Group Decries Electricity Supply Hitch, Fuel Scarcity

Coalition for Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE), has decried the current epileptic power supply and fuel scarcity,saying Nigerians are subjected to monumental suffering on account of the twin issue.
The  group in a statement by its national coordinator,Chinedu Bosah,and secretary,Monsuru Shoyombo,said the hardship is unbearable in view of  the fact that the only alternative for a number of people is the reliance on private expensive electricity generation through generator sets.
 The group said,the ongoing fuel scarcity has made it extremely difficult to generate electricity at homes and businesses and as a consequence, the cost of living has increased.
According to the group,it is unthinkable that Nigeria is stewing in crisis despite a global comparative advantage it  is supposed to have in electricity through  gas, abundant solar, wind and hydro reserves while it is also a major crude oil producer.
It said since November 2013 when the power sector was privatized, the story has been constant darkness, tariff hikes, outrageous estimated (crazy) billings and bailout of irresponsible and inefficient power sector companies.
It added that   between 2005 the process of privatizing began and today, over $15 billion has been expended on the power sector including the senseless bailouts.
It maintained that the current fuel scarcity and poor electricity supply are further evidence of the failure of the Buhari-led regime and the capitalist policies (privatization, deregulation etc).
It said:”These two sectors are overwhelmingly under the control of the private sector profiteers with the self-serving government playing a bell boy role as so-called regulator. Privatisation and deregulation have only put more money in the pockets of a few privileged and greedy individuals leaving the vast majority of the working masses in more misery and crises.
” The irony of it all is that the same Buhari-led capitalist government often claims paucity of funds when it comes to public education, healthcare and basic amenities and as a result these critical sectors are underfunded. Besides, the government keep borrowing trillions of Naira only to squander most of it including public funds generated on white elephant projects and bailout of weak and inefficient private companies and capitalist elite.
“Coalition for Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE) calls on Nigerian workers and electricity consumers across communities to resist tariff increment and struggle for massive public investment, free prepaid meters for all consumers and uninterrupted power supply. The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) must end their strategic partnership with the self-serving bourgeois ruling elite and mobilize the working class and the poor masses to reverse the privatization and deregulation policies.
“Fundamentally, the way forward is the renationalization (public ownership) of the power and oil sectors, massive public investments and democratic control and management by the working class and consumers”
 Seplat Energy Set To Acquire Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited 

ExxonMobil is making  moves  to sell  its equity interest in Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited to Seplat Energy, a Nigerian independent oil and gas company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.
The sale, when finalised, will include the Mobil Development Nigeria and Mobil Exploration Nigeria equity ownership of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, which holds a 40% stake in four oil mining licenses, including more than 90 shallow-water and onshore platforms and 300 producing wells.
 In a release signed by the company’s Manager, Media and Communications, Ogechukwu Udeagha, the oil giant assured the sale will not result in any loss of employment.
He said the latest development,  will allow it to prioritize competitively advantaged investments in its strategic assets, and it supports the Nigerian government’s efforts to grow its oil and gas operations,
“This sale will allow us to prioritize competitively advantaged investments in our strategic assets, and it supports the Nigerian government’s efforts to grow its oil and gas operations,” said Liam Mallon, president, ExxonMobil Upstream Oil and Gas. “We value the relationships we have spent decades building with the government and people of Nigeria, which will continue as we maximize the value from our deepwater operations.”
 “ExxonMobil will maintain a significant deepwater presence in Nigeria, including interests in the Erha, Usan and Bongadevelopments via Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deepwater) Limited.The sale will not result in any loss of employment and is expected to close later this year subject to regulatory and other approvals”. it assured
Sahara Invests $742m In  Host Community Growth

