalists Hold Confab October 3

Mohammed Shosanya

Energy industry leaders and experts will converge in Lagos on October 3, 2024, at the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) Annual International Energy Conference

The organiser disclosed that the conference will focus on the role of natural gas as an energy transition fuel, addressing Nigeria’s Trilemma of Finance, Energy Security, and International Politics.

The National Chairman of NAEC, Ugo Amadi, in a statement signed and released to the media on Monday stated that the captivating lineup of activities for the association’s 2024 conference, promises to tackle Nigeria’s most pressing energy challenges head-on.

Amadi said the conference’s main theme, “Gas as Energy Transition Fuel: Navigating Nigeria’s Trilemma of Finance, Energy Security, and International Politics,” was carefully curated to address the critical national discourse and provide strategic solutions to guarantee Nigeria’s energy security and sustainable future.

He said, “The conference will feature a dedicated session on “Actualizing the Decade of Gas: Powering Nigeria’s Energy Sufficiency, Industrialization, and Economic Prosperity,” and other sessions that will talk about the pivotal role of natural gas in driving Nigeria’s energy sufficiency, industrialization, and overall economic prosperity.

The NAEC Chairman further emphasised that the third session of the conference with the topic: “Solving the Gas-To-Power Debacle: Unlocking Investments For NESI, Analysing Tariff Adjustment, Frequent Grid Collapses, and 6,100 MW target by December for Sustainable Growth

He noted that the session promises to tackle the longstanding challenges in the gas-to-power sector, unlocking investments, addressing tariff adjustments, and achieving the ambitious 6,100 MW target for sustainable growth.

Amadi emphasized that the 2024 Conference, marking the inaugural edition under his new leadership of NAEC, would serve as a pivotal platform for influential figures to exchange insights, knowledge, and peer-reviewed analyses concerning the opportunities and challenges confronting the diminishing investments in Nigeria’s energy sector.

Adeola Yusuf, Chairman of the NAEC 2024 Conference Committee, in his remark revealed that the upcoming conference promises to be a game-changer for the Nigerian energy industry.

According to Yusuf, the conference would bring together a diverse array of players, including ministers, CEOs, industry captains, regulators, lawmakers, and other key stakeholders, adding that with the participation of industry leaders and experts, the event promises to deliver actionable insights and innovative strategies to propel the sector forward.

He added the conference would be a catalyst for unlocking investments, enhancing energy security, and driving sustainable development in Nigeria’s energy landscape.

The Chairman of the NAEC 2024 Conference Committee emphasised that the highly anticipated details of the keynote speakers and major sponsors for this groundbreaking event will be released in a subsequent statement to be released for publication in all major newspapers, television, and radio stations in Nigeria.

Divestment: NUPRC Holds Due Diligence Workshop For Investors

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) on Monday flagged off due diligence workshop to discuss and work together on the proposed divestment of the participating interests held by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigerian Limited (SPDC) in the SPDC JV Assets, through a sale by its shareholders of all the issued shares of SPDC to Renaissance Africa Energy Company Limited (Renaissance).

Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission Chief Executive (CCE), explained that the goal of the workshop is to identify a successor who not only possesses the requisite financial resources but also demonstrates the technical expertise to responsibly manage these assets throughout their lifecycle.

“This makes a significant contribution to the nation’s hydrocarbon resources. Additionally, these assets hold P3 reserves estimated at 2.85 billion barrels of oil, 850.85 million barrels of condensate, 11.3 trillion cubic feet of associated gas and 12.26 trillion cubic feet of Non-Associated Gas.

“Furthermore, we must ensure that the inherent environmental and end-of-life liabilities i.e. decommissioning liabilities, are accurately identified, and assigned to the party best equipped to bear the associated risks.

“This necessitates a comprehensive understanding of regulatory requirements, industry best practices, and the unique challenges inherent in oil and gas operations”.

He further explained that the SPDC JV assets are currently operated by the SPDC on behalf of its Joint Venture (JV) partners namely NNPCL Limited and Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, Nigeria Agip Oil Company and SPDC.

The SPDC JV OMLs were originally awarded as Oil Exploration Licence -1(OEL-1) on 1 January 1949 covering the whole of southern Nigeria and Cameroon,he said.

