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‘Privatisation, Not Nigeria’s Power Sector Problem’

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The acting Director-Gen
eral, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Vincent Akpotaire,  has said that privatisation was not the problem affecting the power sector in the country.
He told  newsmen in Abuja that the long-standing decay in the sector was the main cause of the present challenges facing the sector.
Akpotaire said that privatisation became the only option open to the government due to the need to have a process that would be self-sustaining and responsive and make electricity supply transparent and investment sustainable.
“Privatisation is a process, it rides on the back of sector reform and sector reform is a necessity that arises from failure of infrastructure basically.
“Privatisation is not the problem we are facing today; the problem we are facing today is getting the system that is now in place to run without glitches; to remove the bottlenecks in the system, because you are moving from one completely different system to a new one where the people take their obligations seriously.
“Power is not stable yet, it cannot possibly be stable two years after privatisation. I think Nigerians should understand that.
“Power cannot be stable in this country after 40 years of decay and rot two years after privatisation.’’
Akpotaire said that the present administration had taken full charge of the situation by working out modalities to solve some of the issues in the sector.
According to him, government is taking adequate steps to ensure that the new system that is in place begins to work properly in order to improve power supply.
He advised the Federal Government to create incentives for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to strengthen its capacity to transmit more than it was doing presently.
“Government can continue to fund the existing infrastructure, but at the same time government can encourage Public-Private Partnership in funding what was in the past called super grid.

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Pipelines Vandalism: NPDC Adopts Modern Technology To Monitor Facilities

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The Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC)/ND Western OML 34 Asset Management Team (AMT) says it has commenced the use of modern technology for effective monitoring of its facilities.
The company’s Manager in charge of Government, Community Relations and Security, Mr Sheidu Aiguedo, made the assertion at a media briefing in Warri.
Aiguedo decried the persistent attacks on the company’s facilities by miscreants, saying the company had lost several billions of naira to their illegal activities.
“We are employing the use of technology to enhance our monitoring capacity,” he said.
Aiguedo said activities of the oil thieves had caused serious disaster, adding that the company would continue to intensify awareness to its host communities on the dangers inherent in pipelines vandalism.
“The oil bunkerers are destroying our facilities, and their activities are also destroying the environment,” he said.
Aiguedo urged the Federal Government to apply “prevention, protection and prosecution” approaches as ways of curtailing oil theft in Delta.
He also advised the government to establish and increase its presence in the oil communities with a view to reducing theft in the area.

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Nigeria Has Really Favoured Lebanese Firms, Investors -Group

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The Lebanese Nigeria Initiatives (LNI) in Nigeria yesterday said that the country had over the past decades been a nation of blessings to Lebanese companies and investors.
LNI’s Secretary, Mr Ali Safiyyedine, made the disclosure in Lagos at a news conference to announce the organisation’s launch of its first Scholarships and Endowment Fund for young Nigerians.
Safiyyedine said that the organisation had opened an endowment fund in American University of Beirut for young Nigerians as a way of giving back to Nigeria.
“We would forever be grateful to Nigeria for what she had over these years done for us Lebanese.
“And as a way of giving back to this great country, we at LNI have decided to open an endowment fund for young Nigerians in American University of Beirut that will continue even after we are gone.
“So, we have after many interviews and tests, selected the first Nigerian, Mr Olubando Ajibola, as the distinguished young man embarking on this journey for his MBA in the American University of Beirut,” he said.
Safiyyedine said that the organisation came up with the initiative to enable Nigerians study in the university for their Post Graduate degree and come back to contribute to the development of their country.
The Consul General of Lebanon in Lagos, Mr Elias Nicolas, said that the gesture was a further demonstration of the Lebanese interest in the development of Nigerians.
According to him, the Lebanese community are always delighted in contributing to Nigeria’s economic and social development.
“We are very pleased to launch the LNI scholarship and endowment fund for Nigerians today. This will further strengthen our long existing friendly relations in the years ahead.
“The Lebanese community has always conceived itself as part of the social fabric of its host country, and this fund is another sign of its commitment to the educational upliftment of young Nigerians.
“I warmly congratulate the huge effort of LNI’s Chairman, Mr Faisal El-khalil and members of the board of trustees for this laudable initiative.
“Let me also congratulate Olubando Ajibola as the first Nigerian selected for this scholarship programme. We hope you will be an ambassador for promoting our two countries values and interest during your study,” he said.
Mr Olubando Ajibola, a graduate of Petroleum and Gas Engineering from the University of Lagos, commended LNI and its board of trustees for selecting him as the first Nigerian beneficiary of the fund.
Ajibola said he would focus his MBA study on data collection analysis that would help enhance business development in Nigeria in the future.

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Photographers Decry Effects Of Smartphones On Their Business

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Some photographers in Enugu State have cried out against the negative effects of smartphones and social media on their business.
Some of the photographers who spoke during the World Photography Day, yesterday, said they were doing other businesses to make ends meet.
They said that though they were proud to be photographers, they noted that the advent of smartphones and social media had affected their business negatively.
According to them, the business of photography is dwindling as most people prefer to use their phones to take pictures, especially ‘selfies’.
One of the photographers at University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Mr Moses Onyeneke, said; “I am proud to be a photographer but the advent of smartphones and social media have dealt a big blow to our business.
“People prefer using their smartphones to take photographs and post on social media instead of going to a photo studio.
“They don’t value hard copy photos anymore but it is the best, it lasts longer and can be used for remembrance purposes.
“Passport photographs are making waves more because people need it for various official engagements,’’ he said.
Another photographer, Mrs Lizzy Achuagu, decried the low patronage of still photographs, adding that before the advent of smartphones, she finished rolls of films in two days.
“People book you for their social occasions but these days, very few people need our service.
“In a month, you can be making more than N30,000 depending on the occasions you cover, but now, hardly do you make N10,000,” she said.
Some smartphones users that reacted to the celebration of the World Photography Day said that the use of hard copy photos was outdated.
They preferred using their smartphones because it was less expensive and stress-free when compared to using a photographer.
They noted that even when they used a photographer to take photos, they preferred to collect the soft copies rather than the hard copies.
One of the smartphone users, Mr Ugochukwu Okeke, said that using smartphones to take pictures was better, as it was faster and could be posted to the world at the press of a button.
“It can be used to send message immediately than hard copy photograph. It was seven to 10 years ago when smartphones were not really common that hard copies were valuable.

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