- MTN buys N16bn worth of generators
- Banks burn 20-30% operating expenses on power
he importation and fuelling of generators by banks, corporate organisations and homes in Nigeria has gulped a whopping $32.6 billion (over N10 trillion) in the last two years as the Africa’s biggest economy struggles with gross inefficiency of power supply.
Analysts at the FBNQuest Research, who declared this in an e-document obtained exclusively by New Telegraph at the weekend, maintained that businesses and homes in the country spent approximately $16.3 billion (over N5 trillion) to import and fuel generators every year.
Declaring this as one on the “many shortcomings” in the Nigerian power industry, the FBNQuest Research added on its Twitter page that such controversial business spending has drawn its interest.
“Our interest, however, is the Nigerian power industry and its many shortcomings such that business spends an estimated N5trillion (US$16.3billion) annually on importing and fuelling generators,” the top notch financial institution said.
This came as power supply inefficiency rocking the country took a toll on the business concerns.
Telecommunications giant, MTN, checks showed, spent an estimated N16 billion to fuel its diesel-power generators in two years. The spending did not include the amount expended by the company on importation of hundreds of generators.
In many households and small scale businesses in Nigeria, small business generators are powered by price-capped fuel, the big generators for larger firms, apartment complexes and more substantial homes can only run on diesel,” another report by Reuters read.
Quoting Tunde Leye, a Lagos-based analyst with SBM Intelligence, the report read; “Businesses may struggle to survive, or in the best case scenario, would at least downsize. Diesel is the second or third biggest cost for many Nigerian firms.”
Bank branches rely on generators, with diesel often accounting for 20-30% per cent of banks’ operating expenses, according to Reuters.
“Telecommunications companies also need them to run their mobile phone towers across the country. Telecoms giant, MTN (MTNJ.J) told local media in 2015 that it spends N8 billion ($26 million) annually on diesel to power generators,” the report added.
Even bakeries also rely on generators as alternative source of power.
At Rehoboth Chops and Confectioneries Ltd, a bakery in the Ogba district of Lagos, giant diesel-powered ovens bake hundreds of loaves of bread.
The factory runs 24-hours a day, six-and-a-half days a week.
The lights, mixers and fans that clear the heat are powered by two large diesel generators outside. The ovens run directly on diesel, so they never cut out.
Chief operating officer of the company, Abayomi Awe, said they use cheaper grid power when they can, but rely on generators for around 20 hours per day. Grid power can be down for days.
“It becomes difficult for us to expand if the price of diesel goes up,” he said as bakers scrambled to pull finished loaves from steaming ovens.
“It might result in some companies, some bakeries like ours, shutting down.”
Nigeria and German engineering group, Siemens (SIEGn.DE), it would be recalled, agreed in July to nearly triple the country’s “reliable” power supply to 11,000 megawatts by 2023.
This same plan is not new and the company has abandoned such plans before.
Sokoto APC guber candidate appeals tribunal’s judgement
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 gubernatorial and rerun elections in Sokoto State, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto and the party yesterday, filed a Notice of Appeal at the gubernatorial election petitions’ tribunal in Sokoto, according to a member of the party’s legal team, Bashir Jodi.
The tribunal had penultimate week in Abuja, dismissed the petition brought before it by Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu and the party, upholding the election of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal.
With yesterday’s development, Aliyu and the APC were now contesting the judgement of the tribunal at the Court of Appeal, Sokoto, thereby seeking for legitimate redress.
Nasarawa gov submits commissioners-nominee list to Assembly
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, yesterday submitted a list of 15 commissioners-nominee to the state House of Assembly for screening and confirmation as members of cabinet.
Among the list were the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nasarawa State Council, Dogo Shammah and former Chairman, Awe Local Government Council, Yusuf Aliyu Turaki and former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Philip Dada and others.