He also said: “Ultimately, the assets were converted to OMLs on 1 April 1962 and subsequently renewed in 2014 and 2018 for 20 years. To date, the assets have achieved a cumulative production of 5.35 billion barrels of crude oil, 165. 57 million barrels of condensate, 9.51 trillion cubic feet of Associated Gas and 3.75 trillion cubic feet of Non-Associated Gas,contributing immensely to the achievement of Nigeria’s crude and condensate output.

“Permit me to emphasize that the NUPRC is committed to free entry, free exit business principle aimed at encouraging investors in the sector. We understand the importance of providing a stable regulatory framework that instils confidence and encourages investment.

“To this end, we have implemented robust measures to streamline regulatory procedures and eliminate unnecessary barriers to investment.

“Accordingly, the Commission has developed a Divestment Framework consisting of seven cardinal pillars to guide the assessment of applications for Ministerial consent to the SPDC Divestment and other similar divestments”.

Speaking,Wessel de Haas,the General Manager SPDC Assets and Deputy Managing Director, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, expressed hope that the workshop would provide necessary clarifications for the divestments.

Edo:Obaseki Announces N70,000 Minimum Wage For Workers,Names Edifice After Oshiomhole

Mohammed Shosanya

Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State on Monday announced a new minimum wage for Edo workers from N40,000 to N70,000 effective from May 1, 2024.

He disclosed thos while delivering his speech at the commissioning of Edo State Labour House Complex, a new building to serve as the Secretariat of the Labour Unions in the State.

The building located at Temboga, Ikpoba Hill in Benin City is named after a former Governor of the State and former NLC President, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

Guests at the occasion include:Edo State Deputy Governor Engr. Marvellous Godwins Omoboyo; Speaker Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Rt. Hon. Blessing Agbebaku; Secretary to State Government (SSG) and PDP Deputy Governorship Candidate, Osarodion Ogie Esq.; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Osaigbovo Iyoha; Edo State Head of Service (HOS), Anthony Okungbowa, and Edo PDP Chairman, Anthony Aziegbemi, among others.

Others are:President of the Nigeria of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero; President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Festus Osifo; Chairman, NLC in Edo State, Comrade Odion Olaye; serving Commissioners, among others.

He said:“As a result of the cordial relationship between the Edo State Government and labour unions in the State, we have enjoyed peace and industrial harmony in Edo State. Despite our efforts to make life better for Edo State workers, there are forces beyond our control, as we don’t control the national economy as our workers are still languishing in pain and penury.

“I give you insurance, improved conditions of service, pay you and promote you on time but the truth is that because of the economic situation in Nigeria today, our workers continue to be challenged; devaluation, high food prices and inflation have made nonsense of the N40, 000 we are paying you.

“As a government, we feel your pains and know your take-home pay can barely take you home. We will continue to try. I am one of those governors who believe that we can’t run away from the fact that we must adjust the minimum wage in Nigeria. It would have been nice for there to be a central and cohesive and common approach. We would have expected that by now there should have been a direction as to what minimum wage will be for workers in Nigeria.”

He added, “We don’t know when that will happen. If it happens, fine and if not, as a State we would need to do what we need to do. For us in Edo State, we have decided to move the minimum wage from N40,000 to N70,000 effective from 1st of May 2024. I think like a capitalist and not a comrade. In my May Day speech, I will give more details on our new minimum wage. If the Federal Government imposes something higher, we would make the necessary adjustments.”

Commending the labour unions for their sustained partnership with the state government leading to the industrial harmony enjoyed in the state, “You have joined us to pursue very deep institutional reforms in the state as our achievements have been made possible because of the cordial relationship we enjoy.

“Labour-Government relationship should not be only at policy contestation level but should be an alignment towards a common goal for workers and that is what we have found in Edo. Government and labour have found a common ground to improve the lives of the workers in Edo State.”

He further stated:“This building was conceived by my predecessor in office and my contribution is to make it happen. We have continued to invest in our workers in Edo State and our achievement in Edo State is to contribute to the welfare and well-being of Edo State workers. We not only developed the work environment but placed emphasis on building the capacity of Edo State workers. We continue to emphasize training and restraining as an integral part of our workforce as we believe that there is a connection between high performance and training.”

