- FG Okays Power Service Improvement Plan
The Federal Government on Wednesday approved the Power Sector Recovery Programme comprising many policy actions to be carried out to improve service delivery, and also approved contracts for the construction of 13 roads and replacement of bridges across states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory worth N85bn.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
Fashola listed some roads and bridges that would gulp N80bn as being located in Taraba, Adamawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu and Kaduna states.
He said the council also approved the contract for the engineering and consultancy designs for two access roads to link Asaba, Delta State; and Onitsha, Anambra State, to the Second Niger Bridge.
He said the contract had a duration of six months and would gulp N150m.
The minister said the council also approved the extension of the consultancy and project management of the Katsina Wind Energy Farm Project.
On the power sector recovery programme, Fashola said it comprised many policy actions, operational and financial interventions that needed to be carried out by the government to improve transparency, service delivery and performance of the electricity distribution firms, among others.
The minister said, “Some of the highlights of the programme are how to simplify and reduce the cash deficits that have accumulated as a result of previous unilateral reduction of tariff by the last administration during the run-off to the elections; and how to make the Discos viable, accountable, responsive to customers, ensure stability of the grid and expansion of the grid, and transparency and communication within the sector.
“The programme also processes for Ministries, Departments and Agencies debts and how to improve sector governance and the quality of personnel on the board of the Discos.
“It addresses access to renewable energy, especially in rural areas, using mini-grids and standalone solutions and how we are going to carry out the solutions that have been developed for 37 federal universities and seven tertiary hospitals.”
Fashola added, “It also focuses on how to solve the Niger Delta problem and also how to ensure there is a stable and predictable foreign exchange policy for the sector so that it is somewhat protected from sudden head winds of the volatility of the foreign exchange market so that the operators can plan and deliver.
“It also addresses the issue of vandalism at consumer and production levels of pipelines, among others. This will help bring confidence to the market and stimulate the appetite that currently exists globally for Nigeria’s power sector.
“We see a lot of people who want to invest, but some of them are tied to what other international financial institutions do and the institutions are also waiting to see us commit to these things.”
Bello, on his part, said the council approved the award of contract for the second phase of the Abuja Mass Transit Lot 1B (26.77km), which is from Ring Road I, passing through Area 10 beside Wuse Market, Berger Junction, Jabi Motor Park, through Life Camp to Gwagwa.
He said the project, being funded by China EXIM Bank, would gulp $1.79bn and was awarded to CCECC.
The minister gave the other components of the project to include the remaining part of Lot 1A (5.76km); rolling stocks; workshop equipment; and three years’ management contract.
NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied a total of 1.44 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol in January 2021.
The corporation disclosed in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for the month of January.
NNPC said the 1.44 billion litres translate to 46.30 million litres per day.
Also, a total of 223.55Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month of January 2021, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).
The 223.55BCF gas production figure also represents a 4.79% increase over output in December 2020.
Also, the daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants increased by 2.38 percent to 836mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,415MW.
For the period of January 2020 to January 2021, a total of 2,973.01BCF of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,585.78 mmscfd during the period.
Period-to-date Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 65.20%, 19.97 percent and 14.83 percent respectively to the total national gas production.
Out of the total gas output in January 2021, a total of 149.24BCF of gas was commercialized consisting of 44.29BCF and 104.95BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.
NNPC Says Pipeline Vandalism Decrease by 37.21 Percent in January 2021
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said vandalisation of pipelines across the country reduced by 37.21 percent in the month of January 2021.
This was disclosed in the January 2021 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).
The report noted that 27 pipeline points were vandalised in January 2021, down from 43 points posted in December 2020.
It also stated that the Mosimi Area accounted for 74 percent of the total vandalised points in Janauray while Kaduna Area and Port Harcourt accounted for the remaining 22 percent and 4 percent respectively.
NNPC said it will continue to engage local communities and other stakeholders to reduce and eventually eliminate the pipeline vandalism menace.
Nigeria’s Food Inflation Hits 22.95 Percent in March 2021
Food inflation in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 22.95 percent in March 2021, the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
Food Index increased at a faster pace when compared to 21.70 percent filed in February 2021.
Increases were recorded in Bread and cereals, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat, Vegetable, Fish, Oils and fats and fruits.
On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 1.90 percent in March 2021. An increase of 0.01 percent points from 1.89 percent recorded in February 2021.
Analysing a more stable inflation trend, the twelve-month ended March 2021, showed the food index averaged 17.93 percent in the last twelve months, representing an increase of 0.68 percent when compared to 17.25 percent recorded in February 2021.
Insecurities amid wide foreign exchange rates and several other bottlenecks that impeded free inflow of imported goods were responsible for the surged in prices of goods and services in March, according to the report.
The Central Bank of Nigeria-led monetary policy committee had attributed the increase in prices to scarcity created by the intermittent clash between herdsmen and farmers across the nation.
However, other factors like unclear economic policies, increased in electricity tariffs, duties, subsidy removal and weak fiscal buffer to moderate the negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy continue to weigh and drag on new investment and expansion of local production despite the Federal Government aggressive call for improvement in domestic production.
Nigeria’s headline inflation rose by 18.17 percent year-on-year in the month under review.
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