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Elections: Weighing options of smooth, deadlocked process



Elections: Weighing options of smooth, deadlocked process

Barely four days to 2019 general elections, real estate experts, developers and investors are calling for a smooth process to forestall doom for the economy. DAYO AYEYEMI reports



As the general elections approach, real estate practitioners and investors have urged politicians, especially political office seekers and their supporters to tread with caution in order not to heat up the polity. Their advice is hinged on recent happenings during the ongoing nationwide political campaigns. Already, the tension is high, investors are suspending actions, while developers are putting on hold activities, waiting for the outcome of the elections. Weighing their options, built environment professionals are calling on all parties to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship before, during and after the exercise in order to prevent major breakdown of law and order that could spell doom for the entire nation.

Experts’ views

Weighing both options, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company (FDC), Mr. Bismarck Rewane, said that if the elections went smoothly, expatriate demand for housing units could lead to increased investor confidence. In case of elections deadlock, he stated that the exchange rate would fall sharply, adding that this would also affect demand for luxury properties. On the general economy, he said: “Smooth elections will boost investor confidence and increase number of operational rigs. “Election deadlock will allow investment in oil sector drop sharply; and militancy attacks in Niger Delta could reduce operational rigs. Activities within the manufacturing sector is negatively affected; PMI could crash to 40. “ Speaking with New Telegraph, immediate past Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos branch, Mr. Samuel Offiong Ukpong, also called for caution among politicians contesting for offices, saying that investors were wary of the outcomes. He said: “A lot of people are keeping their monies, even the Federal Government is heating up the system as you can see from the stock market depletion, while billions of naira have been lost due to uncertainty.” He expressed fear that real estate sector might not be shielded, if other sectors are affected negatively. Consequently, he canvassed for peaceful election, saying that would guarantee stability, investments and economic growth. He maintained that no investors would want to put his money in troubled nations or regions, citing the North East and Niger-Delta regions in Nigeria where Boko Haram insurgency and militancy are as examples. Head of Department of Estate Management, University of Ibadan, Professor Olutoye Ojo, stated that current scenario was not a good moment for real estate transactions until the success of the elections. Currently, he said that everything was hanging in the balance, praying for peaceful election. “As long as there is no war, it means there will be stability,” the university lecturer said. The revamping of real estate sector, the professor said, would be a function of the policy of government after the election, adding that policy stability would improve the sector. He said: “If the policy fails to drive real estate sector, it means there will be doom. but if they can genuinely pursue their investment plans as stated in their manifestos, they will improve the sector. “We should pray that there would not be crisis after the election.” Chairman, HOB Estates Limited, Chief Olusegun Bamgbade, said that smooth elections would guarantee peace and boost real estate business. While canvassing for peace during elections, Bamgbade enjoined politicians to remember that power belonged to God, adding that they should take the outcome of the election like sportsmen. He warned against turbulence and insecurity, saying no investor would put his money in any region where there is problem or crisis. He cautioned that crisis during and after elections could lead to doom for the entire nation.

Real estate

update Rewane noted that the sector’s performance improved marginally in 2018, from -9.4 per cent in first quarter (Q1) to -2.68 per cent in Q3. Although, he pointed out that it was projected to improve further in Q4’18 as the sector catches up with economic growth trajectory. On trends, Rewane, in his FDC report, stated that expatriate demand for housing units had fallen sharply owing to drop in rig count, adding that exchange rate volatility was weighing on demand for luxurious properties. On residential segment, the financial analyst pointed out that developers had been shifting focus to studio apartments, noting that there was increased development in student accommodation sub sector. He mentioned that critical success factors in the retail market were accessibility, parking and entertainment facilities, and that e-commerce would remain significant in the retail sub-sector. In the commercial real estate development segment, Rewane said there was an increased saturation of office spaces, adding that high vacancy factors were expected for grade A offices. The renowned economist pointed out that dearth of infrastructure would continue to increase cost of development in the real estate sector.

New developments

Some of the new developments to watch in 2019 include Twins Lake Mall, Bildiamo Mall, Sogenal Tower and Atlantic Resort. The are all located in Lekki, Sangotedo, Ikoyi and Oniru in Victoria Island, Lagos respectively.

Last line

All politicians must embrace peace before, during and after the elections to promote economic growth and development of Nigeria.

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Matters arising over new PSC Act



Matters arising over new PSC Act

The Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Amendment Bill assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari has caused an upheaval in Nigeria’s oil industry. Adeola Yusuf reports


The Nigeria’s proverbial oil and gas tree was, last week, shaken to its root by two events that happened.

First, which happened to Nigeria from far away London, the United Kingdom (UK), was President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing the bill, an Act, which amends the Deep Offshore (and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract).

This was promptly followed, some hours after, by the news of plans by French super major, Total, to exit from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 118.

While the industry players and watchers are yet to establish an official link between the two events, Total immediately appointed Investment bank, Rothschild, to manage the $750 million asset sale in Nigeria.

Opinions have been pouring on the new PSCs law in no small measure; all trying to justify or repudiate the move, altering the entire firmament of the industry.

NEITI’s opinion

The recent PSC Amendment Bill, which was assented to by President Buhari would usher in significant improvement in oil revenue for Nigeria, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said.

The agency commended the Presidency and the National Assembly for the speedy manner, the amendment process was handled. The bill was signed by President Buhari in London just a few days after it was passed by the lawmakers.

Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio, said in Abuja that the amendment of the law was long overdue.

“We commend the 9th National Assembly and the Presidency for breaking the jinx with the prompt action taken to amend the law in record time,” Mr. Adio said.

The development, he said, was quite consistent with NEITI’s agitation for urgent amendment of the law to forestall further revenue losses to the federation.

He recalled that in March 2019, NEITI had published a policy brief titled “the 1993 PSCs: the steep cost of inaction,” which revealed that Nigeria lost between $16 billion and $28.61 billion in ten years for failure to review the terms of the agreement in 2008 as required by the law governing the PSCs.

The official said there were two notable triggers for the review of the Act in 2004 when crude oil price crossed the $20 per barrel mark, and in January 2008 after 15 years of the 1993 PSCs.

Section 16 (1) of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act Cap. D3. LFN 2004 spelled out the conditions under which the PSCs should be reviewed.

The provisions of the Act stipulates that the law shall be subject to review to ensure that if the price of crude oil at any time exceeds $20 per barrel, the share of the revenue to the government of the federation shall be adjusted under the PSC.

The essence of the adjustment of the sharing formula was to ensure that the Production Sharing Contracts shall be economically beneficial to the government.

More revenue

The official expressed confidence that with the amendment of the law, revenue generation for the federation in the PSC arrangement in the oil and gas industry will witness significant improvement.

The Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act was enacted on March 23, 1999, with its commencement backdated to January 1, 1993.

Bickering before review

Of late, the Federal Government, through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had been making a case for the recovery of over $62 billion from the international oil companies.

These are arrears of revenues that should have accrued to Nigeria over the years that oil sold above $20 a barrel.

Malami had accused the IOCs of frustrating efforts in the past for the government to negotiate the review of the PSC.

The morning after

Mass sack last Thursday loomed in Nigeria’s oil industry as more international oil companies mulled pull out from Nigeria’s oil bloc stakes.

The move, which came a few days after President Buhari assented to the bill, New Telegraph gathered, is to worsen the over 3500 job loss suffered by the Nigeria’s oil industry between 2016 and 2019.

French super major, Total, which pioneered the fresh exit plan from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 118, this newspaper gathered on Thursday, has appointed Investment bank, Rothschild, to manage the $750 million Nigeria’s asset sale.

Total is not the only international oil company that has stakes in the OML 118. The stake owners include Royal Dutch Shell 0- the operator, Exxon Mobil and Eni. While Royal Dutch Shell owns 55 per cent stake in the OLM 118, Exxon Mobil has 20 per cent, Eni and Total both own 12 per cent in the oil block.

There has been exchange of correspondences between the IOCs offices in Nigeria and their headquarters situated in their mother countries over this move, this newspaper can report authoritatively.

“While a lot of these correspondences centred on implications of the new law guiding Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) to our bottomlines, our officers here in Nigeria have been tasked to take resolutions on the new bill as an emergency,” a top management staff of one of the oil majors told this newspaper.

Stating that there would be need for re-adjustment in revenues forecast and projections made on investments in Nigeria before the bill, he maintained that there would be “realignment in spending and possible right-sizing to reflect the new reality.”

Job loss fear

There has been mass sack of over 3,500 workers in Nigeria’s oil industry between 2016 and 2019, data compiled by this newspaper showed.

While the country’s economic recession was allegedly responsible for the sack of about 3,000 in 2016, the United States (U.S.) super oil major, Chevron, allegedly sacked 500 staff working on various projects of the company in Nigeria in 2019.

The two major unions in the oil and gas sector, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), then, threatened to go on strike saying over 3,000 of their members were affected during the 2016 mass sack.

Total group is already looking for buyers for one of its major oil blocks in Nigeria. The oil company wants to sell off its 12.5 per cent stake and has already contracted an investment bank to manage the sale process of the deepwater oilfield.

Total’s 12.5 per cent stake in the deepwater oilfield, Oil Mining Lease 118, is estimated to worth $750 million. Part of the oil block includes Bonga field which began production in 2005.

According to report, the Bonga field has produced around 225,000 barrels of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day at its peak. And with the $10 billion development of the Bonga Southwest field, production output is expected to grow.

OML 118 stakes

The decision to sell its stake in the OML 118, which is located some 120 kilometres (75 miles) off Niger Delta, is coming amidst Total’s expansion in Africa. The company was also reportedly planning to sell $5 billion of assets around the world by 2020; the sale of its stake in OML 118 is part of the assets’ sale.

The company appointed Investment bank, Rothschild to manage the sale process on its behalf.

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), it would be recalled, invited interested bidders for the development of the Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil field in February 2019.

It was reported that the project’s initial phaseincludes a new Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, more than 20 deep-water wells and related subsea infrastructure. The field lies across Oil Mining Leases 118, 132 and 140, about 15km southwest of the existing Bonga Main FPSO.

But Shell disclosed days after that the directive by the Nigerian government to foreign oil companies to pay $20 billion in taxes owed would delay the final investment decision (FID) on its Bonga Southwest deepwater oilfield.

OML 119 as a complement

What the government might lose in OML 118, it appears that it might gain from OML 119.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has publicly opened bids from the 14 companies for the financing and redevelopment of the oil bloc – OML 119.

