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Oil Price Fall And Nigeria’s Economy

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At the 7th All Nigeria
Guild of Editors conference held in Benin, the Edo State capital on Thursday, September 22, 2011, the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, raised alarm that should oil  price drop below $80 per barrel in the international market, some state governments in Nigeria would not be able to pay salaries to their workers.
El-Rufai, who was speaking on the topic, “Perspectives on the Cost of Governance in Nigeria”, had strongly noted that pegging of oil price as high as $75 then in the national budget was unrealistic and not good for Nigeria’s economy.
The minister was being as prophetic as many individuals and organizations who believed that the nation’s economy which is oil dominated would be in a quagmire, should any unforeseen surprises affect the oil price in the global market.
Various experts had also, for too long been consistent in expressing strong need for drastic reduction in the high cost of Nigerian governance which gulps as high as 25% of the annual budget and one of the highest in the world.
They had equally suggested diversification of the economy from oil to other sectors particularly agriculture which hold high promises for food on the table of the average Nigerian, mass employment, raw material for industrialization and foreign exchange earning.
While most nations of the world had strategized to contain such possible economic fears, most African governments also took bold steps in preparations for the economic uncertainties, but some deaf-and-dumb governments had preferred what goes directly into the individual pockets of the leaders than the general good of the citizens. Billions of Dollars meant for constituency funds, furniture extravagant travelling allowances, amongst others find their ways to the law makers and their crowd of primal aides.
Today, the reality is not only knocking at our doors but is quite here with us. The present systematic drop in the oil price which experts predict could slide far below $50 per barrel benchmark before the end of 2015 has become Nigeria’s undoing.
Many state governments in Nigeria today are owing months of salaries arrears to their workers while contractors have abandoned projects execution because the oil price then predicted had fallen below budgetary calculations and states lack the funds to pay.
Some private schools in Port Harcourt have already given notice of increase in school fees, landlords are also threatening to raise rent, labour unions are ironically agitating for pay rise in view of recent devaluation of Naira occasioned by dramatic drop of oil price in global market even as state governments insist they would not review the $65 per barrel benchmark on which they proposed their 2015 budgets. Where would these excoriations take the nation to in the present economic situation determined by global economic reality?
An economist, George Clement, is of the view that time has come for Nigeria to elect leaders who have the capacity to proffer solutions to the socio-economic challenges confronting the nation as against empty promises for which most Nigerian political leaders are known.
“The era of touts aspiring for public offices should be over. It is time to look beyond sweet talks and empty promises now that campaign period in Nigeria is around the corner”, said Clement.
He said, “our leaders had since the oil boom of the 70s refused to do the right thing. Billions of Naira had consistently been swallowed up by the pockets of fraudulent leaders”, he remarked noting that the future generations may have nothing to be proud of about their nation if the real change is not effected.
Another respondent, Mrs Mary Jonathan, in her own reaction is challenging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to trace the loots of the nation wherever they might have been hidden.
“Yes, it  appears late but not too late. We cannot continue to wallow in poverty in a rich country while few persons in the name of politics continue to cart away our resources”, she stressed.
Jonathan appealed to the Federal Government to review the pump price downward to reflect the price of oil in the global market. “We cannot afford to pay more when actually the price has fallen. The N97 per litre of fuel is no longer realistic”, she maintained.
A civil servant, Makel Ndah, in his own reaction called for upward review of workers salary. “Since the Naira has been devalued, its exchange power has become weak, it is important that the government reviews workers salary upward to meet with the current market reality”.
A landlord in Port Harcourt Chief Clifford Nweke, said,” it is obvious that house rent would be reviewed since government has started to have a second look at the Naira.”
We are all Nigeirans, operating in the same market, so what affects one should equally affect the other. Yes some people will say landlords are wicked shylocks, but that is mere sentiment”, he maintained.
A private school proprietor who pleaded anonymity said, “we had our first Parent Teachers Meeting last week and the issue of increase of salaries was raised by the teachers and I told the parents to pray and watch because for me to pay higher workers salary means that the fees charged students would also be reviewed upward.
“Please don’t get me wrong, we have not increased school fees yet. What I am saying is that we in my school are studying the socio-economic variables. If workers salary goes up and other schools readjust to meet with the reality, we here would also adjust because we are part of the society”, he explained.
A Port Harcourt- based public analyst, Christian Nnamdi, said the issue calls for caution. “There is no need to panic yet. It is not a Nigerian thing but a global phenomenon. It does not affect only Nigeria but other nations of the world. Nigeria has many antidotes to the problem. So all we need to do is study the situation to know the dynamic nature of the change.
According to Nnamdi, the nation should not leave everything in the hands of politicians. “We need to protect the economy from the excesses of selfish Nigerian politicians and one way of doing that is to gather together some technocrats and experts in various fields especially economists. Let the think- tank develop an economic plan that should guide the policies and programmes.
Call it 25 years economic development plan. So that whichever political group that takes the mantle of leadership, will have to build whatever programme from the economic blue print.
Nnamdi blamed the woe of the nation on inconsistency of leadership, stressing that government should be seen as a continuation from where the former ends. “But you see, in Nigeria, any new administration is in the habit of abandoning the programmes of the previous administration at the detriment of so much fund sunk into such projects because they want to take credit.
“But with a long term economic development plan, new government can no longer abandon projects started by the former government. It has to inherit it and complete it for the people. This idea will make nonsense of the penchant for second term which is common in Nigeria,” he maintained.
It would be recalled that discovery of shale oil which increase supply in American oil market, a major importer of Nigeria’s oil has affected the oil supply in the global market. This high supply has reduced oil price in the global market and Nigeria, whose economy remains oil-driven is directly affected.
Nigeria whose budget depends on oil has been forced to review its oil benchmark resulting in austerity measures to contain the economic downturn.
Medium Term Expenditure framework which the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, submitted to the National Assembly, scaled down the nation’s budgetary estimate for 2015 to N4.661 trillion as against an initial N4.817 trillion.