Sahara Group has announced  its commitment to host communities enabled its investment of $742 million in community development with a focus on COVID-19 relief support.
The company has also  committed $44 million for the construction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG) facilities within the West African sub-region to ensure steady availability of cleaner energy sources for the global market.
Its Director of Governance and Sustainability, Ms Pearl Uzokwe, disclosed  this as part of the highlights of the group’s 2020 Sustainability Report.
The report themed, “Leveraging Disruption for Growth and Innovation,” underscored how Sahara continues to leverage innovation and technology in achieving its corporate goals and sustainability ambitions across its businesses in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
She said:“Further, a commitment of $44 million for the construction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities within West African region was made as well as the purchase of two additional LPG vessels to ensure the availability of cleaner energy sources for our global market.
“Our commitment to host communities enabled our investment of $742 million in community development with a focus on COVID-19 relief support,” Uzokwe said.
The  group also fixed all cables and panels for the rural electrification project in Ajoki, one of its host communities, with a plan to deliver the project by 2022.
 She noted these further demonstrates the company’s progress on the sustainability journey, stressing that the 2020 sustainability report further underscored the group’s commitment to creating shared value for its various stakeholders through economic development, protection of the environment and building a sustainable society.
She stated that Asharami Energy Limited, a Sahara Group upstream company, recorded an improved performance in responsible procurement with 92 per cent of its suppliers assessed for environmental risks in 2020.
ECOGAS Opens New Gas Refilling Plant,Deepens Use Of  Clean Energy 

Ecogas Opens New Gas Refil Station In Abeokuta - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER
ECOGAS Energy Resources Limited has acquired NUGO Gas Limited and upgraded the plant at Olomoore, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital under Ecogas popular brand franchise.
While speaking at the event, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Chief Shina Luwoye said the new plant is in line with the company’s quest to be a major player in the LPG bottling business in Nigeria, saying it is also to champion use of clean and affordable LPG for most domestic and commercial use.
He said one of the visions of the company, is to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country by paying taxes and be responsible to all their shareholders.
He revealed that the new plant is the 9th one for the company and the 7th one, domiciled in the state since it’s establishment.
Luwoye disclosed that the vision of the company is to take 1,000 job seekers off the streets for employment.
His words: “The major and social problem confronting Nigeria now is unemployment. When you go around 8 am to 2 pm you will see the number of children on our roads going to schools or coming out of schools, you must be disturbed that how do we cater, provide secured employment for this teeming generation that will be ready for employment market in the next few years”.
“Every person God has blessed in this country economically, financially or otherwise must be thinking on what can be done for the coming generation, how to secure their future in order for the older generation to also have peace of mind at the end of the day. Principally, I think of a better Nigeria, where all graduates can be fully employed as soon as they get out of their schools” he submitted
He added “Beyond having a company, the most important thing is what will the company offer to the society? For EcoGas, the major thing we want to offer to the society, is, easy access to gas for more people to use and to keep running a company that contributes to the social development of the country, pay our taxes and be responsible to our shareholders and overall, we want to create employment for more people”.
For better customer relations, transparency and better service delivery, Luwoye said the company has introduced cylinder check scales in its plants, saying customers are the major stakeholders of the company.
He explained “that thanks to her founders, the plant under NUGO Gas Ltd had been existing for over 15 years at the Olomore, Abeokuta and it will continue to exist now as a fully owned subsidiary of Ecogas Energy Resources. The strong personalities of Ecogas;365 days availability, fast and accurate filling scales, ambient filling environment and, warm and well-trained staff, have been brought to bear as a result of the acquisition and Ecogas brand identity.
According to him, “ECOGAS is a very matured wine that has just been brewed in a new bottle. What we resolved to do is to give it a brand identity and the strong identity inherent in ECOGAS brand. When you are buying actually you are buying from Nugo gas and it is just ECOGAS that is running it”.
Speaking on the hike in the price of gas, Luwoye said “I want to assure Nigerians that it is not going to be permanent. I can tell you very soon we will see a nose dive price of LPG in Nigeria”.
The oil industry is denominated in dollars; therefore, we exchange services for dollars on all fronts. The expatriate working for you will be paid in dollars, the rig, the plant for production is paid for in dollars, hence the pull principle that is at work within the industry. However, we are optimistic that things will ease off as we move to the first quarter of 2022 across international and domestic oil markets”
Luwoye who lamented the multiple taxations in the petroleum and gas sector appealed to the Federal government to ease ways of doing business in the petroleum and gas sector of the country.
He said “There have been multiple taxes in the sector by governments in recent times.  The VAT and PPPRA charges on LPG translate to high pricing on every purchase because each 12.5kg consumers buy in the market government has imposed additional taxes; increasing the original landing cost to as high as an extra N5”
He appealed to the Federal Government to see to adjust the multiple taxations so that LPG use can continue to grow in line with the aspirations and the agenda of the PMB government.