The latest is that ten of the 14 firms jostling for the redevelopment financing deals for the oil  bloc are jittery over fate of their bids as four bids have already suffered “technical” disqualification.

The ill-fated bids submitted by four companies during an open bid round penultimate Friday, New Telegraph gathered exclusively yesterday, could not fly after a preliminary screening showed that the firms could not meet up with the financial requirement for the funding deals.

Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, it would be recalled, publicly opened bids from the 14 companies for the financing and redevelopment of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 119.

OML 119 is a twin offshore block made up of Okono and Okpoho Fields located approximately 50 kilometers offshore south-eastern Niger Delta.

“As we speak, four of the 14 bids can not fly because even from the preliminary screening they have been technically knocked out for their inability to meet up with the financial requirement for the financing deal,” a source close to the deal said.

Noting that this development might have sent jitters down the spines of 10 other bidders, the source maintained that the NNPC “conducted an open bid because of its resolve to ensure that only those who are genuinely qualified are allowed to secure the deals.”

OML 119 is operated by the Upstream subsidiary of the corporation, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC).

Speaking at the public opening of bids for the Funding and Technical Services Entity (FTSE) which held penulrimate Friday in Abuja, the GMD, according to a statement, said that OML 119 was one of the corporation’s critical projects.

This project, the statement issued by Acting Group General Manager, Group Public affairs division, Samson Makoji, read, “aligns wholly with the Federal Government’s aspirations of boosting crude oil and gas production, growing reserves, and monetizing the nation’s enormous gas resources.”

The GMD who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services, Engineer Faruk Sa’id, stated that the selection process for the potential FTSE was transparent and in strict compliance with extant laws and overriding national interest.

He added that it was also in tandem with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the TAPE agenda of the NNPC.

In his remarks, the Group General Manager, Supply Chain Management, Mr. Abdulhamid Aliyu, assured the companies that the selection process would remain transparent and fair.

Last line

The signing of PSC act shows that government can achieve anything if it is so desired to achieve. However, the investors/ concessionaire/oil companies must be carried along in the review as they are critical stakeholders that need co-operation rather than confrontation on any issue of national development.

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‘How local content underscored Nigeria’s crude cost’s cut’



‘How local content underscored Nigeria’s crude cost’s cut’

The Federal Government will deepen the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act as it is an effective strategy for lowering Nigeria’s high crude oil production cost, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timpre Sylva, has said.

The minister, according to a statement, stated this at the conclusion of his first working visit to NCDMB’s head office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, its new 17-storey headquarters building and other project sites.

Emphasising that government’s primary target in the sector is to significantly reduce the unit cost of producing per barrel of crude oil, Sylva, the statement issued by the NCDMB corporate affairs unit, stated that “local contractors tend to be cheaper than expatriates and international contractors and that’s why we want to encourage Local Content and give more opportunities to local contractors. By extension we will reduce the cost of doing business in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

“Local content is part of cost reduction strategy. That’s why I came here, to encourage more local participation in the activities of the industry.”

The minister also lauded the NCDMB for epitomising its mandate by using an indigenous contractor to develop its new headquarters.

He described the edifice as world class and a clear demonstration of the capacity of Nigerians contractors. Such superlative performance on projects would pave way for the engagement of other local contractors in the oil and gas and construction sectors, he suggested.

”When you have seen one contractor perform this good, you are encouraged to patronize more local contractors,” he said.

He expressed confidence that the new NCDMB structure would attract a flurry of oil industry activities to Bayelsa State, adding that “problem we have had over the years was that the region where oil production takes place did not have proper structures to promote lots of events.

That why you see oil and gas events going to Abuja and Lagos. But when you have a befitting facility here, going forward there will be a lot of oil and gas related activity in the Niger Delta.”

The minister commended the NCDMB for the numerous achievements it had recorded in the implementation of the NOGICD Act.

He said: “I am quite impressed with what they have done in a very short time of existence. The new headquarters building is a testament to that impressive performance and of course, you have the 10 megawatts independent power plant. It is a modular plant that can be increased up to 25 megawatts.”

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, confirmed that local content implementation lowers the cost of crude oil production, particularly in the long run.

He listed other key elements that contribute to high crude oil production cost in Nigeria to include security and infrastructural challenges as well as protracted contracting cycle.

He affirmed that several Nigerian oil service companies had executed several projects at costs much lower than their international counterparts.

He also clarified that countries like Brazil, Malaysia and Norway that had practiced local content in their oil sector for decades had long enjoyed significant cost reduction in their per barrel cost.

Wabote also explained that local content served as an opportunity cost for the Federal Government to empower its citizens and get them involved in the activities of the oil and gas industry.

He added that local content guaranteed security of supply in the industry, recalling that local service companies and skilled Nigerians personnel ensured that operations of the oil and gas industry continued apace during the height of restiveness in the Niger Delta region a few years ago, when most foreign companies and their staff had pulled out.

Providing details on the new NCDMB facility, the executive secretary reiterated that it would be ready in December 2019 but relocation of staff will be in phases.

He stated that the project recorded huge impact on the local community.

According to him, “when we started, we took about 50 youths from the host communities and trained them in carpentry, masonry, laying of tiles and other skills. Today, those youths are working on the facility and because of the skills they have acquired the contractor will take them to other projects.