Majority Leader in the House, Hon. Tanko Tunga (APC-Awe North), submitted the list of commissioners-nominee on behalf of Governor Abdullahi Sule at yesterday’s plenary.
“The fifteen commissioners-nominee include Ahmed Baba Yahaya (Toto Local Government); Philip Dada (Karu Local Government); Othman Bala Adam (Keffi Local Government); Dr Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana (Kokona Local Government); Obadiah Boyi (Akwanga Local Government); Yusuf Aliyu Turaki (Awe Local Government); Dr. Salihu Ahmad Alizaga (Nassarawa Eggon Local Government); Dogo Shammah (Wamba Local Government); Prof. Otaki Allahnanah (Keana Local Government); Haruna Ogbole Adamu (Obi Local Government); Ibrahim Musa Ekye (Doma Local Government); Mrs. Fati Jimeta Sabo (Nasarawa Local Government), Abubakar Muhammed Imam (Lafia Local Government); Hajiya Halima Ahmadu Jabiru (Lafia Local Government) and Mohammed Bashir Aliyu (Lafia Local Government),” he said.
He said the Assembly would commence their screening from Monday, October 21, to Tuesday, October 22.
“Those that will appear for screening on Monday, October 21, include commissioners-nominee from Toto, Karu, Keffi, Kokona, Akwanga, Awe, Nassarawa Eggon, Wamba and Keana.
“While those that will appear for screening on Tuesday, October 22nd are commissioners-nominee from Obi, Doma, Nasarawa and the three from Lafia Local Government,” he said.
PDP to Lalong: Reverse appointment of APC LG chairmen
Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday advised Governor Simon Lalong to immediately reverse the recent appointment of All Progressives Congress (APC) chairmanship candidates as caretaker chairmen of Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas, where elections were suspended last year in the interest of peace in the state
Addressing journalists yesterday, PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Hon. John Akans, urged Lalong to reverse the appointment, which he said was capable of causing crisis in the state.
“If this act is not reversed, condemned or rejected by all men of goodwill, it might become a security threat to our existence as a people, because it is practically clear that APC has substituted democracy with impunity and are forcefully asking the people to accept this undemocratic and illegal actions.”
The PDP advised the APC-led administration of Lalong to have the genuine desire and well-being of the people of the state at heart by conducting proper democratic election in the four suspended council areas since there had been peace in the affected areas.
Akans said: “Our party was shocked on October 9, 2019 with the news of Governor Simon Lalong’s decision to swear in APC’s flag-bearers as the caretaker’s chairmen of local government areas for Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Jos South and Jos North.
“This action is not only illegal, but undemocratic, unconstitutional and a full blown dictatorship, which we believe is geared towards disenfranchising the people by denying them the right to freedom and liberty to choose their representatives at all levels.”
New Telegraph recalled that the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) conducted election October 10, 2018 in 13 local government areas, excluding Barkin Ladi, Jos North, Jos South and Riyom Local Government Areas as result of insecurity.
The PDP said insecurity shouldn’t be the bases for such illegality, since the four local government areas were currently enjoying peace, adding that the trade fair currently taking place in Jos City was a sign that peace had returned to the areas concerned.
The state chapter of the PDP, however, commended the courage of nine PDP House members of the state Assembly, who stood for democracy by standing against the illegality of the APC members.
‘Stronger indices’ll guarantee free float of naira’
FXTM, a global foreign exchange brokerage firm, has said that Nigeria needs a combination of stronger foreign reserves and more economic stability as hedge that will make free float of naira against the U.S. dollar a success.
Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM, while giving insight into Nigerian economy at a press parley in Lagos yesterday, said: “If the nation allows naira to free float with the current economic condition it is going to result in skyrocketing inflation and we don’t know how long it is going to depreciate against the dollar. It is very tricky one allowing the naira a free float now because the economy is very fragile as it is still recovering from recession I think if CBN is in position where foreign exchange reserve is strong and there is more economic stability, it can go the way of Egypt which was in a similar position with Nigeria,”
Egypt’s central bank had in 2016 floated its tightly controlled currency in a surprise step that aimed to draw foreign capital back to the country but risks pushing the price of goods out of reach for ordinary Egyptians.