The Edo State Head of Service, Dr. Anthony Okungbowa, commended the governor’s commitment to the welfare of Edo workers, noting some of his achievements to include fully digitalizing the State civil service, prompt payment of salaries, highest minimum wage in Nigeria, payment of 13th-month salary, life insurance for Edo workers, health insurance for workers, automatic employment for first-class citizens of Edo State, regular promotion for Edo workers, among others.

The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Engr. Festus Osifo said the building is the best labour edifice, adding that “the achievements of the governor are not contestable.”

He added: “I thank you for digitizing the labour workforce in Edo State. I am impressed by your developmental achievements which have helped to reduce the plight of workers in Edo State.”

Rivers: Police Nab 16 Suspects For Killing Inspector

Mohammed Shosanya

Operatives of the Rivers State Police Command have arrested 16 suspects in connection with the murder of a Police Inspector, identified as Christiana Erekere.

She was murdered while on duty at a checkpoint on Thursday, April 25, 2024, at 4pm.

Public Relations Officer for the Rivers State Police Command SP Grace Iringe-Koko in a statement on Monday, disclosed that preliminary investigations indicated that some suspects who were stopped at a checkpoint inflicted fatal injuries on the deceased police officer.

Narrating what transpired before the inspector’s death, Iringe-Koko said a group of individuals traveling in a Lexus salon car who were stopped for routine checks at the checkpoint in front of Bori Police Station attacked the police woman with stones causing her untimely death.

She stated that the occupants of the halted vehicle in the course of checking their vehicle became agitated and proceeded to barricade the road, obstructing the movement of other vehicles, even after the police officers requested that the individuals leave the scene, continued to create a roudy scene at the checkpoint.

The Police PRO, disclosed that the irate motorists refused to leave the scene, alleging that Inspector Erekere had recorded a video of them while they were behaving disruptively with her mobile phone.

She explained that the suspects in their attempt to seize Inspector Erekere’s phone forcefully, launched a violent attack against her, began pelting her with stones.

She added that the severity of the assault caused Inspector Erekere to lose consciousness, and was immediately transported to Nnadum Hospital located in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of the state, where she later died following the injuries sustained during the attack.

She further disclosed that the Command following the unfortunate incident, initiated a thorough investigation, assuring that all individuals involved in the unfortunate incident will be apprehended and brought to justice.

She quoted the state Commissioner of Police, CP Olatunji Disu and the entire command as extending their deepest condolences to the family of the deceased colleague, adding that the remains of the slain cop had been transferred to the mortuary pending an autopsy.

She added:“The Rivers State Police Command deeply regrets this unfortunate incident and reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are swiftly apprehended and held accountable for their actions.”

NUPRC Rakes In N4.34trn,Commences Fresh  Oil Bid Rounds April End

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC),says it raked in N4.34tn last year.

Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive, NUPRC, who said this at the first edition of the NEITI House Dialogue organised by the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative,also announced the commencement of the 2024 oil bid rounds in accordance with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act.

He explained that the oil licensing rounds were designed to enhance quality data set and would be conducted in a fair, transparent and competitive bidding process in a non-discriminatory manner as stipulated on Sections 3 and 74 of the PIA.

He said:”It is my pleasure to announce to you that the 2024 licensing round as prescribed in the Petroleum Industry Act will commence from the end of this month and we will be going offshore to market it as part of our job.

“Our job equally entails marketing of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources to prospective investors. So we are going to do that, and the process has commenced. We’ve set very clear criteria to guide the implementation of the process from the beginning to the end transparently”.

On the amount which the country would earn from the bid rounds, Komolafe replied, “The assets that are being put on offer are mostly greenfield assets, so they are virgin assets and so to accurately quantify the amount to be generated might be difficult since they are greenfield assets.”

He, however, stated that the nation would earn billions of dollars from the assets in terms of royalties, taxies and other levies to be generated from the bid round.

