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Power Plants Lose 1,552MW

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More than six months after the nation’s electricity generation dropped below 3,000 megawatts, output from the power plants is still 1,552MW lower than the peak achieved in February.

Power generation stood at 3,523.10MW as of 6am on Friday, September 2, 2016, up from 3,026.3MW on August 29, data from the System Operator showed.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria announced on February 2, 2016 that the nation had achieved its peak electricity generation of 5,074.70MW.

But the feat was short-lived as generation dropped below the 4,000MW mark later that month.

On March 1, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission said power supply through the national grid had dropped below 2,800MW due to vandalism.

Eight days after, power generation in the country fell to a record low of 1,580.6MW, a development that threw many parts of the country into blackout for days.

The downturn in power supply was exacerbated in May by the several attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta, which made generation plunge to a new low of 1,400MW on May 17, according to the TCN.

The nation’s power grid recorded 21 collapses in the first half of the year – 16 total and five partial collapses.

The latest system collapse (partial) was recorded on July 10, according to data from the National Control Centre.

More than half of the nation’s power plants are currently facing gas shortage, with unutilised electricity generation capacity due to gas constraints put at 3,988.3MW as of August 29.

The country generates the bulk of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydro-power plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total generation.

In what was a big blow to electricity generation in the country, Shell’s Forcados export terminal was hit in February, forcing the oil major to declare force majeure on the exports of the crude oil grade.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, in its financial and operations’ report recently said, “The nation has lost over 1,500MW of power supply to the damage as gas supply from Forcados, which is Nigeria’s major artery, accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of gas production. Incessant pipeline vandalism poses the greatest threat to the industry.”

Industry experts have continued to highlight the need for a robust energy mix by exploring renewable energy resources including solar and wind.

An energy expert and Partner, Bloomfield Law Practice, Mr. Ayodele Oni, said, “I understand that a number of Nigerians are partnering companies providing cutting-edge energy solutions such as solar systems that are run on computerised platforms.

“I believe that if the government provides the enabling environment for the foregoing, less emphasis will be placed on gas pipelines and vandalism should reduce.”

A former Minister of Power and Chief Executive Officer, Geometric Power Limited, Prof. Barth Nnaji, said the country should diversify its sources of power generation to ensure sustainable fuel supply.

“We have not touched coal. We have a lot of coal in the country,” he said at a public lecture in Lagos last month.

Nnaji added, “The US produces about 40 per cent of its one million megawatts of electricity from coal, while China produces 60 per cent of its electricity from coal. We have coal here but we are not making use of it. Even the natural gas that we have, are we really producing the gas? It is certainly not enough. Hydro is another source.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Econet Group and Mastercard To Collaborate on Fintech Solutions For Covid-19 Response in Africa

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The Econet Group through its subsidiary Cassava Fintech International (Cassava Fintech) and Mastercard have entered into a strategic partnership to advance digital inclusion across Africa and collaborate on a range of initiatives including expansion of the Africa CDC TravelPass.

TravelPass is a digital health pass developed by Cassava Fintech and offered in conjunction with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). It is accessible to users of Cassava Fintech’s Sasai SuperApp and is recognised as one of the leading initiatives in the fight against the cross-border spread of Covid-19 in Africa. Mastercard is partnering with Cassava Fintech to enhance the security of TravelPass through Mastercard’s Community Pass platform. Mastercard Community Pass is an interoperable digital platform facilitating service delivery for marginalised individuals and communities, including access to critical health services like patient care plan tracking for Covid-19.

The joint initiative between Mastercard and Cassava Fintech seeks to offer a unified solution with greater convenience and enhanced security, that is expected to promote safe cross border travel in Africa in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The partnership will also allow the two organizations to explore collaboration such as the further integration of the Community Pass with Cassava Fintech’s mobile and financial services, acquiring and processing of card payments across the continent, along with the introduction of a virtual or physical card on the Sasai SuperApp.

