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Reps to probe FG’s N3.4 billion failed solar power project

The House of Representatives has moved to investigate FG’s abandoned 3.4 billion naira solar-powered Grid Project in the six Geo-Political Zones and the FCT.

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Reps move to probe why FG’s N3.4 billion solar power project failed,CEOs of MTN, Airtel, others risk arrest as Reps investigate foreign exchange frauds, Amid Coronavirus spread in Nigeria, lawmakers take delivery of exotic cars, NLC hastens House of reps to criminalise casualization of workers

The House of Representatives has moved to investigate the Federal Government’s abandoned N3.4 billion solar-powered Grid Project in the six Geo-Political Zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The House set up an ad hoc committee to that effect to find out why the project, codenamed Operation Light Up Rural Nigeria, was abandoned by the Federal Ministry of Power since 2018 despite the huge amounts of money expended on it. The committee is to investigate and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.

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Reps move to probe why FG’s N3.4bn solar power project failed

These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by a member, Aniekan Umanah during the plenary held on Tuesday. The motion was titled ‘Need to investigate the failure of the Federal Government’s N3.4bn solar-powered grid project in the six geopolitical zones and the Federal Capital Territory.’

While moving the motion, Umanah recalled that the then Federal Ministry of Power, in 2013, rolled out an Off-Grid Renewable Solar Energy Project with a budget of N3.446 billion for four years. He went on to lament the inefficient handling of the project which had defeated the purpose of powering up rural areas.

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(READ MORE: Why Nigeria should consider using Solar Power)

What you should know: The project, which was launched on January 14, 2014, was for the purpose of deploying renewable energy to get electricity to rural communities that are not on the national grid, in all the 36 states of the federation. The project was targeted at four communities of Durumi-Mpape, Waru, Shape in the FCT as a pilot scheme with plans to expand the scope later to other States of the Federation.

Reports have it that when the present Administration in 2015 came on board, the project was rechristened Renewable Energy (Solar) Micro Utility (REMU) by the then Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and was expanded to provide additional 18 mini-grids with three in each geopolitical zone.

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Patricia

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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Entertainment

FG hands over National Theatre to CBN, Bankers Committee, to create 1 million jobs

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CBN issues guidelines to Finance Institutions on establishment of Subsidiaries and SPVs, CBN injects $2.63 billion to defend naira in one month, CBN’s COVID-19 N50 billion targeted credit facility, CBN’s heterodox policies buoys credit growth

The Federal Government has announced the official hand over of the National Arts Theatre Complex at Iganmu Lagos, to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Banks under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, in order to commence the renovation of the facility.

This was contained in a tweet post by the Presidential Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, on his official Twitter handle on Sunday, July 12, 2020.

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It would be recalled that last year, the CBN in conjunction with the Bankers’ Committee unveiled the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), which was to enable businesses to obtain loans up to the tune of N500 million.

During the event which was attended by the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the bankers were targeting 1 million jobs from this project in the next 5 years.

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In the tweet post, Tolu Ogunlesi said, ‘’The Nigerian Government on Sunday officially handed over the National Theatre complex in Lagos to Central Bank of Nigeria and Banks under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, to commence the renovation of the facility.’’

Emefiele said the handover of the facility to the committee was timely, considering the external headwinds facing the country’s economy at the moment. He said that the renovation of the facility which would be completed in 18 months, would have transformed the facility into Nigeria’s Creative Industrial Centre.

According to the CBN boss, the National Arts Centre will be comparable to other world-class entertainment and convention centres in any part of the world. He said the activities in the centre which would include music, movies, fashion and ICT, could be a very important source of growth and reduce the dependence on revenues from crude oil.

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He pointed out the creative industry has the potential to generate over $20 billion annually for Nigeria with its human capital resources and an enabling environment that would harness the creative talents of her youths.

Emefiele said: “We must do more to encourage the innovative works of these young talented Nigerians as they can make significant contributions to the growth and development of our country.’’