Okunbor spoke while delivering the 51st Founders’ Day Lecture of the University of Benin, titled, “The Global Energy Transition and The Imperatives for Nigeria.” He called for an urgent optimisation of Nigeria’s energy resources for speedy economic and industrial development of the country.
He said, “Nigeria has gas in abundance – around 202 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves and about 600 trillion cubic feet of unproven reserves. Harnessing these vast gas resources, and on time too, is key in the next decade of Nigeria’s existence.”
According to him, the second approach for Nigeria’s successful energy transition would be an intentional growth of the off-grid power and renewables industry taking advantage of foreign financial support and technology transfer.
Okunbor stated, “The on-going energy transition is here with us. As with other transitions, it is a journey that will involve multiple approaches, collective action and undoubtedly present new challenges and opportunities.
“Nigeria is well positioned to ride the wave of the current energy transition with its abundance of natural fossil fuels and renewable solar energy. We need to move with a greater sense of urgency and a clear sense of direction.”
Okunbor, who is also the Managing Director of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), said, “Nigeria, as a country with abundant natural fossil fuel resources, cannot afford for international and multilateral agencies to stop funding the development of fossil fuels, particularly gas projects.
“The transition is underway,” Okunbor said, “but it will move at different paces and produce different outcomes in different countries, depending on local factors. Society, as a whole, faces a dual challenge to transition to a low-carbon energy future, dealing with how to manage the risk of climate change, while also extending the benefits of energy to everyone on the planet. This is a challenge that requires changes in the way energy is produced, used and made accessible to people.”
Despite the efforts at decarbonisation, Okunbor said oil and gas would remain in the energy mix for some decades to come. He said, “This is partly a consequence of the time needed for renewables to reach the necessary level of materiality. In part, it is also a consequence of the lack of substitution options in some parts of the economy. But the world will need to meet its energy needs at the same time as it tackles climate change.”
He noted that to make the federal government’s ”Decade of Gas” agenda a success, the country would need to unlock the domestic gas-to-power value chain; accelerate infrastructure development; drive gas-based industrialisation; and deepen domestic liquefied petroleum gas penetration.
A.B.C. Orjiako  Quits As Chairman of Seplat Energy

Seplat Energy Plc has  announced that  its chairman, Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako,has  to step down  from the Board of Directors of the company.
Dr Orjiako notified the Board of Directors of his decision November 17, 2021,according to a statement.
In order to facilitate an orderly transition Dr Orjiako will remain as Chairman until the next Annual General Meeting in May 2022, when an Independent chairperson will take over.
Dr A.B.C. Orjiako is the co-founder and pioneer of Seplat Energy. Since 2009, as Chairman of the Seplat Energy Group, Dr. Orjiako has taken the Company through a number of acquisitions and was the driving force behind Seplat Energy becoming the first and only Nigerian corporate to dual list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Main Board of the London Stock Exchange in 2014.
The Board of Seplat Energy   thanked its Chairman for his strategic vision, drive and limitless energy to create Nigeria’s leading indigenous independent energy company.
Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako, Chairman of Seplat Energy plc, commented: “The past twelve years at Seplat Energy have been exhilarating for me.  As Chairman, I am proud that the Board, Management and entire Staff of Seplat Energy were able to achieve several enviable milestones and exceptional successes, notably the acquisition of eight oil and gas assets, expansion of the Oben and development of the ANOH gas plants and the dual listing on both the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges – a first by a Nigerian company”.
“While there were challenges along the way, we overcame these by the special grace of God, the outstanding performance and professionalism of each member of the Board and Management, and the sterling efforts of our staff.  I will continue to give my utmost energy and commitment to the Company until I step down from the Board at the next AGM,” he said.
 Mr. Basil Omiyi, a Senior Independent Director of Seplat Energy plc, commented: “On behalf of all members of the Board, I would like to thank Dr A.B.C. Orjiako for his immense contribution as a co-founder and Chair of Seplat Energy since inception.”
“He has been Chairman during both exciting and challenging times, and his dedication has been constant throughout.  The Board and Management look forward to working with him during the transition period and we will miss his insight, expertise and leadership when he finally steps down in May,” Omiyi said.
The Seplat Energy Chairman’s decision to step down and be replaced by an Independent Chairperson is a testament to the strong corporate governance and best practices he instilled in the Board.
Erratic Power Supply Killing Nigerian Industries

