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Power Liquidity Crisis: FG to commence disbursements of N600bn intervention fund 

The Federal Government will start disbursing N600 billion to key operators in the power sector very soon.

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Power Liquidity Crisis: FG to commence disbursements of N600bn intervention fund 

The Federal Government will start disbursing N600 billion to key operators in the power sector very soon. This is according to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) as reported by Punch.

Since the intervention fund got approved a few months ago, stakeholders in the power sector chain have been anticipating the disbursement in order to address the liquidity crisis in the sector.

According to the Managing Director of NDPHC, Chiedu Ugbo, power generation companies, suppliers, electricity distributors, and others would start getting the money in a few days.

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Electricity plant

“The NDPHC is very hopeful of the government’s intervention. It’s been very bad this year in terms of liquidity, but since government mentioned the N600bn payment assurance facility, we’ve been very hopeful and we’ve been managing.

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 “However, we’ve seen actionable activities on the part of government to realise that and we’ve been told that in a few days from now the payments from that fund will start. So, that hope has kept us alive and we know that government by keeping to its word, as it is doing now, we will be able to bounce back.”

[READ MORE: FG takes over Yola DisCo, investors to get N26.9 billion refund]

While speakinon the sidelines of an award ceremony and appeal fundraising event, Ugbo disclosed the projects the NDPHC was executing in different local government areas in the country. He said the company was trying to connect everyone to the grid while cleaning up networks to improve power supply.

However, Ugbo stated the challenges the company was facing in carrying out its supposed duties. He was optimistic that with the intervention fund, the challenges would be a thing of the past.

He said, “The challenges we face have to do with community issues and funding constraints. We rely on what we generate from the sale of electricity and there is a general revenue shortage in the industry right now. But the Federal Government is rising up to that challenge and we are very hopeful that with the intervention, we will get more funds to serve Nigerians more.”

What you should know: The N600 billion facility for the power sector was approved by the Federal Government in September this year. It was scheduled to be disbursed until June 2020.

The facility, which is contained in the 2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), is as a result of the failure of the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP).

Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Business News

How to register for FG’s N75 billion MSME survival funds

FG released guidelines to access the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund.

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Small Businesses in Nigeria

The Federal Government (FG) has released the guidelines to access the N75 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund and Support Initiatives, which took effect from September 21, 2020.

The scheme, which is the core of the N2.3 trillion stimulus package of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan includes the N60 billion MSMEs Survival Fund and the N15 billion Guaranteed Offtake Schemes.

This disclosure was made in an official statement by the Federal Government through a series of tweet posts on its official Twitter handle.

The statement from FG read, “As the portal for the registration of prospective beneficiaries of Survival Fund opens, interested Nigerians in the Payroll Support Scheme are to note that the site will be open from 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.”

The statement says that the registration for the payroll support will start with the educational institutions at 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020, and will be followed by businesses in the hospitality industry by 12am Friday, September 25, 2020.

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The portal will also open for other categories of small businesses from 12am, Monday, September 28, 2020. It should be noted that the scheduling of the registration for prospective beneficiaries is to ensure that the process is seamless and hitch-free. The registration of every sector is to continue until Thursday, October 15, 2020.

To register for this initiative, the Federal Government has also provided a portal for entry. Potential beneficiaries are advised to log on to https://survivalfund.ng to complete their registration.

As part of the registration process, the beneficiaries are expected to provide personal registration details, activate their account, register their organization after they have successfully activated their account.

Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Number, Bank Verification Number (BVN), SMEDAN Number, a Tax ID (optional) and the organization’s bank account details will be needed.

Completing the Payroll Support Registration, beneficiaries’ first name, last name, email, mobile number and Password will be required. Also, their Date of Birth, residential address and residential Local Government Area will also be provided.

These 2 MSMEs initiatives namely MSMEs Survival Fund with payroll support track and the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme were introduced by the FG as part of the efforts to support businesses overcome challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a conditional grant to support vulnerable micro and small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in the MSMEs sector. The scheme is expected to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country and specifically impact on over 35,000 individuals per state.

The scheme will be implemented over an initial period of 3 months and is targeted at employees of MSMEs and self-employed individuals with 45% for female business participation and 5% for special needs participation

The Guaranteed Off Take Stimulus Scheme is expected to perfect and sustain the income of vulnerable micro and small enterprises from the economic disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic through the implementation of various initiatives aimed at boosting the production capacities of small businesses as well as the provision of grants.

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The duration is also for an initial period of 3 months and is targeted at micro and small businesses registered in Nigeria.

