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Transcorp Nigeria Plc to invest $2.5bn in power sector

The epileptic power supply has been a major bane to businesses in Nigeria. The problem affects both established businesses and small-scale businesses.

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Transcorp Annual General Meeting, Transcorp financial result, Transcorp Hotel

The Nigerian power sector is set to receive a major boost, as Transcorp Nigeria Plc disclosed its plans to inject $2.5 billion in the sector. Transcorp Nigeria Plc will make the investment through one of its subsidiaries, Transcorp Power.

Reiterating the Group’s commitment to the Nigerian power sector, the Chairman of Board, Mr Tony Elumelu, disclosed that Transcorp Power has so far injected about $1 billion in projects that have a combined capacity of 700Mw.

According to him, Transcorp Power submitted a bid for Afam Electricity Generation Co. earlier this month. Afam Electricity operates a natural-gas fired power generation plant in southern Rivers state.

Two other offers were, however, made on the Rivers-based electricity company, according to the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE). If Transcorp Power eventually acquires the facility, it would add 700Mw to the firm’s power portfolio.

“We’ve expressed interest in the acquisition of Afam power plant, which we’re going to spend a lot of money on. It’ll give us 1,400Mw and we can do more.” -Elumelu

However, Mr Elumelu lamented the fact that the Nigerian electricity sector is replete with debt, disclosing that Transcorp Power is owed as much as N90 billion ($250 million).

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“If they’re owing you that kind of money, it affects your ability to do more and more importantly, slows your enthusiasm.”

Why Transcorp’s investment is crucial

A report from Spectator Index, as at January 2018, ranked Nigeria as the second worst country in power supply.

An international organisation, Power for All, also said that no fewer than 93 million Nigerians lacked access to electricity.

The epileptic power supply has been a major bane to businesses in Nigeria. The problem affects both established businesses and small-scale businesses.

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Consequently, so many companies have either closed shop or relocated their production bases to other African countries with more reliable power supply, in a bid to maximise production cost and efficiency. This has ultimately had various negative impacts on the Nigerian economy.

Transcorps’ power background

In September 2012 during the privatisation of Nigeria’s national power assets, Transcorp Nigeria Plc won the bid for the Federal Government of Nigeria’s distressed power generating company, Ughelli Power Plc – operator of Ughelli Power Plant. The $300 million investment was part of Heirs Holdings’ strategic commitment to USAID’s Power Africa initiative.

In November 2015, Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited and Ughelli Power Plc merged, and Transcorp Power Limited was born. The merger harmonized the management and operations of Transcorp’s power business for greater efficiency.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Business

COVID-19 forces tenants to request moratoriums from property owners

Tenants demanding moratorium from landlords because of the effects of COVID-19.

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Nigeria's real estate

The effect of the Coronavirus pandemic is telling on the Real Estate sector, as many occupants have requested moratoriums from property owners or managers.

In separate interviews by Nairametrics, some tenants said that they could no longer afford their rents, hence the need for moratoriums. If denied, a lot of them are ready to move to border towns of Lagos.

A moratorium is a legal authorization to debtors to postpone payment. The document can be obtained by tenants, to prevent the managers or owners of properties from taking legal actions against them.

A banker and resident of Oduduwa Crescent, Ikeja GRA, who simply identified as Kola, said that his landlord had informed him of a planned 25% increment in his rent from April 2020, a month before his rent was due, which he had agreed to.

Unfortunately, in May 2020, his employer (one of the Tier-1 banks) gave him the option of either accepting a 25% pay cut in May or resigning. Considering the fact that he had no side hustle, Kola chose the ‘lesser evil.’

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“I took the decision because it pays me to allow a pay cut, than being out of job. At that point, I considered requesting a moratorium, as I have never owed rents before. I could afford to pay the rent, but I didn’t know how long i will be without a job, and paying the rent from my savings was not a wise decision for me.

“Expectedly, the property owner was not comfortable with my request, as he suggested that I relocate to a cheaper facility.”

In his own case, Richard, who was a manager in one of the hotels close to the Lekki toll gate, was not as lucky as Kola. His rent was due by May, same month his employer asked him to stay at home till further notice.

Efforts to plead with his landlord to buy more time fell on deaf ears, as the owner of the Surulere apartment was bent on collecting the rent.

He said, “I had no choice but to plead for three months to secure another apartment when it became obvious that my employer would not recall us anytime soon.