“Secondly, given our growing population of close to 200m people, out of which 60 per cent are under the age of 35, it is imperative that we strive to create opportunities that will keep our youths engaged, as it would portend great dangers for the progress of our nation if we allow these talents go to waste”

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Emefiele said that the Creative Industries Financing Initiative which was set up in December 2018 was to support startups and existing businesses as well as foster development of Nigeria Creative Industries Centre in 4 major cities in Nigeria. He said the bankers’ committee would support the creative industry with about N25 billion of initial funding.

He said upon the completion of the renovation works at the theatre with the supporting facilities, the committee intends to set up similar creative industries centres in Kano, Port-Harcourt or Enugu.

He also said that the theatre would support skills acquisition and job creation for over 1 million Nigerians. These Nigerians will be empowered with funds at a single digit interest rate, high-level training using state of the art tools and networks that will enable them to turn their ideas into a reality.

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He revealed that the supporting facilities like retail outlets, hotels, entertainment centres and an international conference centre would also help to reposition the centre as a viable location for high-level international meetings and conventions.

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Economy & Politics

FG disburses N349.5m in Conditional Cash transfer to poor households in Kaduna 

The disbursement was done under the federal government’s Conditional Cash Transfer.

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The Federal Government has successfully disbursed a total of N349.5 million to 34,946 poor and vulnerable households in Kaduna State, under the conditional cash transfer programme. 

According to the Head of Cash Transfer Unit in the State, Hajiya Hauwa Abdulrazaq, the disbursement lasted a period of 10 days, from July 1 to July 10.  

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Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, Abdulrazaq explained that the benefiting households were drawn from 9 local government areas in the state – 4,470 from Kajuru; 8,032 in Birnin Gwari; 1,963 in Kauru; 1,406 in Sanga, 4,380 in Lere2,021 in Kachia; 5,478 in Ikara; 2,784 in Chikun, and 4,412 in Kubau LGAs.  

She noted that the disbursement was done under the federal government’s Conditional Cash Transfer, a Households Uplifting Programme targeting poorest of the poor households in the country, and that each of the households received N10,000 each, being payment for the months of May and June at N5,000 per month. 

“The households uplifting programme is one of the national social investment programmes which implementation began in September 2016,” she said. 

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NAN reports that the programme began in 2017 in Kaduna state with about 10,000 beneficiaries, but expanded to 22,380 in April 2020.  

In May, a total of 12,566 new beneficiaries were added summing the figures to 34,956 beneficiaries in the state.   

The state government had also commenced the process of capturing poor and vulnerable households into the social register in the remaining 14 LGAs, from which beneficiaries of the cash transfer would be extracted in subsequent months.  

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Coronavirus

Evacuation: 247 Nigerians arrive home from Malaysia, Thailand 

The returnees were evacuated with a chartered Air Peace flight APK-7813.

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Evacuation: 247 Nigerians arrive home from Malaysia, Thailand 

The Federal Government of Nigeria has safely evacuated and returned home, two hundred and forty-seven Nigerians who were stranded in Malaysia and Thailand 

The returnees were evacuated with a chartered Air Peace flight APK-7813 which arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 11p.m. on Saturday. 

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According to Mr Gabriel Odu, the Head of Media and Public Relations Unit of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) who spoke to NAN, some of the returnees disembarked in Abuja, while the others proceeded to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. 

READ ALSO: Nigerians willing to travel abroad will wait a bit longer – Aviation Ministry

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In line with the protocols announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, all of the returnees presented a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding the evacuation flight, and upon arriving Nigeria, are expected to proceed on a 14-day self-isolation 

Since four weeks ago, from the federal government, through the ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the resumption of evacuation flights, hundreds of stranded Nigerians have been returned home to their families from different countries including the United States of America, United Kingdom, Egypt, Malaysia and Thailand.  

READ ALSO: COVID-19 could impoverish additional 5 million Nigerians – World Bank  

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The returnees bear the cost of their flight tickets and are expected to self-isolate for four weeks, upon their return to Nigeria. Returnees who receive a clean bill of health after the isolation, are given their passports and allowed to go home.  

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