Cassava Fintech’s CEO, Darlington Mandivenga said the partnership with Mastercard would pave the way for both companies to jointly tackle the challenges facing African economies as they re-open post the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to work with Mastercard to explore solutions that will, among other things, mitigate the risk of falsified presentation of a third party’s Travel Pass at access and transit points,” Mandivenga said, adding that the same technology could also be used in payment solutions.

Cassava Fintech uses an integrated model to provide financial and digital services to ensure a “financially inclusive future that leaves no African behind”.

“We look forward to joining hands with Cassava Fintech in exploring new solutions that will make a difference and benefit the continent. In addition to digital innovation for future travel, Cassava will also leverage our secure payments network to advance access to financial services,” said Mark Elliott, Divisional President, Southern Africa, Mastercard.

Mastercard is a leading global technology company focused on building an inclusive, sustainable digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere, by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible.

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Nestlé Health Science to Acquire Nuun

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Nestlé Health Science and Nuun, a leader in functional hydration, have entered into an agreement in which Nestlé Health Science will acquire Nuun.

The acquisition complements Nestlé Health Science’s existing broad portfolio of active lifestyle nutrition brands with Nuun’s range of clean, low-sugar, effervescent tablets and powders.

“Every day, health-conscious consumers are becoming more aware of how functional hydration products can add to their overall well-being as well as support them during exercise by replacing the minerals that the body loses. That growing awareness is reflected in the steady growth of the category,” said Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science. “Nuun is a leader in the fast-growing functional hydration category with its high-quality, clean, plant-based products. We look forward to combining our companies’ expertise to bring Nuun to more people around the world.”

Nuun was founded in Seattle, Washington in 2004, pioneering the separation of electrolyte replacement from carbohydrates. Its low-sugar electrolyte tablet revolutionized the sports beverage market. It now has a broad range of effervescent tablets and powders containing additional minerals and vitamins for energy, relaxation and overall well-being.

“Nestlé Health Science and Nuun share the same philosophy: nothing is more important than health and well-being,” said Kevin Rutherford, CEO of Nuun. “In joining Nestlé Health Science, Nuun will further its mission of ‘hydration that empowers the world to move more.’ The Nuun team has built an incredible business and now with the reach, expertise and capabilities of Nestlé, I’m confident that together we will grow, even more, making people and the planet healthier.”

The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2021. Financial details are not being disclosed.

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itel Partners Amatem and Drug-Aid Distributes Relief Materials In Fight Against Malaria

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itel Malaria Day

To commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day, itel recently partnered with Amatem Softgel, an anti-malaria drug in Nigeria, and Drug-Aid Africa, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that provides medical drug supplies and support to low-income patients in Nigeria and across Africa.

A statement by itel explained that in tandem with the theme of this year’s World Malaria Day, ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’, the three brands joined the global fight against malaria by donating treated mosquito nets, free medical tests, mosquito repellent cream and free anti-malaria drugs to over 1,500 households in Isale-Akoka Community, Bariga, Lagos state.

It explained that malaria is a prevalent disease in sub-Saharan Africa, and was responsible for thousands of deaths yearly, adding that as socially responsible organisations, itel, Amatem Softgel, and Drug-Aid Africa, “believe that they have a quota to contribute in ensuring a relatively healthier society.”

The Marketing Manager for West Africa and Nigeria, itel, Oke Umurhohwo, expressed commitment in bridging the gap in low-income communities through its ‘Love Always On CSR initiative.’

He added that the brand was partnering with Amatem Softgel and Drug Aid Africa to provide these communities, “with an even greater fighting chance against malaria is a part of our commitment to them.”

The General Manager, Elbe Pharma, Shivakumar, said: “Malaria is a life-threatening disease, but it is preventable and curable. We at Elbe continue to find a better way to combat this disease, support the vulnerable ones especially the young children. Hence, the introduction of this innovative anti-malaria brand AMATEM SOFTGEL and this CSR partnership.”

The Programme Officer, Drug-Aid Africa, Oluseyi Sanyaolu, said malaria has been ravaging the vulnerable in the society for years, saying, “it is the reasons why Drug-Aid Africa is dedicated to supporting those in indigent communities with medicines and medical supplies. Together, we can end this menace.”

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