 

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Corporate Press Releases

Tony Elumelu named in “Time 100” list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World 2020

The UBA and Transcorp Plc Chair is one of three Nigerians on the list, alongside Tomi Adeyemi and Tunji Funsho.

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UBA’s Tony Elumelu, Wizkid

TIME has named Tony O. Elumelu, one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists, in the 2020 TIME100, the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals. Mr Elumelu, who is one of only four Africans on the 2020 list, is recognised for his track record of business turnaround and value creation, and economic empowerment of young Africans.

Tony Elumelu is the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, his family-owned investment company, committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy and healthcare. He is the Chairman of top pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which operates in 20 countries in Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States. The bank provides corporate, commercial, SME and consumer banking services to more than 21 million customers globally.  Elumelu also chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp,  whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.

Mr Elumelu is the most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2010, he created The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries. Since inception, the Foundation has funded just under 10,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million as part of its ten year, US$100m commitment through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.  Self-funded, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, with institutions such as the UNDP, the ICRC and leading European development agencies.

Heirs Holdings, which serves as a corporate role model for African businesses, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation will both celebrate 10 years of impact in November. Their mission continues to be inspired by Mr Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.

The full list of the 2020 TIME100 and tributes appear on time.com/time100.

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Business

Rack Centre to create West Africa’s largest data centre in $100m expansion

Rack Centre’s expansion programme will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6000 square metres.

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Leading carrier neutral data centre operator in West Africa, Rack Centre, has announced an expansion programme that will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6000 square metres, which will pave way for 13MW of  IT power capacity in its Lagos campus.

This was disclosed in a press release by the company, which was seen by Nairametrics.

The expansion is expected to bring carrier neutral scale to West Africa, and this is in response to increasing demand for data centre space from cloud uptake, telecommunication investment and outsourcing of IT facilities by enterprises in the region.

READ: Multichoice, StarTimes, others’ reception increase by 23% in Nigeria- Report

The funding for this expansion will come from a $250m pan-African data centre platform, established by Actis and Convergence Partners, a leading ICT infrastructure investor in Africa.

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In addition to the expansion in  Rack Centre, the platform is also actively developing additional buy and build opportunities across Africa, to establish a network of carrier neutral data centres aimed at catering to carrier, cloud and hyperscale customers. 

Back story:  It is noteworthy that on March 2020, in a bid to pave way for the expansion programme, Actis, a London private equity firm, announced an investment in Rack Centre, taking a controlling stake in the business alongside Jagal.

READ: Are we heading towards a food crisis?

Why this matters

Nigeria is a key entry point for global telecommunications, content, and cloud players seeking access to the region. Despite the potentials of the country; with 138 million internet subscribers, more than any country in Africa or Europe, and the largest population and GDP in Africa, a lack of cost-effective, energy-efficient IT infrastructure, has been a constraint to doing business in the region. 

However, in a bid to create unrestricted connectivity between customers, telecommunication carriers, and internet exchange points within its data centres in the region, as a unique scale carrier neutral player, Rack Centre brings global best practice to Nigeria, as the first carrier neutral data centre in the region, to achieve Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility (TCCF).

READ: Lagos announces N10 billion public-private partnership for aquaculture centre

The global leaders that the platform has engaged include:

  • Tim Parsonson, Co-founder, Teraco Data Environments – the largest carrier neutral operator in Africa, who joins the Board as Chairperson on the board.
  • Frank Hassett, a veteran of the global data centre industry and previous Vice President of Infrastructure, at Equinix, brings over 1300MW of build and operate experience, to assist with hyperscale expansion.

While speaking on the expansion of capacity, Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners, said;  “Africa is at the start of a critical time in its development, as the 4th industrial revolution offers the chance to leapfrog many of Africa’s challenges, and harness the immense potential of its people. Convergence Partners is delighted to partner with Actis in accelerating the growth of high quality data centre infrastructure, an indispensable part of the foundation of this revolution in the region.”

Dr Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre, emphasized that the group is proud of the quality and scale bar which they have set in the region.

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“We are proud of the quality and scale bar we have set in the region and are scaling to be the de-facto digital data hub for West Africa

“Mass adoption of digital working models and content distribution is driving growing investment in the region and Rack Centre offers a world class location to house these IT and telecoms facilities,” Coker said.

Supporting this ambition, engineering consultancy Arup, have been appointed for the project.  The leadership status of Arup is uncontested,  having designed over 2,000MW of IT capacity for industry-leading tech giants, and co-location providers across the globe.

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