 

Chris Oluoh

Some Transformers donated by the lawmaker representing Oyigbo in the RSHA Hon. Okechukwu .A. Nwuogu

Some Transformers donated by the lawmaker representing Oyigbo in the RSHA Hon. Okechukwu .A. Nwuogu

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‘Renewable Energy Waste Crisis Is Much Worse Than You Think’

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Waste disposal is not a popular topic of discussion in the media when it comes to renewable energy. Most of the coverage that solar and wind power is getting is strongly positive, with a focus on falling costs and rising efficiencies, as well as government plans for huge increases in installed capacity. Yet problems tend to lurk and wait to spring up. Now, the waste problem is springing up.
TheInternational Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimated in 2016 that unless we made significant changes to our treatment of solar panels, they could add up to 78 million tons of waste. The IRENA did not phrase it this way. It said that “recycling or repurposing solar PV panels at the end of their roughly 30-year lifetime can unlock an estimated stock of 78 million tonnes of raw materials and other valuable components globally by 2050.”
The thing is that most panels do not live to see their 30th birthday, as an article in the Harvard Business Review from June pointed out. Solar waste, it said, is growing much faster than it should have, theoretically. This is because another thing that you wouldn’t see widely publicised is solar panels beginto lose efficiency from the moment they are installed.
Meanwhile, new, more efficient panels are being developed. Even if the loss of efficiency is minuscule, at an average 0.5 percent, that figure is off the top of a typical efficiency rate of less than 30 percent (light-to-electricity conversion), so when offered a higher efficiency installation, many residential solar owners would consider it. The authors of the article, dubbed The Dark Side of Solar Power, point to the continuous improvements in solar panel technology as a reason for shorter actual lives for residential panels. They note that thanks to these improvements, both in cost and efficiency, consumers are a lot less likely to wait for their panels to turn 30 before they replace them. As a result, these early replacements could lead to 50 times more solar panel waste than IRENA had forecast.
It’s worth noting that IRENA’s forecast for the 78-million-ton opportunity from solar panel waste was made in 2016. A lot of things have changed over the past five years, including the rate of growth in solar panel installations. Unfortunately, what hasn’t changed a lot is the economics of recycling solar panels.
Grist reported recently that, according to researchers and recycling industry insiders, the cost of recycling a solar panel varies between $12 and $25. Meanwhile, the income from recovering certain elements from it comes in at about $3. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, recycling a solar panel costs between $20 and $30, while sending it to a landfill costs $1-2. And while the EU has put in place recycling mandates, the U.S. has no such mandates on a national level.
This massive difference in the cost of recycling versus the cost of dumping panels at landfills hints at an unpleasant truth that we are seeing in the EU already. There are recycling mandates there. The countries with the highest solar capacity pay the most for their electricity. This could, of course, be a coincidence, but that’s quite unlikely: recycling costs money, and somebody has to foot that bill.
It is this bill that busts the myth of the cheap solar power that can fuel the whole world because the sun is there and shines for free. This is true. But once you add the costs of recycling to the total cost of solar energy, as the Harvard Business Review authors note, the cost of solar jumps four times.
The future, in the absence of quick action, looks bleak, according to the researchers who penned the HBR article.
“If we plot future installations according to a logistic growth curve capped at 700 GW by 2050 (NREL’s estimated ceiling for the U.S. residential market) alongside the early replacement curve, we see the volume of waste surpassing that of new installations by the year 2031,” Atalay Atasu, Serasu Duran, and Luk N. Van Wassenhove wrote.
“By 2035, discarded panels would outweigh new units sold by 2.56 times. In turn, this would catapult the LCOE (levelised cost of energy, a measure of the overall cost of an energy-producing asset over its lifetime) to four times the current projection. The economics of solar so bright-seeming from the vantage point of 2021 would darken quickly as the industry sinks under the weight of its own trash.”
This sounds bad enough. It’s even worse because there are only a handful of companies in the U.S. that recycle solar panels. But there is also wind turbine blade waste that is building up, and while, unlike solar panels, it does not contain toxic materials, the sheer size of the blades makes it a significant waste problem. Wind turbine blades are not recyclable yet, and tons of them are coming to landfills over the next 20 years; more than 720,000 tons in the U.S. alone.
“Because there are so few options for recycling wind turbine blades currently, the vast majority of those that are no longer able to be used are either stored in various places or taken to landfill,” says CEO, and co-founder of CruxOCM, Vicki Knott.
“While the waste stream represents only a tiny portion of municipal solid waste, it’s clearly not an ideal scenario. As wind turbines are being replaced, there’s certainly a need for more creative recycling solutions for used blades,” Knott also said.
It all sounds like a waste nightmare scenario, and it pretty much is.
While many residential solar panels will live out their lives, many others will not. But this is only the beginning of the problem. Recycling costs must be brought down and capacity built before the current wave of utility-scale solar farm additions subsides because anything done later would be playing catch-up with little chance to win.
Slav writes for Oilprice.com