Speaking on the 2024 bid process, Komolafe said, “We are currently putting on offer 12 blocks. But remember that we commenced a bid process in 2022 where we put 17 offshore assets on offer but as the date grew close to the last election we had to put a hold on it.

“However, right now we are completing that process and we are equally having 12 new bid rounds. So in totality we target to complete the 17 blocks and the ones on offer between now and early next year.”

On dormant oil blocks that were awarded to investors in the past bid rounds, Komolafe stated that the commission would revoke the awards and had commenced a review of these idle blocks.

“Currently the commission is making a comprehensive review of all the awarded assets. We are carrying out a review of all awarded assets to look at the ones that are under-performing. These assets are the ones that were not brought into maturation.

“They are idle and do not add value to the nation. So what we’ve done in that respect is that we’ve invoked the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act to bring these assets into the basket and let then go through the competitive bid process as provided under Sections 73 and 74 of the PIA.

“Recall that the PIA has outlawed discretionary award of assets and so the award of assets now go through a fair, competitive and transparent process,” he stated.

Meanwhile, he said the NUPRC grew its revenue from N2tn in 2020 to N2.9tn in 2021. This rose to N3.78tn in 2022 and climbed further to N4.34tn in 2024.

“In the last three years, you could see the growth of the revenue generation profile of the commission. The commission has been meeting and surpassing its revenue targets and that speaks to its transparent approach in revenue reporting,” Komolafe stated.

The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Ogbonnaya Orji, the NEITI House Dialogue is a quarterly briefing of NEITI stakeholders that would take place at the NEITI House in Wuye, Abuja.

“NHD will host notable policy makers in Nigeria’s extractive industries and related sectors, who will address issues that are of interest and topical to the industry.

“The NHD will also get the invited policy maker to provide update or status report on the implementation of NEITI report recommendations as it concerns the agency. This is with a view to deepen not just government oversight and reforms in the extractive sector, but make it inclusive of all stakeholders,” he stated.

Terrorism Financing: EFCC Gets Court Nod To Freeze 1,146 Accounts Of Individuals, Companies

Mohammed Shosanya

Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has granted an interim order to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to freeze at least 1, 146 bank accounts of individuals and companies over alleged unauthorised dealing in foreign exchange, money laundering and terrorism financing.

Justice Nwite, also granted the EFCC request to conclude investigation on the alleged offences within 90 days.

The court made the order following an ex parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/543/2024, dated April 24, and moved same date by counsel for the EFCC, Ekele Iheanacho.

The motion exparte was brought pursuant to Section 44(2) and (K) of the 1999 Constitution; Section 34 of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004; Section 7(8) of the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act, 2022.

It was ordered in a certified true copy of the order sighted on Monday, “That an order of this honourable court is hereby made freezing the bank accounts stated in the schedule below which accounts are owned by various individuals who are currently being investigated in a case involving the offences of unauthorised dealing in foreign exchange, money laundering and terrorism financing to the extent that the investigation will be for a period of 90 (Ninety) days.”

Meanwhile, Justice Nwite has adjourned the matter to July 23, for mention.

Some of the account names are Akitoye Adeyemi Ayomide with GTBank account number; 0165110025; Clyp Trading Ltd, Titan Trust Bank account number: 0000331101; Clyp Consulting Ltd, Providous account number: 9401374554; and Toyetech Platforms Ltd, Titan Trust Bank account number: 0000134962.

Others are :Winx International Platforms Ltd, Titan Trust Bank account number: 0000135055; Shutterscore Trading Platforms Ltd, Access Bank account number: 1532363954; Tradecillion Trading Ltd, Stanbic IBTC account number: 0045672922; and Nsofor Donald Nmamdi, GBank account number: 0449088666.

Also included are :Kora Payments Network Ltd-Operations, UBA account number: 1022242089; Renderstack Technologies Ltd, Zenith Bank account number: 1210355120; Korex Payments Ltd, Globus account number: 5000007837; and Awe Microfinance Bank Ltd, Providous account number: 5400760781; and Victor Samuel Asuquo, Opay Digital Services Ltd account number: 9020132068.