”In terms of corporate social responsibility, we worked with the contractor and built a town hall for the Swali community which we commissioned last year.  Many members of community also supplied sand, granite and other inputs. They have been an integral part of the construction.”

The executive secretary also informed that NCDMB had developed a sustainability plan for the facility, which includes renting out some of the floors to reputable oil and gas organizations.

“Currently, we have two applications from operating companies,” he noted.

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Nigeria, others fret as OPEC’s oil projection suffers slide



Nigeria, others fret as OPEC’s oil projection suffers slide

2023 forecast falls to 32.7m barrels a day


The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at the weekend fretted as its oil demand projection slide by about seven per cent over the next four years, slumping to an average of 32.7 million barrels a day in 2023.

OPEC slashed estimates for the amount of oil it will need to pump in coming years, projecting that its share of world markets will shrink until the middle of the next decade amid a flood of U.S. shale supplies.

The producer group expects that demand for its oil will slide by about seven per cent over the next four years, slumping to an average of 32.7 million barrels a day in 2023, according to its annual report.

That could compel the OPEC and its partners — who have already curbed output this year to prevent a glut — to reduce supplies even further, or at least compete more fiercely among themselves for a diminishing portion of global markets.

The organization cut forecasts for demand for its oil each year from 2019 through 2023 by an average of about 5 million barrels a day, or roughly 16 per cent, though the numbers have been affected by membership changes. Qatar left the group at the beginning of this year.

OPEC will remain under pressure from rising U.S. oil output. America has become the world’s top oil producer through developing hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” in states such as Texas and North Dakota.

“The main driver of medium-term non-OPEC supply growth remains overwhelmingly U.S. tight oil,” OPEC said in its latest World Oil Outlook, using another term for shale oil.

By 2025, U.S. shale-oil output will climb more than 40 per cent to reach 17 million barrels a day, or 3.1 million a day more than OPEC projected in last year’s report. American oil will account for a fifth of global daily output at that time.

But the U.S. deluge will also be supplemented by supplies from regions which had either seemed in decline or uneconomical in an era of constrained crude prices, such as offshore Norway and Brazil, as well as Canada, Guyana and Kazakhstan.

OPEC and its partners are due to meet next month in Vienna, and will consider whether to deepen their current output cutbacks to avert another glut in 2020, according to the organization’s Secretary-General, Mohammad Barkindo.

Russia, the most important of OPEC’s allies, has been more cautious in signaling what needs to be done.

Some members of OPEC+, including Russia, are still falling short on their pledged cutbacks. But the coalition has considerable incentive to double down on its efforts: oil prices, currently just above $60 a barrel in London, are too low for most OPEC nations to cover government spending, including Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest member.

Riyadh may also need higher prices as it sells part of state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, in what may prove to be the world’s biggest-ever initial public offering.

Yet the findings of this latest report could make them consider whether the strategy is backfiring, by propping up investment in U.S. shale drilling and perpetuating an oil oversupply.

Many analysts have said the group should have heeded the warning of former Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi, who predicted that by making room for shale, OPEC would be trapped in an endless spiral of production cuts.

OPEC’s current share of the global market is about 35 per cent, a level it sees dwindling by 2025 to 32 per cent, according to the report.

At the same time, the report does offer OPEC some solace if it chooses to stay the course. U.S. shale output growth will slow from the middle of the next decade, and then begin to decline from 2029 onward. OPEC’s share of the global market will rebound to 40 per cent by 2040.

Although it sees challenges from rival supplies, OPEC’s outlook shows less concern about demand. The report projects that global crude consumption will continue to grow until at least 2040, rejecting the idea increasingly circulating among investors and oil companies that demand will “peak” as countries move away from fossil fuels to avert catastrophic climate change.

While OPEC did lower demand forecasts, it said the reduction reflects a weaker economic backdrop rather than a shift away from carbon. Global oil demand will increase at a “healthy” rate of 1 million barrels a day until 2024, when it will reach 104.8 million barrels a day, then expand at a slower pace, to hit an average of 110.6 million a day in 2040.

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AfDB converts $1.5bn energy fund to concessional facility



AfDB converts $1.5bn energy fund to concessional facility

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has made a U-turn on the $1.5 billion Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) as it converted the fund to a concessional finance facility.

The board of governors, AfDB, a document of the bank sighted by New Telegraph showed, has approved the conversion of the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), which it administers into a “special fund” to amplify its development impact by allowing it to access a wider range of financial instruments.

Currently, SEFA supports small and medium-scale renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects through early stage interventions that enhance project bankability and access to private sector investments.

“Under the new dispensation, the fund will focus its interventions on green mini-grids to accelerate energy access to underserved populations green base load to support clean generation capacity and energy efficiency to optimise energy systems and reduce energy intensity,” the AfDB document read.

“This support will be provided through technical assistance and concessional investments that will improve the bankability of projects across innovative technologies and challenging geographies and crowd-in more commercial investments into the sector,” the bank maintained.

The special fund will provide critical support to African countries to accelerate the transition towards greener and more sustainable power systems, the bank’s acting Vice-President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Wale Shonibare, said.

He said the special fund’s ability to provide various financial instruments would unlock more private sector investments in new technologies and businesses.

First established in 2012, SEFA is anchored in a commitment of $121 million by the governments of Denmark, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Norway and Spain.

To date, it has committed $76 million across 56 projects in 30 countries.

