Arukhe Seeks Govt Policies To Promote Local Content,Technology Transfer

Mohammed Shosanya

James Arukhe, an oil and gas expert, has advocated the need for the federal government to deepen policies that will promote local content and technology transfer.

He stated that those measures will empower Nigerian engineers and contribute significantly to the nation’s socio-economic development.

According to him,strengthening partnerships between the public sector, private industry, and academic institutions is essential to foster innovation, enhance skill development, and ensure the implementation of best practices in the engineering sector.

Arukhe, recently elected to the fellowship grade of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), said the development of the engineering sector is crucial for national growth and sustainability, as he urged the government to prioritize investments in infrastructure, education, and research and development.

Arukhe, a petroleum engineering specialist who has shaped the production operations of the world’s largest oilfields; Saudi Aramco, Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and Petro-Canada, said the future of the petroleum engineering sector in Nigeria is promising, yet it demands innovation and adaptation to overcome contemporary challenges such as environmental sustainability and global competition.

‘’Innovations in enhanced oil recovery techniques, renewable energy integration, and digital transformation, including the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics in exploration and production, are crucial. Embracing these innovations will not only ensure the continuous production of crude oil but also position Nigeria as a leader in sustainable energy production globally”, he enthused.

On being elected to the fellowship grade of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), he stated that it is a profound honour and a testament to his years of dedication, hard work, and contributions to the engineering field in Nigeria and beyond.

‘’It signifies recognition by my peers for the innovative solutions and leadership I have brought to the engineering sector. This accolade not only elevates my professional standing but also reinforces my commitment to excellence, innovation, and mentorship in engineering’’, he asserted.

He stated that his contributions to the NSE will leverage his experience as his ‘’ journey to this point has equipped me with a wealth of experience, insights, and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the engineering sector. His portfolio of innovation, marked by over 40 U.S. patents, underscores his commitment to advancing the oil and gas sector through technology.

He asserts that he brings to the NSE a vision for transformative change, characterized by the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, sustainable engineering practices, and the development of a robust framework for professional growth and ethical standards.

He added:‘’My leadership will focus on enhancing the skills of our members, fostering innovation, and advocating for policies that support the growth of the engineering sector in Nigeria.’’

NERC Explains 300 percent Electricity Tariff Hike For Consumers

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),has explained why the electricity tariff was increased by 300 per cent for only 15 percent of the consumer population, code named Band A.

The agency said in a statement that,its management arrived at the decision to hike the tariff, having conducted a thorough review of the tariff applications submitted by the 11 successor electricity distribution companies in line with the processes established in our regulations and business rules.

It noted that the review process was preceded by an analysis of the Performance Improvement Plans of the licensees and included a public hearing during which interested stakeholders and intervenors examined the rate filing submitted by the public utilities.

It explained that the overarching objective of the Commission in the consideration of the tariff application is the creation of a financially sustainable electricity market providing adequate and reliable power supply to drive the Nigerian economy.

It added that,the Commission, upon due consideration of the tariff applications, has approved revised rates affecting only customers classified under Band A service category (about 15% of the customer population); empirical service data has confirmed that this class of customers have truly received the committed level of service.

According to the agency,under the revised tariff Order issued by the Commission, DisCos are under an obligation to provide customers classified under Band A service category a minimum average supply of 20hrs/day measured over a period of one week.

It added:”All other customers under Band B to E service category and representing 85% of customers population would not be affected by the current review of end-user tariffs. All DisCos have been provided with mandatory targets for investments and migration of more customers to Band A service category. With the newly approved tariffs, subsidies for the 2024 fiscal year are expected to reduce by about NGN1.14 trillion in furtherance of the Federal Government’s realignment of the subsidy regime.

“The Commission has established a robust monitoring framework leveraging on technology to ensure that the public have visibility of the service covenant with their service providers. An enforcement and compensation mechanism has also been established, in the event of service failure.

