The Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Power, Chief Reynolds Dagogo-Jack, has said that some 60 per cent of Nigerians in urban centres have no access to power supply while 75 per cent of Nigerians in rural areas also have no access to electricity supply.
Dagogo-Jack, who said in Abuja at the 43rd Annual Accountants Conference, added that the current supply penetration was less than 40 per cent and below 25 per cent for urban and rural areas, respectively.
“This is against the background that gross rural population far outstrips urban population by not less than 2.5 times,” Dagogo-Jack said.
He said that current installed and available generation capacity was under 10,000MW, including the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs)
Dagogo-Jack said NIPPs were currently operating at pre-reform level of under 50 per cent efficiency.
He said that Nigeria had diverse energy mix, including alternative fuel sources, such as natural gas, coal, small and large hydro, solar and wind.
Dagogo-Jack said this was the best mix for any long-term investor seeking to make the best out of fuel sources.
He said successfully managing the nation’s energy sector would have huge multiplier effects on the economy.
According to him, Nigeria has the best potential in Africa for translating electricity expansion into diversified economic base for sustained GDP growth.
He also said that President Goodluck Jonathan set up the task force to ensure proper implementation of the reform in the power sector.
According to him, the Federal Government is rigorously pursing the reform agenda to make sure infrastructure in the power sector is taken to the next level.
Dagogo-Jack said that about 8,000 megawatts of electricity would be generated before the end of the year for injection into the National Grid.
The chairman also said that the Federal Government expected to reduce unemployment at the successful completion of the Power Reform Agenda.
He said a functional power sector was strategic in meeting the challenges of the country’s increasing population.
He said international investors were also expected to take advantage of the nation’s huge market potential and invest in the power sector.
Dagogo-Jack said the presence of the foreign investors was expected to result in reduction in the country’s electricity deficit.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Chief Reynolds Dagogo- Jack, has attributed the delay in payment of severance benefits to PHCN workers to due process.
Dagogo-Jack stated this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
According to him, the 40,000 staff of PHCN will be paid their severance benefits as their bio-metric data have been captured to ensure accuracy.
He explained that because of the large number of people involved there was a tendency for delay in payment, noting that the government had started paying the benefits.
Dagogo-Jack gave the assurance that all the affected workers would be paid their benefits as funds had been made available for the purpose.
He also said that an environment conducive to training would be created at the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria.
He noted that the government recently gave successful bidders for the PHCN their certificates to ensure improvement in the power sector.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, yesterday, said that the nation’s power reform model was good example for other African countries to emulate.
Nebo made the remarks at a two-day workshop organised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to sensitise the PHCN successor companies and other stakeholders on the draft interim rules and other regulatory issues.
Nebo said that a healthy and financially sustainable electricity sector was the life support system needed for the economic growth of any nation.
He noted that economic activities such as investment, job creation and increase in income across the socioeconomic levels would thrive only when there was adequate and stable electricity.
He added that “consumers and producers are the ones who suffer when the power industry is unable to meet the power demand because of factors like inefficiency, high losses and poor performance.
“Government is more concerned about the effects of the sector on consumers and how the sector can help them to create jobs, improve their children’s education and grow the economy.’’
Nebo said there was a clear link between Gross Domestic Product and electricity consumption, adding that the participation of stakeholders in the industry would greatly transform the sector.
The minister noted that two decades ago, the expansion of the nation’s grid capacity was stalled due to factors such as high diesel cost and petrol, which were used for power generation.
He, however, expressed confidence that stakeholders would bring the desired result needed to improve the sector.
Nebo gave the assurance that the challenges in the industry would soon be a thing of the past.
Earlier, the Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, had said that the workshop was to brainstorm on draft interim rules for the new management of the electricity industry.
Mr Roberk Yates, who spoke on behalf of the Distribution Companies (DISCOs), said that the framework was good in principle, but that investors would need financial assistance to surmount the financial challenges.
90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.
- News5 days ago
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
- Sports2 days ago
Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials
- Sports5 days ago
Sports Minister Ratifies Okowa-Led AFN
- Sports5 days ago
Rivers State FA Sends Out Notice On Cup Final Day
- Sports5 days ago
CP Orders Investigation To Rescue Kidnapped Eguma
- Sports5 days ago
S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions
- Sports5 days ago
NNL: Go Round Beats Dynamite FC 2-0
- Sports5 days ago
Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020