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Global Energy Transition Must Be Sensitive To Africa’s Priorities -Osinbajo

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The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the global energy transition must be managed in a way that is sensitive to Africa’s priorities.
In a statement, yesterday in Abuja, Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, said the vice-president spoke virtually at the 2022 Standard Bank Climate Summit themed, “Africa’s Path to Carbon Neutrality”.
Osinbajo’s focus was on how to manage the energy transition to net-zero in the context of Africa’s unique challenges, such as energy poverty.
The vice-president said that the current global energy transition was both an opportunity for the preservation of the earth, unlocking the potential and livelihoods of millions of people, especially those in developing countries.
“The current energy transition is an opportunity like none other for the preservation of the planet.
“But, it can also be a vehicle for unlocking the development potential and livelihoods of millions of people; there is no reason why we cannot have both.
“The global community must account for diverse realities and accommodate various pathways to net-zero, particularly for African nations.
“This is because they need financial and technical support as well as the flexibility to develop as swiftly as possible,” he added.
According to Osinbajo, this will ensure a fair and balanced energy transition that leaves no one behind.
The vice-president said: “How we manage the global energy transition must be sensitive to Africa’s priorities.
“The global energy transition must place energy access for both consumptive and productive uses at the heart of climate action.”
Osinbajo said that to ensure a global energy transition that was favourable, African nations needed to engage more critically and vocally on the matter.
The vice-president made reference to Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan(ETP) as a leading light.
“The value of having a nation-specific, data-driven plan as the basis of our activities and engagements cannot be overemphasised.
“The plan provides a clear financial estimate for the achievement of Nigeria’s energy access and transition goals.
“The ETP finds that an additional 10 billion dollars over business as usual is required annually till 2060 to shift the entire economy to a net-zero pathway; we hope to see more of such plans on the continent,” Osinbajo said.
He said that efforts were being made to have a pan-African position on energy transition.
Osinbajo said: “This is underway with certain countries including Nigeria developing and signing on to the Kigali Communiqué which came out of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in June, and outlines principles for a just and equitable energy transition.
“We must take ownership of our transition pathways and design climate-sensitive strategies that address our growth objectives.
“We must clearly and thoroughly articulate our priorities, strategies and needs.
“Though Africa’s current unmet energy needs are huge, future demand will be even greater as populations expand, people move into the middle class and rapid urbanisation continues.”
The vice-president recalled that in 2020, Sub-Saharan Africa had 568 million people without access to electricity.
Osinbajo said that the aforementioned represented more than three-quarters of the world’s total un-electrified population.
According to him, most developed nations have 100per cent energy access.
The vice-president said: “Surely, the race to net-zero must not leave people in the dark.
“Also, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the only region in which the number of people without access to clean cooking fuels and technologies is rising.
“19 of the 20 countries with lowest clean cooking access rates are in Africa.
“Limiting the development of gas projects, as a critical energy transition pathway for Africa, violates enshrined principles of equity and justice.
“It also poses dire challenges for African nations while making an insignificant dent in global emissions.”
Osinbajo said Africa had contributed the least of any global region to greenhouse gas emissions and currently emits under 4 per cent of global emissions.
The vice president said that under no plausible scenario were Africa’s emissions a threat to global climate targets.
“Unfounded predictions should not serve as excuses to limit our energy technology options.
“Limiting financing of gas projects for domestic use in Africa would pose a severe challenge to the pace of economic development, delivery of electricity access and clean cooking solutions, and the scale-up and integration of renewable energy into the energy mix,” he added.
On financing energy transition, Osinbajo said a balanced and just approach to the energy transition recognised that finance was key.
He said that lack of access to finance remained the biggest challenge for accelerating action on energy access and climate goals in Africa.
The vice-president restated the call on developed countries to bridge the disparity in energy investments.
“Of the $2.8trillion invested in renewable energy from 2000 to 2020, only about 2per cent, $60billion came to Africa.
“It has been estimated by the International Energy Agency that Africa will need around $133billion annually in clean energy investment to meet our energy and climate goals between 2026 and 2030,’’ he said.
The Standard Bank Group, which hosted the event, had committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions from its own operations for newly built facilities by 2030.
The group also said it would be targeting net zero emissions for existing facilities by 2040, and from its portfolio of financed emissions by 2050.