The Central Bank of Egypt, which also raised interest rates by three percentage points, said the decision to “liberate exchange rates” was intended to return foreign-currency trading to the formal banking sector and away from a black market that has capitalized on months of acute dollar shortages.
Otunuga noted also that such policy to succeed in Nigerian, there should be a measure to mitigate the oil shock and diversify the economy.
He noted that while the central banks across the world were easing monetary policy in the face of decelerating global growth and trade uncertainty, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has left interest rates unchanged at 13.5 per cent in September.
“Given how economic growth remains sluggish and inflation has eased to a 43-month low in August at 11.02 per cent, the conditions are ripe for the CBN to turn on the stimulus taps to float the Nigerian economy. Investors just need to look at the disappointing growth in domestic product for the second quarter of 2019 which highlights how the nation remains exposed to both domestic and external risks.
“While the prospects of rising oil prices amid geopolitical tensions could lend some support to the nation, the short-term benefits will be overshadowed by core themes weighing on the nation. Should trade disputes, volatile oil prices and unfavorable global conditions continue exposing Nigeria to downside shocks, the CBN could be forced to turn on the monetary policy life support to prevent the economy from flatlining.
Slain soldiers: President orders military to settle deceased families
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed military authorities to immediately begin the payment of all entitlements of soldiers killed by Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.
The order by the President is coming on the heels of revelation by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, that 847 soldiers have been killed by the insurgents from 2013 till date and were buried in the military cemetery located in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
While launching the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration Emblem and Appeal Fund at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari said it was unfortunate that the gallant soldiers have paid the supreme price in the campaign against insurgency and terrorism in Nigeria.
The launch of the emblem took place shortly before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Buhari said: “The unfortunate cost of the war against insurgency and other internal security operations is the loss of lives of some of our officers and men in the Armed Forces.
“These very sad occurrences create deep wounds to loved ones. It is, therefore, our duty to ensure that the loss of these bread winners does not relegate the spouses and dependents to a life of want and deprivation. Government will do all in its powers to look after the bereaved.
“Service leaders must take urgent steps to settle the entitlements of these affected citizens as well as the welfare packages designed for their dependants.
“It is the responsibility of government to ensure that the families of our fallen heroes do not suffer the loss of their loved ones and, at the same time, be deprived of their due benefits,” he noted.
The President, who reiterated that the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable, launched the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance emblem on behalf of the Federal Government with the sum of N10 million.
He said: “Today, we are once again gathered to acknowledge and commend the sacrifices of our fallen heroes and veterans of First and Second World Wars, Nigerian Civil War and Peace Support Operations around the world.
“We must not forget those currently engaged in internal security operations, particularly the on-going war against insurgency in some parts of the country.
“It is indeed befitting to honour the memory of the gallant officers and men who paid the supreme sacrifice to keep the country united. For those who survived with varying degrees of incapacitation, they require our attention and care and we will continue to provide and cater for them.”
Commenting on why the Federal Government fixed January 15 as the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, he explained: “The Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration was intentionally fixed for 15th January, annually, to commemorate the end of our civil war. It reminds us of the need to guard jealously the unity of our country which was won at a great cost.
“This day calls to mind the negative impact of strife and conflicts and demands that as responsible citizens, we must, at all times, avoid actions that emphasize our differences.
“There is no doubt that the strength of Nigeria lies in her diversity. It behoves us, therefore, to engage in activities and endeavours that feed our diversity as a source of strength not weakness.
“The nation is appreciative of the gallantry and sacrifices of officers and men of our Armed Forces in the campaign against insurgency and other internal security operations.
“This has led to the return of normalcy in affected parts of the nation. The Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially defeated and degraded to the extent that they are only daring soft targets.