The fund’s investments are expected to leverage over $1.5 billion in investments in new capacity and connections across Africa.

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Bird strike resurgence poses challenge to airline operators



Bird strike resurgence poses challenge to airline operators

…spurs over N5bn loss annually


The resurgence of bird strikes in Nigerian aviation industry and its economic losses to airlines, which is put at approximately N5billion annually, has become a source of worry to operators.

Although bird strike is a global phenomenon, many factors such as the nation’s carelessness to the environment culminating in over grown bushes and other untidy behaviours around the aerodromes are escalating the activities of birds and animals around airport areas.

A bird strike is a collision between an airborne animal, usually a bird or bat and a manmade vehicle, usually an aircraft. The term is also used for bird deaths resulting from collisions with structures such as power lines, towers and wind turbines.

Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety, and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. There are over 13,000 bird strikes annually in the US alone.

However, the number of major accidents involving civil aircraft is quite low and it has been estimated that there is only about 1 accident resulting in human death in one billion (109) flying hours.

The majority of bird strikes (65%) cause little damage to the aircraft; however the collision is usually fatal to the bird(s) involved.

In monetary terms, it is estimated that about $1.2 billion per annum is lost to bird strike by the global aviation industry. In the United States of America about $650 million is lost annually as a result of bird strike.

Bird strike incidents usually affect the engines of aircraft, which cost about $1.5 million (N547.5 million) to replace, depending on the type and capacity of the aircraft involved in the incident. This is apart from the cost of shipping the engine into the country.

Nigerian airlines experience at least 12 bird strike incidents annually, our correspondent gathered. He reported that in the past 24 months, there has been no fewer than 28 bird strike incidents recorded across the country’s airports.

Statistics of the incidents obtained by New Telegraph indicates that the airlines encountered 14 bird strikes during take-offs and another 13 on landings, with half of the incidents happening at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Virtually all domestic airlines have experienced one form of damage to their engines or nose wheel. Ethiopian Airline landing gear was hit by a massive bird last week Thursday but caused just minimal damage.

In the past two months, at least two Nigerian carriers experienced major bird strike incidents that severely damaged the aircraft’s engines, costing the airlines and their insurers millions of dollars to replace the engines.

Air Peace is the hardest hit as many of its airplane engines had been damaged, Arik, Aero, Dana, Azman and others are becoming almost a monthly occurrence.

Spokeswoman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, told our correspondent that the agency was looking at making sure it eradicate or reduce this threat of bird ingestion to aircraft or animal incursion into the runway and so the need to disperse the discovered roost before it became worst.

Being a pilot and a frequent flyer along the MMA axis, she disclosed that the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, like other pilots, have been aware of the roost for some time as they see it when they take off or land due to the fact that the habitat is directly under approach flight path of aircraft that are inbound runway 18L Murtala Muhammad Airport.

A source, who pleaded anonymity, attributed high incidence of bird/wildlife strikes in to the attraction of many species of wildlife to the airports due to the presence of thick bushes, waste dumps and farmlands around the airports.

He called for adequate funding of the airports by the acquisition of modern safety equipment in the airports, stressing that this will also allow adequate maintenance of vehicles, proper habitat management, adequate fencing and regular training and retraining of bird/wildlife hazard control officers.

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Afam plant: Four units pack up, trap 730MW power



Afam plant: Four units pack up, trap 730MW power

Management, FG bicker over funds, power recovery

Four power generation units in multi-million dollars Afam Power in Rivers State have packed up, trapping 730 Mega Watt of electricity.

This, New Telegraph gathered at the weekend, undermined the Federal Government scheme for improved power generation in Nigeria.

The 57-year-old plant with five generation units has an estimated 1,000 MW installed capacity. Checks, however, showed that only one of the units is working despite funds approval for major repair and power recovery at the plant.

Meanwhile, the government and management of the plant have bickered over funding of the plant. While the Ministry of Power stated that the government had approved funds, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Afam Power Project, Engineer of Olumide Obademi, said that the major problem confronting the project was paucity of funds, pointing out that Afam had not received a single budgetary allocation or receipts since 2012.

Government, a document of the Federal Ministry of Power showed at the weekend, said that it had started the recovery and reactivation of some generation plants at Afam Power stations to restore the plants to full generating capacity.

“At the moment, only one of the five plants is working with an output of only 270 MW out of Afam installed capacity of about 1000MW of electricity,” the document read, confirming checks by this newspaper.

Government also said that the $186 million Afam Fast power project would be ready for commissioning soon.

During an inspection visit to Afam, the Minister of Power, Engineer Sale Mamman, the document continued, stated that the power project was still under the privatisation process, the government had approved funds to carry out major repairs on some of the plants.

He disclosed that some of the issues affecting the project had already been presented to Federal Executive Council for deliberations and approval.

Mamman commended Afam community for loyalty and support while promising that they would be carried along in the privatisation process of the company.

He also disclosed that the rehabilitation of the Afam road had also been taken up with the Federal Government.

While receiving the minister, Obademi said the major problem confronting the Afam Power Project was paucity of funds.

He revealed that out of the five plants installed at various times in Afam, only Afam IV was functional with an output of 110MW, while Afam V, installed in 2012 with capacity to generate 276MW, was being overhauled.

Obademi said the company was unable to source for funds from the capital marketsor banks because of its ownership issues. Transcorp, which is the company’s preferred bidder, is yet to pay and assume ownership of the plant.

