- Nigeria Has Potential to Produce 93, 950MW – UN
The UN Economic Commission for Africa on Friday urged the Federal Government to explore renewable energy by utilising the country’s untapped energy sources, estimated at 93,950MW.
Mr Bakary Dosso, the ECA Chief Sub-Regional officer, Data Centre, made the appeal at the launch of the ECA Country Profile 2016 Report for Nigeria in Abuja.
Dosso said the ECA report showed that Nigeria was blessed with abundant untapped energy resources of about 93,950 Megawatts.
He added that “the country is home to enormous energy resources such as petroleum, natural gas, coal, nuclear power and tar sands.
“Other resources include solar, wind, biomass and hydropower.
“However, development and exploitation of energy sources have been skewed in favour of hydropower, petroleum and natural gas.
“Nigeria has an untapped potential to produce 93,950MW from carbon-emission-free energy sources, which include small and large hydroelectric power plants, 68 percent and nuclear power, 21 percent.
“Also, Nigeria has an untapped potential of seven percent solar and photovoltaic and onshore wind, two per cent,” he said.
Dosso said in spite of such potential, it was sad that half of the population depended on wood, charcoal, manure and crop residues for energy.
He added that Nigeria had a total installed electricity capacity of 12,522MW and an available current capacity of only about 4,500MW.
He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to seize the opportunities to improve the power situation in the country.
He explained that the country’s energy challenges, especially electricity generation, transmission and distribution were impacting negatively on the economy.
“The lack of reliable access to electricity remains a major obstacle to creating a much stronger and more diverse economy and improving the living standards of the population.
“It is, therefore, crucial to scale up both private and public investment in the electricity sector.
“For that to happen, the authorities must attract private investment by establishing a clear regulatory framework and aligning their policies so that the infrastructure for generating and transporting electricity can be developed efficiently,” he said.
The Director, ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, Prof. Dimitri Sanya, said that accelerating economic transformation in Nigeria required boosting competitiveness and strengthening local production capacities.
“To this end, Nigeria should reinforce its effort to establish a market-oriented policy aimed at promoting a secure, competitive and reliable energy supply and policies that encourage equipment and technology acquisition.
“A clear regulatory framework needs to be established to attract private investment, to keep investing in grid expansion while ensuring routine maintenance.
“The country should further invest in a diversified mix of energy sources through incentive policies in favour of non-fossil energy sources including solar, wind and hydropower.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, said Nigeria recognised the impact stable power would have on the economy.
Udoma, represented by the Ministry’s Director of Economic Growth, Mr Kayode Obasa, said in recognition of this, the Economic Recovery and Growth programme contained critical power projects.
“If you look at the 2017 budget as presented by the Nigerian government, one key area that has been stressed is the power sector. About 50 percent of the capital expenditure this year is devoted to the power sector.
“We are aware that a lot still needs to be done in the power sector because once power is addressed, virtually all areas of the economy will be positively affected,” he said.
Udoma reiterated the government’s commitment to diversify its revenue stream away from oil, so as to have more revenue to address critical infrastructure problems.
He said the government was presently carrying out many reforms to improve ease of doing business in the country to attract necessary foreign direct investments in critical sectors of the economy, including power.
NNPC To Resume Oil Exploration In Sokoto Basin
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Thursday announced plans to resume active oil exploration in Sokoto Basin.
A statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by NNPC spokesperson, Kennie Obateru, said the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, said exploration for crude would resume in the Sokoto Basin.
The statement read in part, “Kyari also hinted of plans for the corporation to resume active exploration activities in the Sokoto Basin.”
The NNPC boss disclosed this while receiving the Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, who paid Kyari a courtesy visit in his office on Thursday.
In October 2019, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had during the spud-in ceremony of Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin, in the North-East, said the government would explore for oil and gas in the frontier basins across the country.
He outlined the basins to include the Benue Trough, Chad Basin, Sokoto and Bida Basins.
Buhari had also stated that attention would be given to the Dahomey and Anambra Basins which had already witnessed oil and gas discoveries.
Kyari restated NNPC’s commitment to the partnership with Kebbi State for the production of biofuels, describing the project as viable and in tandem with the global transition to renewable energy.
He said the rice production programme in the state was a definite boost to the biofuels project.
Kyari said the linkage of the agricultural sector with the energy sector would facilitate economic growth and bring prosperity to the citizens.
He was quoted as saying, “We will go ahead and renew the Memorandum of Understanding and bring in any necessary amendment that is required to make this business run faster.”
The Kebbi State governor expressed appreciation to the NNPC for its cooperation on the biofuel project.
Bagudu said the cassava programme was well on course but the same could not be said of the sugarcane programme as the targeted milestone was yet to be attained.
