- National Power Grid Highly Unstable – BEDC
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc has described the nation’s power grid as highly unstable, with over 2,000 outages and interruptions recorded in its network coverage area of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo states between January and July.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, BEDC, Mrs Funke Osibodu, disclosed this during a media briefing in Benin, Edo State, according to a statement from the power distribution firm.
Osibodu, however, said that notwithstanding the supply interruptions, the firm was able to record several improvement initiatives that impacted positively on power availability to customers in all the four states within its franchise area.
She noted that recent information from the National Bureau of Statistics stated that the BEDC had the highest number of meters among all the 11 Discos.
She said, “In Delta State, we restored electricity supply to over 54 communities, including Ibusa, Ogwashi-Uku, Ubulu-Uku, Isselu-Uku (ongoing), Ogunu, Otor-Udu, Emadaja, Iwhrekekan, Mosogar, and Onyobru Water Side Community. In addition, in order to enhance security, various streetlight projects were commissioned that are providing 24-hour supply covering over 20km in Asaba across major urban roads.
“In Edo State, power supply has also improved from two hours in 2013 to six to 10 hours for locations with severe infrastructure limitations such as Okada, Oluku, parts of Sakponba, Evbuotubu, Oliha and Siluko, all in Benin. There has been improvement from six hours to 12 and15 hours for locations with more improved infrastructure including Auchi, Edo North, GRA, Ugbowo, Okhoro and New Benin.”
According to Osibodu, there is 18 to 24 hours power supply for commercial customers on dedicated lines involving 23 hotels, several banks, eateries, shopping mall and government establishments, including Central Hospital, Edo State House of Assembly Complex, high courts, Government House.
She said in Ondo State, the BEDC had improved on special projects for commercial and industrial customers, adding that most of the educational and health institutions, and banks were enjoying over 18 hours of electricity supply.
“Customers on the Ogese main line, Ayeyemi, Christland and Sacred Heart communities in addition to Ikoshin, Igbado, Dagbe, Ajuie, Omifon, Odigbo now also have supply of between 16 and 23 hours,” she said.
In addition, there is improved supply to Oke-Igbo, Ile-Oluji, Odojumu, College, Palace, Oke Aro, Ore and Igbara Oke from three hours at take-over to minimum of six to 10 hours. Supply to other communities such as Owena, Ilara Mokin, Ogotun, and Igbara Oke has also improved.”
She added, “In Ado Ekiti, Oriapata, and Adebandele, supply availability has improved from a minimum of three to five hours to nine hours, with communities such as Otun-Ekiti, Iro-Ekiti, Ira-Ekiti, Osan and Osun-Ekiti having a minimum of 18-20 hours supply.”
Osibodu said the BEDC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with various potential suppliers for a total of 120 megawatts of power to Edo and Delta states, while discussions were at an advanced stage for another 50MW in Delta.
She said the firm had also started engaging various parties on mini-grid initiatives for the underserved and unserved communities across its franchise states and will be signing agreement with some of them soon.
Manufacturing Firms Borrowed N570bn from Banks in 2020 – CBN
Manufacturing firms borrowed a total of N570bn from Nigerian banks last year amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Banks’ credit to the manufacturing sector rose to N3.19tn as of December 2020 from N2.62tn at the end of 2019, according to the sectoral analysis of banks’ credit by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The sector received the second biggest share of the credit from the banks after the oil and gas sector, which got N5.18tn as of December.
“The manufacturing sector, which is the engine of sustainable growth, is still struggling with the debilitating impact of the pandemic and is yet to recuperate,” the Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said in January.
MAN, in a January report, revealed that most manufacturers said commercial banks’ lending rates were discouraging productivity in the sector.
The report said 71 per cent of Chief Executive Officers interviewed “disagreed that the rate at which commercial banks lend to manufacturers encourages productivity in the sector.”
It said the cost of borrowing in the country remained at double digits even amidst the reforms meant to culminate in lower rates to engender the country’s economic recovery process.
The report said, “Special single digit loans offered by development banks are still hard to leverage as conditionalities to assess the loans through commercial banks are often overwhelming and laden with additional charges that will eventually make the interest rate double digit.