Obademi said that the company was on the verge of collapse over lack of funds 57 years after its establishment. Afam Power plant, located in Okoloma, Oyigbo Local Council of Rivers State, was commissioned in five phases, Afam 1-5 with a total installed capacity of 987.2 megawatts. Obademi had earlier said during the inspection of the facility by officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, in April that Ministry of Power had refused to include the power plant in the budget from 2012 to date.

He said due to the development, only two machines, gas turbines 17 and 18 from Afam Four were presently operational, thereby pegging its production capacity to 110 megawatts. “While the goal of the firm established in 1962 was to identify and overcome all obstacles and add an additional 600mw into the National Grid before 2028, the objective is currently under threat,” he said.

Obademi, who noted that the fund challenge faced by the company was enormous as a result of the delay in concluding privitisation exercise and emerging market rules, said: “Because of privitisation exercise, there was no budgetary allocation to the company since 2012.

The company was surviving through internally-generated revenues from energy generated until January 2015 when the evacuation transformer that serves GTs 17 and 18 that evacuates power got burnt. This left the company with no source of income.” According to him, this made the company to go out of generation for more than two years from January 2015 to September 2017. He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to continue funding the power plant by being included in the ministry’s budget since it has not been fully privatised.

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Geospatial: Making technology-compliant cities possible



Geospatial: Making technology-compliant cities possible

In order to tackle cities’ myriad of challenges, geoinformation practitioners are calling on government to invest in geospatial technology to promote smarter, stronger and faster cities. Dayo Ayeyemi reports


Rapid urbanisation is  creating myriad of issues in Nigeria’s populous cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt among others.

Apart from  over growing population, which  pace  has superceeded infractucture growth, migration into these  cities happens on a daily basis,  with about 123,000 migrants, according to report by  PWC, Nigeria.

Encumbered with collapse of infrastructure due to population explosion, other problems such as inadequate housing,  traffic jam, crimes, water supply, waste and drainage issues surface.

Considering the complex nature of solving the problems of housing,  transportation,  safety and lately  flood, professionals under the auspices of the Geoinformation Society of Nigeria (GEOSON) have called on city managers to embrace  geospatial technology for effective decision making and planning to promote smart, strong and faster cities.

The professionals pointed out that problem of cities centered on absence of data for planning.

Speaking with New Telegraph on the sideline  of Annual Technical Discourse themed: “Geospatial Lagos  – Locational Intelligence for a Smart Lagos,” President of Geospacial Society of Nigeria, Dr. Mathew Olumide Adepoju, called on government and city managers across Nigeria  to embrace geospatial technology for effective  planning and management.

Geospatial is a technology that uses location specific information to solve problems.

The technology includes geographical information system, remote sensing, and global positioning system.

He explained geospatial technology involved the use computer for location of different activities in order to take better decision to achieve greater result.

“For instance, many people do not know that the bedrock of success of Lagos when it comes to internally generated revenue was   one of the first set of contracts that was awarded  by former Governor Bola Tinubu tagged PIE – Property Identification Exercise,” he said.

Adepoju described PIE  project as a Geographical Information System (GIS) project, whereby location  of every building in the state  is identified for tax purpose  and for provision of service to residents.

Adepoju noted that greater cities like New York, London and  Dubai used  the  technology to achieve effective management.

Co-founder of OEA  Consults Limited, Mr. Joseph Aro, explained that adoption of geospatial  would enable government and its agencies acquire data referenced to the  earth and use it for analysis, modeling, simulations and visualisation.

“Uber, Google maps, traffic, wealther apps on smartphone and new apps among others use your location to provide you services,” Aro said

The creative geospatial data analyst, pointed out that large-scale modeling on transportation, flood risk assessements and environmental investigations have been built on strenght of geospatial.

According to him, geospatial technology has become an essential part of everyday life as it was being used to track everything from personal fitness to transportation to changes on the surface of the earth.

He said: “It is now difficult to separate locational intelligence technologies and solutions from the entire concept of smart cities and its attendant growth.

Locational intelligence is making cities not just smater, but stronger and faster.

Aro stated that geospatial provided data on  traffic problems, persons plying  roads and  waterways daily, adding that  it gave  number of vehicles, boats, origin and destination of travel/ passenger perception of mode of travels.

With the technology, he said: “Flood prediction and management services become easy, with an efficient use of elevated data, population data, building and economic data, all put together.

“Drainage management becomes trackable with efficient geometric network analysis to depict drainage flow pattern with attendant modeling to identify potential problematic zones.”

In disasater and risk management, Aro said that locational intelligence provided real time solutions to flooding issues, waste management and other envitronmental challeneges.

Other views

Mr  Marculey Modupeore, who represented the General Manager  of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority,  said that geospatial – locational intelligence was critical to traffic and transportation management in the city.

For effective use of geospatial data to ensure free movement of traffic, he canvassed that all inner roads in the city be tarred, while rehabilitation of bad spots on major roads  be sorted  out.

Representative of Rapid Response Squad, Mr. Kayode Oki, added that geospatial technology, especially GIS,  had helped the unit to respond immediately to location of crimes and suspects in the state

He said: “In crime detection, geospatial  comes handy to locate the  coordinates of  location of suspects.

In tracking of  vehicles, he added that  the technology was useful.