“However, all hands must be on deck to check the attacks on soft targets, mostly innocent Nigerians. The peace and security of Nigeria is non-negotiable and the security agencies must continue to do their work diligently.
“As a government, we will continue to provide necessary logistical support to ensure that our Armed Forces operate with the best modern warfare equipment, while at the same time adequately addressing the issues of their welfare.
“Likewise, government will remain steadfast in developing our alliances with neighbours and friends in the international community for the total defeat of the insurgents.
“The task of resettling and rehabilitating our citizens as well as the reconstruction of territories affected by the war will continue to be one of the priorities of this administration.”
He said to ensure that the veterans continue to share the comradeship that existed while in service and adequately cater for their welfare at exit, the Federal Government established the Nigerian Legion.
“It is delightful to note that the Legion is carrying out initiatives in transportation, agriculture, housing and other ventures in partnership with the private sector,” Buhari added.
The President said he was happy to note that the Legion has continued to be a rallying point of veterans and has done its part in catering for the welfare of their ailing members.
He enjoined the leadership of the Legion to continue in that spirit and also urged Nigerians to accord them the needed support, friendship and patronage.
Buhari said: “As the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion, I wish to pledge my continued support and that of the Federal Government to the organisation.
“As I launch the emblem, I wish to call on all Nigerians and others resident in Nigeria to procure and wear the emblems with pride to identify with those who laid down their lives for the peace and security of our fatherland.
“I encourage all to donate generously in support of our veterans and dependants of fallen heroes.”
FG deports 7 Korean nationals ‘for life’
The Federal Government has deported “for life” seven nationals of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) back to their country.
The deportation was executed by the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr. Muhammad Babandede, on the orders of the Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
No reason was given for the deportation.
Spokesperson for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Sunday James, a Deputy Comptroller of Immigration, who made the announcement in a statement yesterday, gave the names of the deportees as follows: Jo Sun Phil, Jang Sung Chol, Che Chun Hyok, Pak Yong Gon, Ri Yong IL, Ri Hak Su, and Ri Tong Nam.
He said the minister exercised the power conferred on him by the Immigration Act 2015.
“They were deported to their country of origin on the available flight on the 15th October, 2019 through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja,” James said.
FEC approves N5.4bn for oil, gas parks, aviation security
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a total of N5.4 billion for construction of oil and gas parks as well as indoor shooting range for aviation security.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said the oil and gas parks located in Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states will be used for the country’s oil servicing sector.
According to Sylva, the oil and gas parks will cost about N3 billion adding that the parks are to support the development of oil and gas tools.
The minister explained that the parks will create additional 1,000 jobs and improve security in the region.
According to Sylva, who was joined by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Gbemi Saraki, Minister of State for Transportation and Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, said, “Two oil and gas parks were approved in council, one in Akwa Ibom and the other in Bayelsa State. These parks are to support the development and manufacturing of oil and gas tools. In some countries, service sector of the oil industry is sometimes even bigger than the oil industry itself.
“Unfortunately, in Nigeria, that sector has not really grown so much. Now, this administration is really committed to developing the service sector and that is why the oil and gas parks are being built. These parks will create a lot of jobs, we are looking at about 1,000 additional jobs and, of course, it will also improve the security of Niger Delta.”
In his remarks, Sirika said that FEC approved about N2.4 billion for the construction of indoor shooting range for aviation security.
He noted that it was in line with the approval for airport officials to bear arms towards boosting security at Nigerian airports.
Also speaking, Saraki said that FEC approved a contract for 300 buoys for River Niger, between Lokoja and Onitsha at the cost of N581 million.
SGF: My office doesn’t supervise constituency projects
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, yesterday explained that his office does not execute and supervise constituency projects in any part of the country.
The SGF explained that some fraudulent individuals have been misinforming the public about its role of supervising projects.