By: Irina Slav

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Oriental Energy Resources Announces New Managing Director

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Mustafa Indimi has been appointed the new Managing Director of Oriental Energy Resources Limited.
Mustafa takes over from Mr Ignatius Ifelayo, who served the company meritoriously for seven years.
Prior to the new appointment, Mustafa was the Executive Director (Technical) and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. He brings with him an in depth knowledge of the business and he is well positioned to drive the company forward.
A Master’s Degree Holder in Petroleum Production engineering from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Mustafa has an impressive track record of leading teams to deliver outstanding performance and results.
On his new challenge, Mustafa commented: “It is an exceptional privilege to be appointed as Managing Director at a time that provides great opportunity to take the company to new heights. I am looking forward to working with the board, management and staff to strengthen and grow the company by building on the solid foundation to generate significant value for all stakeholders.”
“Underpinning everything is my commitment to the company’s vison to set the standards that all other E&P companies in the Nigerian oil and gas industry will be compared against.’’

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MoniPulo Empowers 70 In Akwa Ibom

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A total of 70 indigenes of Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, host to an indigenous oil firm, Moni Pulo Petroleum Development, have benefited from the 2021 community empowerment programme of the company.
The empowerment programme, which is in the 12th cycle, saw to the distribution of 70 motorcycles to the benefiting members of the host communities.
Speaking, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Moni Pulo, Dr. Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs, said the company has had a very healthy relationship with the people of Mbo LGA and has left positive footprints since 1999.
Lulu-Briggs said the company believes that provision of an economic-enabling environment, sustainable employment, secured opportunities and human capital development in Mbo LGA, remain the guiding principle for social transformation.
She emphasised that the company has a passion for transforming communities and catalyzing personal and communal growth in a sustainable manner, which is why corporate social responsibility is her cherished core corporate value.
“MPLs Corporate Focal Responsibility package is structured along four core areas: Educational Development, Skill Acquisition and Empowerment, Infrastructural Development, Sports and Social welfare.
“It is believed that capacity building will ameliorate the Niger Delta region’s economic challenges and reduce the incidences of youth restiveness. Thus, MPL takes this gesture further to empower Mbo and Effiat Community youths with high class motorcycles.
“This is the 12th cycle of our Community Empowerment Programme, and it is designed to empower 70 business Start-Ups from within Mbo Local Government Area in Akwa lbom State.”
Lulu-Briggs represented by the Head pf Administration and Community, Alabo Clifford Daerego, said MPL’s empowerment programme provides opportunites for entrepreneurs to set up and establish businesses that will help increase the employment rate in Akwa lbom State and in the country.
“A review of the social responsibility projects we have carried out in Mbo Local Government Area, reveals that our activities have aligned with the current global Sustainable Development Goals. This Community Empowerment Programme hinges on SDG Goal 8, which is to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Despite the socio-economic challenges that we, like everyone else, have had to weather, we have continued to invest in the wellbeing of our host communities through empowerment exercises and sustainable development projects. We have done and will continue to do this because we know that ultimately our work is about people the men, women, youth and children of Mbo and Effiat.”
Also speaking, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr. John James Etim, who commended Moni Pulo for being a good corporate citizen, expressed delight to witnessed the empowerment programme.
Etim disclosed that upon his assumption of office, he was briefed that the company has trained many members of her host communities in several skills and also awarded university scholarships to many.

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