- ‘Nigeria, Others Need $250 Billion Investment to Resolve Power Deficit’
To resolve the power deficit situation in Africa and reach the United Nations’ (UN) target of Universal Access by 2030, the continent will need to add around 250GW capacity, which will require about 7GW yearly from now to 2030.
This, the Executive Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh said would require an investment of about $250 billion, which according to him cannot be mobilised by national governments alone, but Public-Private Partnership to achieve this objective. Momoh stated this in his paper titled: “The Nigerian Power Supply Question: Challenges and Solution”, made available to The Guardian.
The NERC Chairman pointed that countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, due to their inability to provide the energy needs of their people, cannot adequately provide health services, schools, clean water, food security and industries to their people.
This, Momoh said prompted the Secretary General of the UN to establish the advisory group on Energy and Climate Change, with key recommendation of the document titled : “Energy for a Sustainable Future”, suggesting that countries like Nigeria should strive to provide universal access to electricity to all its citizens by 2030.
The report further recommends that for countries to attain the above targets, they must come up with national strategies and a long term policy of a road map that will attract investments, define the required human capital resources as well as institutional and regulatory framework that will reduce excessive red-tape in implementing a proactive roadmap that will transform the power sector to achieve the targets.
Momoh argued that the paper focused on the 48 countries that make up Sub-Saharan Africa, where about 800 million people do not have access to modern electricity, while nearly 730 million are dependent on traditional biomass cooking.
According to him, the total generation capacity of Africa stands at about 147GW, which he said is shared as South Africa, despite the political crisis in the region, consumes about 45GW, North Africa consumes 50GW, with their citizens having 99 per cent access to electricity, while the remaining balance of about 50GW is shared among the 49 countries that make up Sub Saharan Africa.
He explained further that “in Angola 15 million people have no access to electricity, with its national electricity rate at 30 per cent, Republic of Benin seven million without access to electricity, with national electricity rate of 29 per cent, Burkina Faso has 14 million people without electricity with the country’s level of electrification at 17 per cent.”
He maintained the Botswana with a population of one million people has an electrification rate of 66 per cent, while Ghana has demonstrated high level of success in its electrification, which Momoh said can be attributed to the implementation of a National Electricity Policy from 1989 to date, which is about 72 per cent, the highest in West, East and Southern Africa.
He said in the case of Nigeria, that is touted to be the giant of Africa, 96 million people are without access to electricity and national electrification rate of only 45 per cent, with a majority of the populace without any hope to get electricity in this decade if “We do not come up with a dynamic strategy to bridge the energy gap in the country.”
He added that due to above, electricity brown-outs are the order of the day as people have to rely on expensive diesel power generation to meet their power needs, which is estimated that African countries spend about one to five per cent of their GDP yearly to achieve that.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension
Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.
“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.
Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.
“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.
Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.
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