“Seven per cent of respondents were, however, of the opinion that the rate at which commercial banks lend to manufacturers encourages productivity in the sector while the remaining 22 per cent were not sure of the impact of the rate of lending on productivity in the manufacturing sector.”
The report showed that 64 per cent of respondent disagreed that the size of commercial bank loan to manufacturing sector had encouraged manufacturing productivity.
It said the very high presence of the government in the money market, particularly through the sale of treasury bills, had been crowding out the private sector from the market.
Nigeria Earns Extra N318.4 Billion as Crude Oil Hits $67/Barrel
FG Generates Additional Income of N318.4 Billion as Crude Oil Hits $67/Barrel
The Federal Government earned an additional N318.36 billion in February following the surge in crude oil price above $60 per barrel.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, average $60 throughout the month of February.
In March, it rose to $67 per barrel.
According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s crude oil price was retained at $40 per barrel for 2021.
However, she said the nation is presently producing below its 2.5 million barrel per day capacity at 1.7mbpd. This, she said includes 300,000bpd condensates.
“Although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5mbpd, current crude production is about 1.7mbpd, including about 300,000bpd of condensates, which indicates compliance with OPEC quota,” the finance minister stated.
Going by the number, Nigeria is producing 1.4mbpd of crude oil without condensates, but with an additional $20 revenue when compared to the $40 per barrel benchmark for the year. It means the Federal Government realised an additional income of N318.360 billion or $20 X 1.4mbpd X 30days in the month of February.
Crude oil jumped to $68.54 per barrel on Friday following OPEC+’s decision to role-over production cuts.
Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others
The Federal Government and the Kingdom of Morocco have signed five strategic Memoranda of Understanding that will foster Nigerian-Morocco bilateral collaboration and promote the development of hydrocarbons, agriculture, and commerce in both countries.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, led the Nigerian delegation to the agreement signing ceremony on Tuesday at Marrakech, Morocco, while the Chief Executive Officer of OCP Africa, Mr Anouar Jamali, signed for the Kingdom of Morocco, according to a statement by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
Under the agreement between OCP, NSIA and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria will import phosphate from the Kingdom of Morocco and use it to produce blended fertiliser for the local market and export.
The statement said Nigeria would also produce ammonia and export to Morocco.
“As part of the project, the Nigerian Government plans to establish an ammonia plant at Akwa Ibom State,” it said.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, were part of the delegation and they confirmed that their organisations would take equity in the ammonia plant when the Final Investment Decision would be taken, the statement said.
Sylva said the project would broaden economic opportunities for the two nations and improve the wellbeing of the people.
He added that the project would also positively impact agriculture, stimulate the growth of gas-based industries and lead to massive job creation.
He said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and it agencies and other government agencies to give maximum support for the project.
“He mandated me to ensure that at least the first phase of this project is commissioned before the expiration of his second term in office in 2023,” he added.
According to the statement, the MOUs were for the support of the second phase of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative; Shareholders Agreement for the creation of the joint venture company to develop the multipurpose industrial platform and MOU for equity investment by the NNPC in the joint venture and support of the gas.
Other agreements are term sheet for gas sales and aggregation agreement and MOU for land acquisition and administrative facilitation to the establishment of the multipurpose industrial platform for gas sales and aggregation agreement.
The NCDMB boss described the bilateral agreement as significant to the Nigerian economy as it would accelerate Nigeria’s gas monetisation programme through establishment of the ammonia plant in the country.
The agreement would also improve Nigeria’s per capita fertiliser application through importation of phosphate derivatives from Morocco, he added.
Wabote challenged the relevant parties to focus on accelerating the FID, assuring them that the NCDMB would take equity investment for long-term sustainability of the project.
He canvassed for the setting up of a project management oversight structure to ensure project requirements and timelines are met.
“There is also need to determine manpower needs for construction and operations phase of the project and develop training programmes that will create the workforce pool from Nigeria and Morocco and design collaboration framework between research centres in Nigeria and Morocco to develop technology solutions for maintaining the ISBL and OSBL units of the Ammonia complex,” he said.
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