“We wish to assure all Nigerians that the Commission working in collaboration with the policymakers remains committed towards providing adequate and reliable electricity to all citizens as we work diligently with state governments to deliver on the gains of the Electricity Act 2023.

Soetan Wins Outstanding Woman In Energy Award

Mrs. Folake Soetan, Chief Executive Officer of Ikeja Electric Plc, has been awarded the Outstanding Woman in Energy (Power Sector) by the Women in Maritime & Energy Awards (WIME), in celebration of her exemplary leadership, and advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusion of all resources, particularly the female gender in the sector.

WIME was founded as a pioneer platform to support Africa’s gender advancement initiatives, in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender Equality), through a yearly nation-wide nomination, recognizing the sterling achievements of notable women in the maritime and energy sectors.

Receiving the award, Mrs. Soetan, commended the organisers for the recognition and dedicated the achievement to the staff of Ikeja Electric, “Thank you so much, WIME; I am here today because of the creativity and doggedness of my team. Over the years, we have evolved and emerged the trail blazer in the dynamic energy value chain”,she said.

Speaking on behalf of the WIME Advisory & Steering Board, Mrs. Chizoba C. Anyika, expressed that the awards aim to demonstrate how a mutually supportive environment can help enable great business outcomes across all parts of the maritime and energy business.

“As more women are emerging achievers at higher levels in these sectors than ever before, it is imperative to celebrate and tell the stories of the advancement and successes recorded as well as the greater value and development women are bringing by providing their expertise, experience, knowledge, education and talent to enhance business results”she added.

Ghanaian Health Tech Startup Rivia Acquires Ghanaian SaaS Company Waffle

Mohammed Shosanya

Ghana-based health tech leader Rivia, announced today the acquisition of Waffle, a Ghanaian SaaS company specializing in software for small and medium-sized businesses.

The acquisition is expected to accelerate the digitization of Rivia’s network of primary care clinics and streamline the company’s operations.

The acquisition brings Waffle’s hospital and inventory management software under the Rivia umbrella, which was recently rebranded as RiviaOS. Waffle founder, Victor Nara, joined Rivia as its chief technology officer.

The RiviaOS platform functions as a Healthcare-as-a-Service (HaaS) solution, allowing healthcare providers to access features like appointment scheduling, a booking engine, services storefront, video consultations, e-pharmacy, e-lab, vitals capture, billing, expense, and revenue and inventory management.

The platform also offers cost-effective AI-powered health diagnosis on-demand.

Despite the fact that 87% of patient consultations take place in person, primary care in Ghana and other countries often lacks the infrastructure and technology for efficient service. This results in patient dissatisfaction, delayed visits, and a weakened healthcare system.

Rivia’s technology addresses this by creating an “asset-light” network that provides partner clinics with infrastructure upgrades, inventory supplies, and technology. Through standardized practices and protocols, Rivia delivers a consistent patient experience.

RiviaOS enables clinics to operate all aspects of their business on one platform.

On the acquisition, Rivia CEO Isidore Kpotufe said: “Victor is a brilliant entrepreneur and engineer. I was impressed by his insights on life, business and technology, and a deal was a natural order.

“I am very proud of what Waffle has achieved over the years,” said Nara. “When I was presented with the opportunity to join forces with Rivia – a company that shares similar vision, values, and culture – it was a no-brainer.

“By combining our strengths and resources, we can deliver more value, choices, and opportunities to clinics, customers, partners, and employees,” said Nara. “We will also be able to accelerate our innovation, expand our reach, and enhance our impact.”

Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner of Chanzo Capital, an investor and Rivia board member, mentored Victor when he started his tech journey, and met Kpotufe, when he was a member of an accelerator cohort run by Chanzo Capital.

Osiakwan praised the recent acquisition: “Isidore and Victor will make an amazing team. This acquisition will help modernize and improve the efficiency of primary care clinics in Ghana using cutting-edge technology.”

Through this acquisition, Rivia aims to become the leading network of high-quality primary care clinics in emerging markets, operating with an asset-light model.