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Before We Perish

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Not too long ago, the National Electricity Regulating Commission (NERC) revealed that Nigerians spend about N796.4 billion yearly on fuelling their electric generators to provide themselves with electric power (light).
The figure strikingly represents federal government’s budget of N796.7 billion for the capital expenditure for 2009 fiscal year for 36 states of the federation.
A breakdown of the statistics released by (NERC) shows that N540.9 billion is spent on diesel for diesel and on petrol for petrol powered engines annually.
Investigations further revealed that industries under the auspices of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) spend over N350 billion to fuel their diesel engines to facilitate production of goods and services.
Similarly, federal government budgeted N2 billion to buy, maintain and fuel generators this year, a development which was heavily criticised and later dropped, perhaps due to government’s policy thrust on delivery of 6,000 megawatts by December, 2009.
Though the figures released so far are yet to be challenged by government, it is believed that Nigerians spend even more on maintenance of diesel and petrol-powered generating sets than fuelling alone.
The expenditure pattern in fuelling and maintaining small and big generating engines for residential and commercial entities in Nigeria is better imagined and experienced. The development is caused by a shortfall in meeting the nation’’s demand for electricity.
The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) reportedly generates only 20 per cent of national electric requirement which represents between 2,000 mw and 2,500 mw.
But as part of government’s determination to meet national demand for electricity, the Yar’Adua-led administration vowed to deliver 6,000mw by December, 2009, in addition to the 2,500mw already in the national grid.
Experts however believe that Nigeria requires about 15,000 mw for power to be stable, regular and efficient so as to meet domestic, commercial and industrial demands.
South Africa, a country with less population the Nigeria has over 40,000mw and also generates electricity through other sources other than hydro and thermal sourced electricity.
Therefore, the authorities must as a matter of national emergency, source other means of generating power through solar and nuclear means.
Diversification of public power supply sources therefore is a necessary imperative staring our leadership on the face. Apart from the critical role of the private sector in the 29 Independent Power Producers (IPPs), the country must move from the present level of public power supply to the next level.
Our energy base is woefully very low and is constituting a material embarrassment to the past and present generations of Nigerian leaders.
Investors find it extremely difficult to invest in Nigeria due to cost of generating electricity for their investment. We cannot afford to continue this way.
The country cannot meet up with her Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on energy and other critical sectors of the economy with the current energy base.
Moreso, Nigeria can never realise her Vision 20:2020 if we remain where we are currently. The Asian Tigers who are competing favourably with Western countries ensured that their energy source is realiable and regular before they got to where they are today.
Thus, the only way and viable option forward is to secure our energy base.
No better options!

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We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.

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Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders

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President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.

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Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders

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The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.

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