Lekki Free Trade

On increasing rate of development within Lekki Free Trade Zone coupled with the construction of Dangote Refineries and Petrochemical Industry,  Adepoju  said geospatial technology became handy for data collection,  better decisions making and management of the corridor.

He wants administrator of Lagos to look at ways to  take advantage of waterways, while urging the Federal Government to help Lagos State Government to dredge River Niger in order to  reduce trucks plying roads.

“Also, the rail system that the government has put up will help in reducing the truck haulage in Lagos  and eastern part, thereby easing lot of traffic,” he said.

Corroborating Adepoju, Chairman of Lagos chapter of GEOSON, Mr. Ropo Olujugba, urged government to generate enough data for the  planning of Lekki free trade zone.

He pointed out that for things to work in the corridor,  it must start from planning.

Last line

Adoption of cuting edge data technology is  required for effective city planning.

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Ilubinrin homes: Developer, govt strike deal on completion



Ilubinrin homes: Developer, govt strike deal  on completion

Barely 13 years the idea of Ilubinrin housing project was proposed and over four years of abandonment, the Lagos State Government and First Investment Development Company, developers of the upscale project, have  renewed commitment to the completion and delivery of the housing estate next year.

This is coming as a cheering news to accommodation seekers and residents  in the metropolis as  completion of the project would reduce housing deficit in the state 

According to the Commissioner for Housing, Mr.  Moruf Akinderu- Fatai, there is a solid plan to deliver the first phase of the project (residential) in the fourth quarter of 2020, followed by the commercial and entertainment/leisure parks in 2021.

He said: “Ilubirin is a critically important development for the city that will rejuvenate the area. We have a duty to ensure that more Lagos residents become home owners and that the homes themselves are built to global and international standards.”

The commissioner expressed optimism that when fully delivered, the project will go a long way in addressing the housing deficit in Lagos State.

On his part, Project Director of FIDC, Wale Bamgbelu, said there was a collective determination and commitment from both parties to the timely delivery of Ilubirin scheme, saying that its completion would set a new standard for mixed-used housing estates.

He said: “Ilubirin will create a benchmark for future community development in Lagos state anchored on the concept of ‘live, work and play’ with not only residential offerings but also offices, shopping, new school, hotel, medical center, leisure facilities and a brand new Marina for the Lagoon.”

Bamgbelu further disclosed that a revised master plan of Ilubinrin scheme  was recently completed, stressing that this would help in optimising the Marina and “creating a new shopping spine through the new neighborhood.”

He explained that the Ilubirin first residential offering, the “Premier Collection,” would provide a total of 108 spacious apartments across five elegant blocks consisting of 20 studios, 64 two-bedrooms and 24 three-bedroom apartments carefully designed and detailed to provide some of the finest places to live in anywhere in the world.

Ilubirin Foreshore housing project is  a joint venture between the Lagos State Government and FIDC.

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Four-engine planes fading into extinction



Four-engine planes fading into extinction

With airline operators abandoning fuel guzzling four-engine airplanes for more efficient models, there is a huge shift from super jumbo jets like the B747 and A380 for medium size editions probably for economic reasons. Wole Shadare writes


End of the road?

Could the end be near for passenger flights on four-engine jets? That’s a question Boeing and Airbus may soon have to answer as sales of their four-engine passenger planes languish at the world’s two biggest airline manufacturers.

That Boeing’s humped 747, perhaps the world’s most-recognisable jet and Airbus’ mammoth A380 “superjumbo” jet are struggling to find traction among passenger airlines may come as a surprise.

Having a lifespan measured by decades, the most recent models to roll off assembly lines will probably remain in service for the foreseeable future. But the production of the passenger versions of those jets is in limbo amid a seismic shift in aviation industry.


Airbus has received 317 orders and none since 2016 for its massive A380.

By contrast, its new twin-engine A350 — which first began flying for airlines in 2015 — has racked up nearly 850 orders.

An aircraft engineer, who preferred anonymity said: “I would occasionally compare the A380 to the rotund American comedian Rodney Dangerfield, in that his punchline was “I don’t get no respect.”

This seemed to be the airline industry’s attitude; the A380 was one every passenger wanted to fly in, but ultimately, no airline wanted to buy it.

Again, it is a sad irony that the A380, a much greater example of European technical and manufacturing wizardry than the Concorde ever was, is being shut down just as the very concept of a united Europe is under assault.

Doomed by economy

But it wasn’t politics that doomed the A380, it was economy. Great products are ultimately supposed to make money, and the A380 never did.

For Boeing, the demise of the jumbo jet has come a little closer after the United States manufacturer announced it would scale back production of its famous 747 to just one plane every two months, with orders having all but disappeared.

The distinctive four-engine plane has fallen from favour since more efficient twin-engine models were developed that could operate on long-haul routes – particularly lucrative transatlantic flights – on a fraction of the fuel.

Boeing had prolonged the life of the 45-year-old design with its latest, more fuel-efficient iteration, the 747-8, whose freight version looked to have particular potential with early sales. But the manufacturer said a stalling air cargo market was killing off demand for the plane.

The rivalry

Competing visions of the future of aviation saw Boeing’s great rival, Airbus, launch an even bigger plane, the A380 superjumbo, a fully double-decker design.

