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Engineers Alert On Manpower Shortage

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The Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc., Mr John Ayodele, raised alarm, yesterday over the shortage of power engineers needed to solve energy challenges in Nigeria.
Ayodele raised the alarm at the 11th Ralph Alabi Memorial Lecture organised by the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in Lagos and held virtually.
Speaking on the theme “Challenges in Electricity Distribution in Nigeria: What Engineers should do differently’’, he said that scarcity of power engineers began around year 2000 with the decline sustained.
He said that the trend was assuming a dangerous dimension which must be tackled through massive grooming of young engineers into the sector to address power challenges.
Ayodele, a fellow of the NSE, also called for measures and massive education to ensure that more young engineers cherish specialisation in the power arm of the profession to bridge the skills gap.
“There is a deficit of competent electrical/electronic engineers to solve the problem. Most of our undergraduates do not have power background and it is usually difficult to indoctrinate them.
He enumerated the different challenges in the three different stages of power generation, transmission and distribution.
Ayodele, who was the keynote speaker, however commended recent Federal Government’s intervention for mass distribution of pre-paid meters which, he noted, would boost power distribution and ensure effective metering.
“The era of estimated billing would soon be over. We want it to be over too because it is not profitable to the electricity distribution companies too,’’ he said.
He also said the Federal Government’s intervention also offered local engineers the opportunity to be part of meter manufacturing or assembly thereby reducing capital flight and boosting capacities of local industries.He said a meeting was also on-going between the CBN, the Ministry of Finance and the Presidency which would yield result within the next 70 days.
Earlier, Ayodele explained that DISCOS (electricity distribution companies) were losing revenue to estimated billing, power theft and g would resolve.vandalism which effective metering would resolve.
He also lamented government’s interference in regulation which, he said affected planning and investments in the power sector.
“Service reflective tariff was developed and imposed on us. It is an invention in Nigeria not practiced anywhere in the world,’’ he lamented.
Newly-elected chairman of the Ikeja Branch of the NSE, Mr Olutosin Ogunmola, said in his remarks that the branch would strengthen its Young Engineer’s Forum to encourage more engineers to major in power engineering.

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FG Sets Up To Recover Illegally Refined Crude Oil

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In a bid to block revenue leakages, the Federal Government, yesterday, inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Members of the committee, who took their oath at the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, were drawn from the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Army, the Navy, Defence Headquarters, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
The Solicitor-General of the Federation (SGF), and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Umar Mohammed, who represented the AGF at the event, said the major mandate of the committee, was “the recovery of illegally refined petroleum products (crude oil) in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
According to the SGF, “In line with the policy of the current administration on security and economy, as well as the preservation of the environment from negative hazards.
“The office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in collaboration with all stakeholders, have put in place a mechanism for effective and efficient management of illegally refined products recovered from dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta.
“This mechanism was agreed by the relevant stakeholders and submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who considered and approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the purpose of implementing the Mechanism known as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) For the Recovery of Illegally Refined Petroleum Products (Crude Oil) in the Dug-Up Pit found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
The SGF said the Federal Ministry of Justice would coordinate the process and the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
“The responsibility of the Inter-Ministerial Committee is to detect, report, evacuate, assess and ensure transparent disposal of the product with due consideration to the environment.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee shall be guided by the SOP, developed for the project.
“The content of the SOP is drawn from the provision of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019.
“It is my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country”, the SGF added.

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FRSC Threatens Sanction Against Fleet Operators Over Speed Limit

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will sanction any fleet operator found sabotaging the implementation of the Speed Limit Device.
Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi said this during the 2021 annual safety managers retreat yesterday in Abuja.
The retreat aimed at sensitising safety managers on the implementation of the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme to attain best practices in fleet operations.
The theme of the retreat is: “Assessment of Speed Limit Device Implementation in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges”.
Oyeyemi, represented by Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle operations, Mr Hyginus Foumsuk, said that the corps would also sanction Speed Limit Device vendors identified for complicity.
The corps marshal expressed concern on the spate of road accidents and needless loss of lives, especially involving fleet operators.
“These, according to many experts investigations, could have been avoided if the concerned safety managers had been responsive in their duties,” he said.
Oyeyemi said that recent findings by the corps have also revealed a low level of compliance on the installation of Speed Limit Device and associated sharp practices among some fleet operators.
He noted that these practices included tampering with Speed Limit Device and connivance with vendors to deceive enforcement operatives.
This, he said, was with compliance certificates without actual installation of the device, calibration above the approved speed limits and others.
According to him, these shall no longer be tolerated as the corps will not hesitate to sanction violators henceforth.
Oyeyemi urged relevant stakeholders to address the decline on the proper vehicle maintenance as well as implementation of the passenger manifest by fleet operators and the drivers’ recruitment policy.
“We all know the essence of the passenger manifest and the significance of its proper implementation. You are therefore urged to take these issues seriously in the interest of safety.
“Passenger manifest is considered pivotal, thus its enforcement should continue along other traffic offences to compel the needed compliance. It is therefore pertinent that strict adherence to the existing policies be sustained,” he said.
“There is need for fleet operators to introduce improved practices to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers in compliance with traffic regulations.
The Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, commended the efforts of the corps on road safety.
Irukera noted that injury and fatality on the road were caused by speed, describing speed as a catalyst, aggravator and mitigator.
He urged motorists to take cognisance look into installing Speed Limit Device to avoid road traffic crashes and save lives and property.
He, however, assured FRSC of the commission’s support to punish violators, saying that excessive speed attracts a penalty.

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Sokoto Assembly Approves 2021 Virement Request Of N155m

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The  Sokoto State House of Assembly yesterday approved Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s  request of N155 million virement warrant on some capital projects  in 2021 approved budget.
This approval  followed the consideration of a letter by the state governor presented at the plenary by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Achida.
Alhaji Bello Ambarura, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in  the assembly, had  moved a motion asking  the lawmakers to consider the request at its plenary session.
Ambarura said that the request was necessitated by the present administration’s commitment to addressing  a number of developmental projects.

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