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‘Past Policy Formulation, Implementation Not People-Focused’

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The Vice President, Prof.
Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said some past policies and planning, including budgeting of government did not reflect the needs and the conditions of the majority of the citizenry.
Speaking at a courtesy visit by members of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), at the State House, Abuja, Osinbajo noted that the people had become disempowered in the process.
According to the vice president, the important thing now is how policies can address the needs of the people, saying “this is the main challenge’’.
“Governments have not been accountable to the people, otherwise policies should have roots in the real conditions of the people.”
He observed that in the past there had been “policies that do not seem to have solutions that truly reflect the understanding of the question of poverty in Nigeria.”
He, therefore, challenged the notion that a country could be described as rich when about two-thirds of “its people are extremely poor’’.
While expressing concern about extreme poverty in the country, Osinbajo said that records had shown that “we have 110 million poor people, representing two-third of the Nigerian population.’’
He expressed regret that the economic and social policies were reflection of the level of illiteracy in parts of the country.
“Some are extremely bad and some with cases of about 80 per cent or 90 per cent of children out of school, and other cases of unimaginable decayed infrastructure.”
Osinbajo said that one of the challenges of policy formulation was how to speak to the people and how to address their plights.
According to him, “the people are concerned about how do I get a meal, how do I get healthcare and how to send children to school.”
He said that budgets had often failed to address the needs of the people.
The vice president then challenged members of the Alumni Association to discuss how policy formulation ought to have root in the conditions of the people.
“I want the institute to think about this”, the VP said.
Osinbajo welcomed the idea of a Policy Roundtable proposed to him by members of the association, noting that what had been lacking in government was a time to think, reflect and consider policy while still working at a fast pace.
The policy roundtable is intended to provide an interface between policy experts and makers on a governmental platform on how to address the needs and improve the living conditions of the citizens.
Earlier, the President of the Alumni Association, retired Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Onoja, expressed appreciation for President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to fight corruption and reposition the economy.
He pledged the support of the association for the actualisation of what he called the Three-Point Agenda – Security, Corruption and Economy of the Buhari administration.
Onoja urged the administration to not only conduct a forensic audit of the government agencies but also jail all those found guilty of looting the country and seize their assets.

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Oil & Energy

NNPCL Assures On OB3 Pipeline Completion

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has said the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Gas Pipeline would now be completed next quarter.
This is as the national oil company said it would continue to invest in the development of huge oil and gas infrastructure to make it easy for operators and prospective investors to carry out their business in Nigeria.
The Executive Vice President, Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, disclosed this at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston, Texas, United States of America.
Speaking at one of the panel sessions of a luncheon organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), with the theme: “Sustainable Energy Solutions for Africa’s Future (Nigerian Perspective)”, Eyesan stated that NNPC Ltd.’s objective was to ensure that there is a healthy balance of energy sources in the country.
She explained that though the oil and gas sector is not where it ought to be, much progress had been made between last year’s edition of the OTC in terms of opening up the sector for investments and infrastructural development.
While identifying funding as the major challenge impeding the development of the sector, Eyesan listed some of the bright spots in the industry to include the Executive Orders signed by the President to open up the sector, the imminent resolution of the assets divestment by the International Oil Companies (IOCs), and the aggressive execution of gas infrastructure projects such as the OB3 Gas Pipeline, which she said would be completed in the next quarter.

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Oil & Energy

TotalEnergies Targets 100 Startups In 2024

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As part of its support to businesses in Nigeria and Africa,  TotalEnergies Nigeria has launched the 2024 edition of its Startuppers challenge.
By this, the multinational aims at empowering 100 businesses across 32 African countries with N8 million cash prize, personalised coaching, and media representation.
The year’s edition of the challenge, launched virtually at an event attended by the Managing Director of TotalEnergies Nigeria Plc, Dr. Samba Seye, and other executives of the energy company, Last Thursday, would be used to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the multinational.
Presenting the form of this year’s competition, the General Manager, Total Country Service, TotalEnergies, Mrs Adesua Adewole, said registration for the challenge would open on May 13th and close on June 18th, 2024.
Adewole explained that 100 startups would be selected at first before 5 finalists would be selected, adding that the shortlisted businesses would pitch to a jury made of experts who would select winners across three categories.
“In December, we will have 100 businesses to celebrate in Africa. In past edition, we had  only six winners who were invited to Paris but this year, we will have 100 winners who will be going to selected location where they will be celebrated”, she said.
Adewole stated that Africa was special to TotalEnergies, hence the focus.
In her words, “Africa is special to us. When you look at Africa, our youths make up 60%.  They are the ones who will develop he continent, so we streamlined this to them to help them develop their businesses or ideas, scale up and become the business leaders of tomorrow.
“The aim of this 4th edition is to support and encourage young African entrepreneurs to innovate and bring their projects to reality in their country of application”.
Explaining further, the Country Communications Manager, TotalEnergies Nigeria, Dr Charles Ebereonwu, said “we have not attained 100 years before.
“Apart from celebrating 100 years, we have introduced new dimensions like your empowerment of women and equality. All entries will be subjected to whether they take into consideration these dimensions”.
Targeted by the challenge are startups less than three years old or pioneering a business idea with a positive impact on their communities and/or the planet.
“The aim of this 4th edition is to support and encourage young African entrepreneurs to innovate and bring their projects to reality in their country of application”, a statement from the firm said.

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Oil & Energy

TCN Targets Power Restoration To North-East, May 27

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said electricity supply will be fully restored to the North-East by May 27.
TCN’s spokesperson, Ndidi Mbah, who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen, weekend, said the commission’s contractors were working to erect four new transmission towers along the Jos-Gombe axis, to enable the restoration of power supply to States in the North-East region of the country.
Recall that TCN had on April 23, said four of its towers along the Jos–Gombe 330 kilo volt (kV) transmission line were vandalised, affecting electricity supply to Gombe, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi, and Jalingo.
“The tower collapse affected Gombe, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi and Jalingo. Immediately after the incident, however, TCN engineers worked first to redistribute available bulk supply on the Jos, Bauchi, Gombe 132kV line between Jos and Yola Discos, while work commenced immediately at reconstructing the four vandalised towers”, the commission said.
It continued that “Presently, we are rebuilding the four towers simultaneously. Progress is evident, with one tower nearing 80% completion, another at 60%, a third at 30%, and dismantling work finished on the fourth tower”.
Additionally, she said, “tower members” are being fabricated and assembled on-site to expedite work, adding that TCN is dedicated to the quick restoration of bulk power on the line route.
“Construction work on the Jos – Gombe transmission line, taking supply up to Damaturu and environs will be completed and energized by the 20th of May, 2024, while the Damaturu – Maiduguri axis will be completed on the 27th of May, 2024.
“Expectedly, bulk power transmission would be fully restored on the affected 330kV transmission line by the 27th of May. Yola and Jos DisCos would also be able to offtake and distribute optimally from TCN substations.
“For now, only 38MW is wheeled to both Jos and Yola Distribution companies, with each receiving 19MW each. Efforts to take some of the available power to Jalingo was hampered by very high voltage on the line, which could cause a system disturbance”.
According to the spokesperson, TCN is aware of the inconveniences caused by the current insufficient power supply through Yola and Jos DisCos to electricity customers in the affected states.
Mbah further said the company pledged to earnestly expedite work on the towers to guarantee that the towers are completed within the specified time frame.

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