Kebbi state is one of the states that the NNPC is in partnership with for the development of renewable energy.
Nigeria To Benefit As G-20 Approves Extension Of Debt Relief Till December
Finance ministers of G-20 countries have approved an extension of debt relief for the world’s poorest nations till December 2021.
David Malpass, World Bank president, made the announcement at the virtual spring meeting, on Wednesday.
TheCable had earlier reported that the G-20 countries will meet this week to consider an extension of the debt freeze.
The G-20, is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 of the world’s largest economies, including those of many developing nations, along with the European Union.
G-20 countries had established a debt service suspension initiative (DSSI) which took effect in May 2020.
Nigeria had benefited from the initiative which delivered about $5 billion in relief to more than 40 eligible countries.
The suspension period which was originally set to end on December 31, 2020 was extended to June 2021.
Malpass said the extension to December 2021 will boost economic recovery and promote job creation in low income countries.
He urged countries to be transparent in their approach to the debt service payment extension.
“On debt, we welcome a decision by the G20 to extend the DSSI through 2021. The World Bank is also working closely with the IMF to support the implementation of the G20 Common Framework,” he said.
“In both these debt efforts, greater transparency is an important element: I urge all G20 countries to disclose the terms of their financing contracts, including rescheduling, and to support the World Bank’s efforts to reconcile borrower’s debt data more fully with that of creditors.
“Participation by commercial creditors and fuller participation by official bilateral creditors will be vital. I urge all G20 countries to instruct and create incentives for all their public bilateral creditors to participate in debt relief efforts, including national policy banks. I also urge G20 countries to act decisively to incentivize the private creditors under their jurisdiction to participate fully in sovereign debt relief efforts for low-income countries.
“Debt relief efforts are providing some welcome fiscal space, but IDA countries need major new resources too, including grants and highly concessional resources. From April to December 2020, the first DSSI period, our net transfers to IDA and LDC countries were close to $17 billion, of which $5.8 billion were on grant terms.
“Our new commitments were almost $30 billion, making IDA19 the single largest source of concessional resources for the poorest countries and the key multilateral platform for support. To recover from COVID, much more is needed, and we welcome the G20’s support for advancing IDA20 by one year.”
IMF / Fiscal Monitor Report April 2021 Forecast
Unprecedented fiscal support by governments during the pandemic has prevented more severe economic contractions and larger job losses, but risks remain of long-term scarring the International Monetary Fund says in its Fiscal Monitor report released on Wednesday (April 7) in Washington, DC.
Meanwhile, such support, along with drops in revenues, has raised government deficits and debt to unprecedented levels across all country income groups, said Vitor Gaspar, Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF.
“The first lesson one year into COVID-19 is that fiscal policy can act timely and decisively. The fiscal policy response was unprecedented in speed and size looking across countries. We also learned that countries with easier access to finance or stronger buffers were able to give more fiscal support. They’re also projected to recover faster,” said Gaspar.
Average overall deficits as a share of GDP in 2020 reached 11.7 percent for advanced economies, 9.8 percent for emerging market economies, and 5.5 percent for low-income developing countries. Countries’ ability to scale up spending has diverged.
“So, what have we learned? We’ve learned that fiscal policy is powerful and that sound public finances are crucial in order to enable that power to be used to the fullest,” stressed Gaspar.
Gaspar urged policy makers to balance the risks from large and growing public and private debt with the risks from premature withdrawal of fiscal support, which could slow the recovery.
“In the spring 2021, we emphasize differentiation across countries. Moreover, COVID-19 is fast evolving, as are the consequences from COVID-19. The fiscal policy must stay agile and flexible to respond to this fast-evolving situation.” Said Gaspar.
He also warned that the targeting of measures must be improved and tailored to countries’ administrative capacity so that fiscal support can be maintained for the duration of the crisis—considering an uncertain and uneven recovery
“Moreover, countries are very different in their structures, in their institutions, in their financial capacity and much else. Therefore, policies and policy advice have to be tailored to fit.” Said Gaspar
Gaspar concluded his remarks by emphasizing that global vaccination is urgently needed, and that global inoculation would pay for itself with stronger employment and economic activity, leading to increased tax revenues and sizable savings in fiscal support.
“A fair shot, a vaccination for everybody in the world may well be the highest return global investment ever. But the Fiscal Monitor also emphasizes the importance of giving a fair shot at life success for everyone. It documents that preexisting inequalities made COVID-19 worse and that COVID-19 in turn made inequalities worse. There is here a vicious cycle that threatens trust and social cohesion. Therefore, we recommend stronger redistributive policies and universal access to basic public services like health, education, and social security,” said Gaspar.
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