Others are :Akingbade Sabit Juwon, ECONANK account number: 3442053006; Nsofor Donald Nmamdi, Union Bank account number: 0140460572; Asuquo Victor Samuel, First Bank account number: 3153199542; Oty Ugochukwu Stanley, FCMB account number: 4039304011; Oty & Sons Global Concepts, Fidelity Bank account number: 6060410145; and Pelumi Ayandoye, Wema Bank account number: 0234852277; and David George Ajala, Fidelity Bank account number: 5090680780, among others.

Before the court granted the interim order, the Commission had prayed for permission to freeze the bank accounts stated in the schedule attached to the motion pending the conclusion of the investigation.

An accompanying affidavit stated that “The bank accounts in respect of which the reliefs are sought are subject matters of investigation by the EFCC in relation to money laundering and terrorism financing.

“That preliminary investigation conducted thus far reveals that the bank accounts are linked to persons who take advantage of the virtual crypto currency exchange platforms to illegal manipulate the value of Naira and laundering proceeds of unlawful activities.

“That there is need to preserve the funds in the identified bank accounts pending the conclusion of investigation and possible prosecution.”

JAMB Releases 2024 UTME Results,Withholds 64,624

Mohammed Shosanya

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has released the results the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to the general public.

But,the body withheld 64,624 results which it intends to investigate for various infractions such as verification (2,896), procedural investigations(4,594), prima facie established examination misconduct (78).

Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede,who announced the results at a press conference on Monday in Bwari-Abuja,noted other results under investigation were centre-based investigation involving 57,056 candidates in 18 centres across the country.

Oloyede said 1,989,668 candidates registered for the examinations held in 118 towns in 774 Computer Based Test Centres (CBT).

According to the registrar,of the registered candidates, 1,904,109 sat for the examination while 80,810 were absent.

The 18 centres listed for the investigation were 12 in Edo, three in Akwa Ibom, two in Delta and one in Kwara state.

“The Board witnessed a near-zero infraction situation in the 2024 UTME except for a few cases, which represent just a tiny fraction of what was reported last year.

“This is encouraging and the Board is poised to consolidate on the successes recorded,” he said.

Giving analysis of the results, Oloyede said 8,401 candidates representing 0.5 per cent scored 300 and above, 77,070 candidates representing 4.2 per cent scored 250 and above.

He further said that 439,974 candidates representing 24 per cent scored 200 and above and 1,402,490 representing 76 per cent scored below 200.

“A total of 1,989,668 candidates registered for the examination, 24.7 per cent higher than the figure for the year 2023.

“Of the 1,989,668 registered, 1,904,189 were present and verified, 2,899 were present but unverified, 80,810 were absent.

“There is a significant improvement in the enrolment of females, with over 1 million girls registering for the examination.

“This is the first time in three years that the number of females will be more than that of their male counterparts.

“Of the total registration, 3,164 were of persons living with disabilities. There is a 36.2 per cent increase in the enrolment of PLWDs as compared to last year.

“The Board is today releasing the results of 1, 842, 464 candidates. 64, 624 results are under investigation,” he said.

Waltersmith Modular Refinery Gives N450m Interim Dividend To NCDMB

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB),has received an interim dividend payment of N450 million out of the 1.5bn declared by the Waltersmith Refinery and Petrochemical Company Limited.

This payment represents NCDMB’s 30% share in the company for the year ended 2023,a statement said on Monday.

Rising from a Board Meeting of Waltersmith Refinery and Petrochemical Company Limited, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Felix Omotsola Ogbe confirmed that a total dividend of N4.5bn had been approved for the year 2023, pending final approval at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The company reported a total profit of N23.6bn as profit after tax for the same year.

He hinted that NCDMB expects to receive additional 30% of the outstanding N3bn dividend after the AGM is convened later this year.

He added that the receipt of this interim dividend payment is a testament to the strong performance and profitability of Waltersmith Refinery and Petrochemical Company Limited.

“The NCDMB is proud to be a part of this success and looks forward to continued collaboration with the company in the future,” he stated.

According to him,the company is upscaling the refinery capacity from 5000 bpd to 10,000bpd and the expansion project is 44% completed and on time to be commissioned by early 2025.