“Eventually, I decided to move from Surulere to Magboro where rents are cheaper, and property owners may be reasonable unlike their counterparts in Lagos.”

Kola and Richard are only two among hundreds of breadwinners that lost their sources of income or had pay cuts, especially during the lockdown. A lot of them, whose rents were due between April and July, are currently looking for cheaper residences amidst pressure from their landlords.

No doubt, apartments are cheaper in some border towns as Lagos Akute, OPIC (Wawa), Arepo, and Magboro, all in Ogun State.

For instance, while a self-contain apartment is obtainable between N120,000 to N150,000, a 2-bedroom flat goes between N250,000 to N300,000 per annum, and a 3-bedroom flat is rented between N350,000 to N400,000. In the city centre, such as Ikeja, Gbagada and Surulere or on the Island, the rents are astronomical.

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The heat will be more

A Real Estate practitioner and also the Vice President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Gbenga Ismail, explained that the impact of COVID-19 in real estate would be felt later, because of the tenancy/rent structure of the sector.

Unlike what is obtainable in other climes like United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America, where rents are renewed on a monthly or quarterly basis, Nigeria may not feel the pressure now, as rents are paid in one or two years’ advance.

Ismail, in an interview with Channels TV said, “Most people that either lost their jobs, or had their salaries slashed, are likely to have paid their rents in advance before the virus, and that could still ease the tension for now, at least till the end of the year.

“Right now, what happened is that, by the lockdown period, you won’t feel anything; but by the third or fourth quarter of the year, you start feeling it; only then, would we see how it has affected Nigeria.

“By then, people won’t be able to pay rents or buy houses as planned. We are not sure of where the monetary issues are going now, and if lending will continue into the real estate sector. We are yet to see some of these things going on.

“Even in inventories, where developers have put houses out for rent, the concern is who is going to rent them? Before COVID-19, we wait 6 months before houses get rented or leased, but now it may not be less than 12 months. The immediate impact would soon start to reveal itself.”

More plead for moratorium

Ismail added that more tenants would likely plead for moratoriums, because their businesses may have been affected, and some might have lost their jobs.

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“Those who have mortgages and are possibly in the risk areas of losing their jobs, will definitely have discussions with their lenders if that happens. I think the mortgage firms have to listen and think of how to help them, since the COVID situation is a force majeure – unexpected circumstance. People are being forced to make decisions they did not plan to make,” he added.

In all, the expert urged all stakeholders not to panic, as the phase will definitely pass, and the economy will gradually recover.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 20th of September 2020, 97 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 57,242 confirmed cases.

On the 20th of September 2020, 97 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,609 samples across the country.

To date, 57,242 cases have been confirmed, 48,569 cases have been discharged and 1,098 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 482,321  tests have been carried out as of September 20th, 2020 compared to 479,712 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 20th September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 57,242
  • Total Number Discharged – 48,569
  • Total Deaths – 1,098
  • Total Tests Carried out – 482,321

According to the NCDC, the 97 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (46), Kwara (12), Rivers (11), Adamawa (4), Niger (4), Ogun (4), Osun (4), Ekiti (3), Imo (3), Kaduna (3), Plateau (2), FCT (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 18,943, followed by Abuja (5,551), Oyo (3,231), Plateau (3,231), Edo (2,611), Kaduna (2,348), Rivers (2,243), Delta (1,799), Ogun (1,766), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,597), Enugu (1,234), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,025), Abia (881), Katsina (848), Osun (817), Gombe (799), Borno (741), and Bauchi (689).

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Imo State has recorded 562 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (448), Bayelsa (394),  Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (254), Adamawa (234), Anambra (232), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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Economy & Politics

Godwin Obaseki wins Edo State governorship election

Incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki emerged winner in the Edo State gubernatorial election.

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Oil theft gulped $1.35 billion in first six months - Obaseki 

Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has declared Godwin Obaseki the winner of the Edo State gubernatorial election today.

Mr. Obaseki will return as the Governor of the state for a second term.

The results were declared by INEC on Sunday afternoon after the results were counted from all LGA’s on Saturday.

Obaseki had 307,955 votes, which was enough to be declared a clear winner over Ize-Iyamu’s 223,619 votes.

Obaseki took to his Twitter handle to thank the people of Edo State for their votes. He stated,

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“Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalization. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism. Congratulations to all Edo people. This is our victory!”

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