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LASG Begins Vehicle Parking Lanes Demacation

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The Lagos State Parking Authority (LASPA) has revealed it will today commence creating additional Vehicle Parking Lanes in some selected locations across the State.
The Authority stated that all efforts have been geared towards improving the parking system of the State.
Speaking on the planned initiative on Friday in Ikeja, the General Manager of LASPA, Mrs. Adebisi Adelabu, stated that the vehicle parking lane mark exercise, which will begin with designated streets within Surulere, Ikoyi, Lekki, Obalende, Ikeja and Victoria Island axis of the State, is a step towards improving street parking from 2023.
Adelabu noted that the Parking Lane Markings will further guide motorists and pedestrians on appropriate parking regulations and spaces, minimise indiscriminate parking, confusion and uncertainty, while conveying a range of information to residents on parking procedures within each specified environment.
According to her, the lane markings will also include special consideration for people living with disabilities and signposts for parking directives, among other features.
The General Manager, however, solicited the understanding of residents within the locations who might be affected by any inconvenience the process might cause, assuring that the government is working rigorously in regulating and improving the parking culture as part of its Traffic Management and Transportation Agenda to ensure parking is convenient, safe and secure across the state.
Recall that the Authority had recently unveiled plans to begin full implementation of parking policy in the second quarter of 2023 and has continued to sensitise the public on the need to embrace the parking culture.

By; Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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NIMASA Builds Maritime Institutes, Skill Acquisition Centres In Zones

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Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, has revealed that the agency is embarking on building six skill acquisition centres, and maritime institutes in each geopolitical zone of the country.
He disclosed this while receiving the Minister of Transportation, Dr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, and the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Mr. Kitack Lim, during the commissioning of the new NIMASA head office in Victoria Island recently.
The NIMASA boss said the agency has already started building of ten of its offices in various states of the country, saying that 2022 is dedicated for projects.
“We dedicated 2022 as projects year and we have more than ten projects ongoing now, but we expect that before the end of this administration, we will commission them.
“Parts of the projects have something to do with human elements.
“We have six skill acquisition centres all over Nigeria, one per political zone, and we have six maritime institute projects. Each geopolitical zone has a university with maritime institute, just to build maritime assets,’’ he said.
He thanked the Minister for always being there, and also expressed appreciatiin to the IMO Secretary General for his visit to Nigeria, noting that he is the second IMO Secretary General to visit Nigeria, with the last visit having taken place 15 years ago.
“I am particularly delighted that he is commissioning this building today. He promised to come and has kept his promise”, he added.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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FG Borrows N24trn From CBN Amid Fiscal Risks

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Federal Government of Nigeria has borrowed N6.31trillion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through Ways and Means Advances in 10 months.
This amount has increased the total amount the Federal Government got from the CBN from N17.46trillion in December 2021 to N23.77trillion in October 2022.
It does not include the N23.77trillion the Federal Government is already owing CBN that is part of the country’s total public debt stock, which stood at N42.84trillion as at June 2022, according to the Debt Management Office.
The public debt stock only includes the debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the 36 state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory.
Ways and Means Advances is a loan facility through which the CBN finances the shortfalls in the government’s budget.
Section 38 of the CBN Act, 2007, states that the CBN may grant temporary advances to the Federal Government with regard to temporary deficiency of budget revenue at such rate of interest as the bank may determine.
The Act read in part, “The total amount of such advances outstanding shall not at any time exceed five per cent of the previous year’s actual revenue of the Federal Government.
“All advances shall be repaid as soon as possible and shall, in any event, be repayable by the end of the Federal Government financial year in which they are granted and if such advances remain unpaid at the end of the year, the power of the bank to grant such further advances in any subsequent year shall not be exercisable, unless the outstanding advances have been repaid.”
The CBN, however, said on its website that the Federal Government’s borrowing from it through the Ways and Means Advances could have adverse effects on the bank’s monetary policy to the detriment of domestic prices and exchange rates.
“The direct consequence of central bank’s financing of deficits are distortions or surges in the monetary base leading to adverse effects on domestic prices and exchange rates i.e macroeconomic instability because of excess liquidity that has been injected into the economy,” it said.
The apex bank had last November warned the Federal  Government against financing deficits by borrowing from the CBN through the Ways and Means Advances, saying this putd fiscal pressures on the country’s expenditures.
Despite warnings from experts and organisations, the Federal Government has kept borrowing from the CBN to fund budget deficits.
The Tide source noted that the Federal Government paid an interest of N2.03trillion from January 2020 to November 2021 on the loans it got from the CBN through the Ways and Means Advances.
It was also reported that the Federal Government paid an interest of N405.93billion from January 2022 to April 2022 on the loans it got from the CBN.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr Johnson Chukwu, recently said the Central Bank’s lending to the government was putting pressure on the exchange rate and the inflation rate, with “liquidity that has no productivity attached to it coming into the system.”
An economist, Dr Aliyu Ilias, criticised the government for its constant reliance on borrowing, which was unhealthy for the economy.
He further urged the government to seek better ways of generating revenue rather than persistently borrowing from the apex bank.

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