President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says  paucity of energy was negatively affecting the growth of Nigerian industries.
He spoke at a meeting organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Abuja,where he lamented that currently  no business can survive in Nigeria without generators.
He added:“Unless Nigeria decisively tackles its energy deficiency and reliability, its industries will always remain uncompetitive.”
The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, noted that trade was a key part in the global economic recovery and advocated the need for more support for micro, small and medium enterprises.
She added:“Poor countries need access to bigger markets to grow rapidly,” she said. “With trade projected to grow at 10.8 per cent this year, more than twice as fast as GDP, external demand will far outpace domestic demand for many countries, especially those on the wrong end of the k-shaped recovery.
“For manufacturers, trade is also important because they need better access to imports as well as competitive logistics and other services critical to international competitiveness.
“Digital is very important here, especially for young Africans and the businesses they create; many businesses have been able to weather the pandemic because they were able to access the Internet and sell online.
“We should work harder, first to understand the barriers facing micro, medium and small enterprises in global trade and then to lower these barriers.
 Nigerians Consumed 74 billion Litres Of Fuel  In August

Nigeria's daily consumption of petrol drops to 56m litres
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Monday disclosed that about 1,735,624,740 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol was distributed nationwide in August.
This resulted in bringing the average daily supply of PMS in August to about 55.99 million litres.
This was contained in a statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate Services of PPPRA, Kimchi Apollo.
An analysis of the volume of PMS supplied nationwide in the month under review suggests a decrease of about 132,301,071 litres compared to the 1,867,925,811 litres supplied in July.
The PPPRA report further showed that in the month under review, the total truck-out volume for PMS was 1.79 billion litres. Therefore, the average truck-out volume of PMS was 57.58 million litres per day.
The data also showed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) imported 100% of PMS distributed that month. In addition, the PPPRA report showed that the country had an average PMS days sufficiency of 33 days.
It is important to note that the decline in the volume of PMS supplied in the month of August does not in any way translate to product scarcity.
“The PPPRA will continue to monitor and advise relevant stakeholders to ensure continued product availability”, Apollo stated.
Senate Seeks Relocation Of Oil Companies ,Moves To Repeal Electricity Power Sector Reform Act