In a statement by the Director of Information, Willie Bassey, the SGF said “for the avoidance of doubt, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation neither executes nor supervises constituency projects.”
He said there are unrelenting activities of faceless persons using the social media and other platforms to lure unsuspecting members of the Public to submit their Curriculum Vitae at a fee, to a non-existing desk at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, for Federal Government appointments.
“The Office is similarly aware of inaccurate information being peddled around regarding constituency projects being executed under its supervision.
“Also, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has become aware of numerous forged introductory letters purportedly issued from his office seeking diverse favours from individuals and corporate entities for personal gains.” Mustapha warned that “the general public is by this notice advised to beware of the clandestine activities of these dubious and fraudulent persons and their cohorts going about to fleece unsuspecting members of the public.
Assuredly, the government has evolved measures to track these unpatriotic and faceless persons and will bring to justice anyone found engaging in these unwholesome activities.
The SGF said all enquiries and clarification, could be made on the official communication channels of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Insurgency: NAF fighter jets use 64,964,000 hours to hit terrorists, bandits
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, yesterday, disclosed that the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has successfully launched six different operation strategies to tackle insecurity and other forms of criminality in the different parts of the country.
Speaking at an interactive meeting with members of the House of Representatives committee on air force in Abuja, Sadique stressed that the agency was saddled with the responsibility of national security and was at a point grappling with a serious threat to national security by bandits and criminals in Nigeria.
He explained that in the last five years, the agency had done everything possible to protect Nigerian citizens and also protect the territorial integrity of the nation against any for form of aggression.
According to the NAF boss, the Airforce launched six different operations to tackle insecurity, particularly insurgency and banditry in the North-East state of Borno and some few other Northern states of the Federation.
He listed the different operations as follows: Operation Lafia Dole, Safe Heaven, Thunder Strike, Hadarin Daji, Swift Response and Delta Safe.
On the achievements of the agency, he said that it had successfully evacuated stranded Nigerians from crisis prone areas in Cameroun and also have sent relief materials to victims of similar crisis in Malawi, Gambia and other African nations.
He further informed the lawmakers that NAF had expended 64,964,000 hours to tackle these security challenges, adding that it expended 924,000 hours in the North-East region alone.
The NAF boss commended the lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives for passing the Air Force Institute of Technology Establishment Bill into law, saying that it would help in its operations as well as capacity building.
Okowa approves appointment of 4 traditional rulers
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has approved the appointment of no fewer than four traditional rulers in the state, charging them to enhance the peace-building agenda of his administration’s ‘Stronger Delta’ mantra.
This came as the governor read riot act to the state commissioners on project monitoring and evaluation, saying they should deliver on the mandate that produced them, or risk being sacked.
The newly appointed monarchs are the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom, Chukwuka Okonjo; the Pere of Burutu Kingdom, Johnbull, Bolokowei; the traditional ruler of Beneku Kingdom, and the Obi of Onicha-Olona, Christopher Uzu-Diji.
The appointment of Okonjo of the Okonjo-Iweala family to succeed his father might have doused the rising tension that had hitherto trailed the traditional stool of the kingdom.
The governor, who expressed delight that his administration’s ‘Smart Delta Agenda’ yielded good fruits during his first tenure, however, threatened that any non-performing aide, ministry, department or agency would be sanctioned.
While addressing newsmen yesterday on the outcome of the enlarged executive council meeting at the Government House in Asaba, the state capital, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, supported by his counterpart in the Economic Planning Ministry, Mr. Barry Gbee, said the governor would not take it lightly with any indolent appointee.
“He (Governor Okowa) had warned that he would not tolerate a situation whereby a Commissioner will sit in the comfort zone of his office while execution of projects suffer setbacks,” he said.
The Commissioner, therefore, hinted that N389 billion had been proposed for 2020 budget, with N217 billion as capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure of N171 billion, saying the budget outlay is slightly different from the N390 billion estimated for 2019.
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