While the A380 has also struggled to sell in the last two years, it has won most of the recent trade in the 747’s patch, the market for giant passenger planes – once seen as essential for major international hubs like Heathrow, where landing slots are at a premium.

Finding success with smaller planess

Boeing has found more success of late in its midsize long-haul planes, such as the 787 Dreamliner, where it is planning to ramp up production.

The cost of producing the 747 has for some time exceeded the revenue it has brought in, and the manufacturer said it would report an accounting charge of $569m in its forthcoming quarterly results to reflect the new reality.

It had already warned that production would slow from 1.3 planes per month to a single unit from March, but now will be halving that rate again from September.

More than 1,500 747s have been sold over four and a half decades and the plane was once known as the queen of the skies by pilots and spotters. But its popularity among airline accountants has plunged in the last 10 years as higher fuel costs and narrower profit margins made it economically unviable on many routes.

Experts’ views

Analysts say advances in engine technology and fuel-efficiency have made twin-engine jets the go-to choice when airlines look to update their passenger fleets.

Patrick Smith, host of the Ask the Pilot website, says economy swung the pendulum — perhaps irreversibly — toward two-engine passenger planes.

“It’s pretty simple. Why do with four what you can do with two? It’s going to be simpler and less expensive,” Smith says.

The A380 had been somewhat of an early success, but when Emirates recently decided to cancel its outstanding orders, Airbus announced that it would cease production of the aircraft after the remaining commitments were delivered.

In recent years, the shift has been toward far more fuel efficient aircraft such as the 787 Dreamliner, which I fly, and the A350.

These aircraft can fly exactly the same routes as safely as their four-engine counterparts, but for a fraction of the fuel. It is a win for both accountants and environmentalists.

With the advances in engine and aircraft reliability since the first trans-Atlantic crossing 100 years ago, regulators have allowed two-engine aircraft to fly farther and farther from the nearest adequate airfield in the event of an engine shut down.

Demand for the big jets has also dwindled as aviation regulations changed, airlines moved away from the hub-and-spoke model for their routes, and jet-engine technology improved — making it safer for aircraft to fly long distances with just two engines. Sadly, even the 747’s freighter business is struggling.

Airbus hasn’t won an airline order for the double-decker jet since it sold Emirates a batch two years ago. Although there are rumours that Japan’s ANA is looking to buy, don’t expect many others to join in.

Last line

These days, Boeing and Airbus are having a hard time finding new buyers for both aircraft. The cost of purchasing such a large craft, combined with the fact that they’re relatively energy inefficient makes them impractical.

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Nigeria loses N176.4bn to Illegal wood export



Nigeria loses N176.4bn to Illegal wood export

Nigeria has lost N176.4billion ($483.22million) to Illegal logging and lumbering of rose wood.

The trees were exported to China and Poland, Turkey, Portland, Italy and other countries.

The woods were harvested between 2013 and 2018 despite the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) restricting the export of the rosewood specie.

Officially, Nigeria has banned the export of the tree because of its global restriction.

Between 2017 and 2018 alone, it was revealed that 10,000 shipping containers of illegal rosewood valued $300 million were ferried to China from the country illegally by exporters through fake CITES permits to export the tree.

Trade data by the International Trade Statistics (ITC) also, revealed that in 2014, some rosewood valued at $50.3million were exported from Nigeria; 2015,  $51.5million; 2016 and $60.42million to various destinations.

Also, between 2017and 2018,  $300million of the trees were exported out of the country.

Because of the abuse, Nigeria has been given till December, 2019 by CITES secretariat to explain why it would not be banned under the convention for allowing exportation of the trees.

The country has already been suspended over 181,191.67m3 of rose wood exported illegally through issuance of 4,757 permits to Vietnam and China.

Some 8,559.78m3logs were shipped to Vietnam and 172,631.89m3 to China between January and August 2018.

Already, a Director in the Department of Forestry in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Andrew Adejo, at a meeting with Chinese CITES Management Authority had said in Abuja recently that some exporters started having the problems in the country because of the shady practices they involved in logging of the tree.

Adejo explained that the country was making moves to track the issues of fake CITES permit obtained by exporters.

In 2014, Chinese Customs records revealed that Nigerian rosewood export to China was 247,200m3.

By the end of 2015, it said that the Nigeria had become the single largest exporter of the ornate logs to China, accounting for 45 per cent of total imports to the country.

The record also revealed that by the end of 2015, 30 containers of 20 feet of rosewood were leaving Nigerian ports for China daily.

According to Chinese Customs, by 2014 the country had exported 18 folds of what it imported in 2013.

It also explained that while 30,866m3 of logs were shipped from the country in 2013, some 242,200m3 of rosewood were ferried from the country in 2014.

The record revealed that rosewood imports into China had increased by 1,250 per cent since 2000.

Meanwhile, importation of furniture to Nigeria has surged to N151.2 billion ($536.3 million) since last year when the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) removed the item from the import prohibition list.

Findings from ITS revealed that between 2014 and May 2016, Nigeria has imported some furniture from China valued at $153.8million; Netherlands, 46million; Germany, $16.7million; France, $129million; United Kingdom, $13.4million; Greece, $7million;  south Africa, $10.8 million; Turkey, $9million; United States, $14.6million; Italy, $16.02million and Kuwait, $3.25 million.

Between January and May, 2016, China alone has exported some $73.6 million furniture into the country.

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