NCDMB’s investment in the Waltersmith project was also geared to catalyse the industrialisation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its linkage sectors and deepen Nigerian Content in the oil and gas industry. It was the first third-party investment embarked by the Board, and it provided proof of concept and paved the way for other successful investments by the Board.

Penultimate week,NCDMB received a cheque of $1 million from Nedogas Development Company Limited (NDCL), being part of the return on investment (ROI) on one of the Board’s strategic investments.

The cheque was presented by the Chairman of the company, Engr. Emeka Ene when he visited the Nigerian Content Tower in Yenagoa Bayelsa State, where he was received by the Executive Secretary, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe and other members of the Board’s management.

Nedogas Development Company Limited (NDCL) is a joint venture company between Xenergi Limited and NCDMB Capacity Development Intervention Company and it culminated in the construction and commissioning of a 300 MMscfd Capacity Kwale Gas Gathering (KGG) and injection facility located in the Umusam Community, near Kwale in Delta State, Niger Delta, Nigeria.

Why Africa’s Downstream Oil Sector Growth Is Slow-Sahara Group

Mohammed Shosanya

Wale Ajibade, Executive Director, Sahara Group has said,that inadequate refining capacity, insufficient storage, and impeded product movement across Africa are the three major impediments slowing the growth of the continent’s downstream oil sector.

In a paper, “Africa Downstream Market Developments and Forecast”,presented at the recently concluded Africa Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) Week 2024 in Cape Town, South Africa,Ajibade said addressing these gaps would transform Africa’s downstream petroleum industry.

He noted that shoring up the continent’s refining capacity was critical to sustaining efficiency, availability and accessibility in the sector. He explained that as Africa explores ways of achieving hitch-free energy transition, efforts must be made to ensure optimisation of the sector’s value responsibly and collaboratively.

“Many African countries lack sufficient refining capacity to meet domestic demand, leading to heavy reliance on imports. This lack of self-sufficiency leaves these markets vulnerable to supply disruptions. Addressing this would require fresh investments and collaboration across the sector’s value chain,” he said.

On insufficient storage infrastructure, Ajibade said this has continued to hamper the ability to maintain strategic reserves and ensure reliable supply during times of high demand or supply chain disruptions.

“In East Africa, shippers at Beira, Dar es Salaam and Mombasa — the key entry ports for refined products — are experiencing significant demurrage. Ageing and poorly maintained pipeline networks result in significant product losses and distribution bottlenecks,” he stated.

According to him, a collaborative solution which involves regulators, operators, investors, financial institutions, and government owned oil companies is required to help the African downstream sector to reach its full potential and provide reliable and affordable energy access to the continent’s growing population.

“Africa’s downstream Market leaders will need to work closely with her the various governments and agencies to carefully navigate the complex challenges through regulation and technology adoption while pushing fo sustainable growth across Africa,” he said.

He further stated that the continent increasingly relies on imports of refined products to support consumption growth, primarily due to the underutilisation of existing refineries caused by technical issues.

“Investments in refinery upgrades, pipeline modernisation, and the construction of new storage facilities will be crucial to overcoming these challenges and unlocking the region’s energy security and economic development,” he added.

Highlighting some positive trends in the sector, Ajibade said the African downstream market is experiencing rapid growth and transformation, driven by soaring energy demand, population growth, and the focus on industrialisation, urbanisation, and economic He explained that these would drive the demand for refined petroleum products, petrochemicals, and related downstream services is forecasted to grow by up to 30% by 2040.

“Africa is experiencing a lot of migration from rural to urban areas. In 2015, Africa had only six cities with more than five residents compared to 17 expected in 2030. Africa has experienced an increase in the number and capacity of industries across the continent, with industrial GDP set to double by 2025,” he said.

On the promotion of regional and cross-border trade, Ajibade noted that initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area are promoting regional integration and facilitating cross-border trade in downstream products.

“This is encouraging investments in integrated downstream assets, logistical infrastructure, and harmonised regulatory frameworks to capitalise on the expanded market opportunities,” concluding that production of chemicals, plastics, lubricants, and specialty products would foster self-sufficiency and spur economic growth though increased job creation, reduced import reliance and enhanced technological innovation.”