The Senate has ordered its committees on Petroleum Resources Upstream, Downstream Petroleum Sector and Gas to liaise with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), to facilitate the relocation of oil and gas companies in Nigeria to their various operational bases in host communities to ensure smooth operations.
The upper chamber reached the resolution after it considered a motion on the “Urgent need to encourage all Multinational and Nigerian Oil and Gas Companies to relocate to their Operational Bases.”
The motion was sponsored by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom North East) and co-sponsored by 23 other Senators.
Bassey expressed   concern that multinational and Nigeria oil and gas companies have over the years been operating from their respective operational bases until militancy and insecurity in the host communities in the Niger  delta became the order of the day.
He said  the reason proffered by the oil and gas companies for not relocating to their host communities has always been due to insecurity and hostilities in the host communities.
He said the Senate was aware that operating outside the host communities and operational base is the reason for the high cost of production which has been the bane of the country’s oil and gas industry, militating against maximum revenue from crude oil and gas sales to the federation account;
He recalled that this high cost of production has been one of the most contentious elements of our industry value chain.
According to him,the Senate  was convinced that the recent passage and signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021(PIA) by the National Assembly and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria respectively, is a major milestone towards the restoration of a lasting peace in the host communities;
He said that the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, now place certain responsibilities on the security, peace and safety of oil and gas infrastructure on the host communities to safeguard and ensure peaceful coexistence between oil and gas  companies and their host communities.
He added:“Further convinced that is an opportunity to restore, recover and rehabilitate the massive and huge infrastructural facilities abandoned by the various oil and gas companies in their various operational bases to ensure their full utilization; and assured that the relocation of these companies to their host communities will further boost development in those areas and enhance the corporate social relationships and strengthen out collective resolve to considerably reduce the contentious cost of production and ensure adequate returns to federation account.”
In his contribution,Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo (Bayelsa East) said the agitations and problems within the oil and gas producing communities was as a result of their inability to easily access the management of the multinational companies to table complaints.
“I believe that if this motion is passed and implemented, it will go a long way to assuage the yearnings and apprehension of the people within these host communities.
“Mr. President, as a matter of fact, the cause of this situation is that the government of these areas are not even benefitting from the revenue, that is payment of tax, within the localities that they are exploiting this oil and gas, because the workers will claim that they are not resident in these areas.
“The payee is not accruable to the state government. These are some of the things the people suffer on account of locating the headquarters away from the source of the raw materials”, he said.
 Meanwhile,the Senate  has  passed a bill for an Act to repeal the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
In his lead debate,sponsor of the Bill, Sen. Gabriel Suswan (PDP-Benue),explained that the bill seeks among others,  to repeal the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
He added that it also seeks to consolidate all legislations in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), as it enacts an omnibus electricity act for the industry.
Senator Suswan also explained that the legislation also seeks to provide the framework that would attract more investors to leverage on the gains of the privatised electricity industry in Nigeria.
He said when implemented,it will accelerate growth in power capacity and improve generation of power through increased investment in new technologies leading to enhanced transmission and distribution of power generated while minimizing aggregate value chain loses.
He  said, in spite of the modest milestones recorded in the Nigerian power sector, the sector has not been able to make electricity available to 75 per cent rural population as envisaged in the National Electric Power Policy.
“This is because the sector is currently plagued with a number of challenges some of which are operational constraints that emerged after the privatisation exercise.
He said the bill when passed, would provide the framework for power diversification through the use of cleaner renewable energy sources such as coal, wind, sun and ensure sustainable energy mix.
He said that the privatized power sector in Nigeria was facing a myriad of post-privatisation challenges including the absence of tariffs, inadequate enumeration, metering of consumers, limited access to funds for investment.
Other challenges according to him include high levels of Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC &C) losses and poor revenue generation.
“All these constraints have received various interventions by the executive and legislative arms of the federal government over the years.
“But these challenges have continued to threaten the viability of successor companies including their financial capacity to invest in network improvement to guarantee reliable power supply as envisaged in their respective Performance Agreement.”
He said that apart from the operational constraints confronting the post-privatised power sector in Nigeria, the principal act which was the extant legal framework for the industry has some gaps and shortcomings that made it unsuitable to adequately govern activities of the market operator and market participants.
He said that the bill, when passed would provide the framework for power diversification through the use of cleaner renewable energy sources.
“The bill will also eliminate current barriers to private sector investment across the power value chain and attract the funds needed to address the current funding gaps confronting the industry since the privatisation of the power sector,”he said.
The bill, after passing second reading was referred to the Committee on Power by President of Senate Ahmad Lawan for further legislative work.
 Energy Security: Tshisekedi Commends  Sahara Group, Urges Collaboration In Africa

Energy security: Tshisekedi lauds Sahara Group, urges robust collaboration  in Africa -
President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo has commended Sahara Group’s leading role in spearheading enhanced intra-African trade, capacity development, seamless access to products, and deployment of innovative solutions to boost Africa’s march towards energy security.
Describing Sahara Group as a “shining light for Africa” in terms of providing global energy solutions, Tshisekedi said more cooperation between African nations and businesses would enhance the continent’s lobal competitiveness, and ultimately stimulate sustainable development in Africa.
Tshisekedi who addressed the Board of the Sahara Group virtually as part of events to mark Sahara’s 25th anniversary recently, said Africa has a huge potential in the energy sector, adding, “we have what it takes to transform Africa for the benefit of all Africans.”
He said: “It is an honour to join Sahara Group to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country with enormous potential, and we are happy to play an important role in the transformation of Africa, working alongside companies like Sahara Group and other African countries.”
Speaking,Executive Director, Sahara Group, Kola Adesina said the energy conglomerate was delighted at the support it continues to receive from the DRC, noting that Sahara remained confident of the ability of Africans taking the driver’s seat in delivering a transformed, economically viable and globally competitive Africa.”
“Our journey over these past 25 years shows that all it takes is for all stakeholders working together in the best interest of Africa, selflessly and committedly. Sahara started out as an oil trading entity and now we are operating with almost 5,000 employees in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. We are proud of our African heritage, and we assure Your Excellency of our commitment to working with him to achieve his aspirations as Chairperson of the Africa Union,” he added.
Adesina commended President Tshisekedi for making energy security and investment its top priority, as well as propelling massive hydropower projects to diversify the country’s energy mix to create jobs and grow the economy.