The Minister of Power, Engr Sale Mamman has sacked the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Mohammed, and replaced him with Sule Abdulaziz, in an acting capacity.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Special Adviser Media & Communications to the Minister, Aaron Artimas on Tuesday and seen by Nairametrics.
Artimas also disclosed that the minister confirmed the appointment of four directors, who have been on acting position in the company for some time. The Directors are Executive Director, Transmission Services Provider, Victor Adewunmi; Executive Director, Independent Systems Operator, M ‘J Lawal; Executive Director, Finance & Accounts, Ahmed Isa-Dutse, and Executive Directors, Human Resources & Corporate Service, Justin Dodo.
He said, “All the changes and appointments have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Before TCN MD’s removal …
Some industry watchers have attributed the immediate removal of Mohammed to the frosty relationship between TCN and Distribution Companies (DisCos), which they believe is taking its toll on the supply of electricity to Nigerians.
Earlier in May 2020, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) summoned TCN and the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for a meeting after the duo has traded allegations on faulty networks. On one hand, TCN accused the AEDC of refusing to take energy from its substations during a downpour, calling for more investments on AEDC’s ‘poor’ networks, on the other AEDC, which admitted that it didn’t uptake power from the TCN, accused the transmission firm of lacking inadequate system protection that has often caused more trouble for the DisCo.
A source, who was at the NERC’s meeting, had disclosed that the cold relationship between the two organisations had continued to fester because the “TCN still behaves like the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) by trying to lord over other stakeholders.”
During the meeting, the Chairman of NERC, Prof. James Momoh, reportedly warned the duo against the infighting in the sector and asked the duo to find common grounds so as not to compound the problems in the industry.
Mohammed’s recapitalisation move
Nairametrics reported in January 2020, when TCN pushed for the recapitalisation of the DisCos to separate the wheat from the chaff in the new year.
What it means: The transmission firm planned to restructure the capital base of the distribution companies operating in the country. Mohammed, was of the opinion that the distribution companies within the country were not effectively disbursing their responsibility, so recapitalisation would improve their operation.
He said the capacity to duly supply electricity efficiently was lacking among the power distribution companies. Mohammed also opined that the recapitalisation of the power sector would attract investors to boost development.
“We are working to see that all the projects that we have under the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme will pick up and they will continue to be implemented in a sustainable manner.
“We are going to actually push for the recapitalisation of Discos in 2020. We believe that by doing that we are pushing the power sector to sustainable growth and development. The power sector has to attract investments.”
Could it be that the immediate past MD of TCN became too ambitious for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration or he might have stepped on someone’s toes? The move of the new MD, Abdulaziz would shed lights on what really happened.
COVID-19: Over 70% of jobs lost in aviation, tourism industries in 2020 – AfDB
The AfDB has stated that about 5 million jobs have been lost in the aviation and tourism industries in Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About 5 million out of Africa’s 7 million aviation and tourism industry-related jobs have been lost in 2020. Also, as much as $15 billion in revenue, half of this to African airlines.
This was disclosed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Friday.
Vice President for Infrastructure, Industrialization and Private Sector, AfDB, Solomon Quaynor explained that the pandemic’s effect was felt more in Africa, a claim that was backed up by numerous panelists at the just concluded AfDB’s webinar themed ‘African Aviation Recovery Conference: coordinating an efficient response to the COVID-19 crisis’s effects on the Aviation sector in Africa.’
He said, “The air transport system is really at the forefront of all our collective objectives to realize Africa as a single economic bloc. The centrality of the aviation sector to Africa’s long-term goals by referencing three flagship projects of the AU’s Agenda 2063 that aim to advance open skies and closer connectivity: SAATM, The African Continental Free Trade Area, and the African Passport-Free movement of people.
“The air transport system is really at the forefront of all our collective objectives to realize Africa as a single economic bloc of 1.3 billion people with a GDP of almost 3 trillion dollars, for which we want to begin to really focus and increase trade among ourselves, as well as investment.”
Also at the event, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika called on African governments to embrace full liberalisation of the aviation sector, invoking the Yamoussoukro Decision, which established an arrangement for the gradual liberalization of intra-Africa air transport services.
He said, “Nigeria today has all its bilateral air service agreements with the YD and was also among the first ten countries that signed a commitment to implement the Single African Air Transport Market.”
Dr. Amani Abou Zeid, African Union Commission for Infrastructure and Energy, explained that Africa’s aviation industry represents a huge market that the continent’s airlines need to exploit more fully, with technology and AI offering the way forward for expansion, regional development experts.
“Technology and smart technologies are offering this fantastic opportunity, so let’s make use of AI, let’s make use of the Internet of Things, let’s capacitate our people to revamp and to rethink our industry, to make sure that both our airports and our airlines cater for the very near future,” said Zeid.
What they are saying
A key takeaway was the urgent need for coordinated action among the sector’s actors, including governments, aviation authorities and multilateral stakeholders such as the Bank.
“The time is now. All of us who have really been working on upstream issues such as SAATM, the World Bank, ourselves, the AU and others, now is the time to really pool our advocacy and resources to make this happen once and for all because if we continue to operate as a federation of 54 states as opposed to an integrated market, our economies will continue to be sub-optimal,” said Quaynor
Autogas: Nigerians will not pay N250,000 for conversion, it is free – FG
The FG has clarified an earlier statement about Nigerians having to pay N250,000 to have their vehicles converted from diesel/fuel use to autogas.
The Federal Government has said that news reports of Nigerians having to pay N250,000 to convert their cars from diesel/petrol engines to gas is false and incorrect.
This was disclosed by Justice Derefaka, the Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, to newsmen on Friday.
CLARIFICATION BY TECHNICAL ADVISER, @FMPRng ON FG’S AUTOGAS CONVERSION OF VEHICLES: “I granted an interview where I stated that the auto conversion of vehicles to run on gas will amount to N250,000 & Nigerians will need to pay for that. That statement is not correct, it’s wrong.” pic.twitter.com/yQDfZyxhll
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) December 4, 2020
On Friday, Derefaka clarified his position as wrong and said the FG plans make the conversion for free. He added that the FG plans to convert 1 million vehicles for free by the end of 2021.
“I granted an interview on Channels Television, where I stated the auto conversion of vehicles to gas will amount to N250k and Nigerians will need to pay for that. That statement is not correct, it is wrong.
“On that note, I will like to state the position that has been made by my boss, Timipre Sylva, that FG will convert those vehicles for free for Nigerians, and we are looking at 1 million vehicles by the end of 2021,” he said.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported earlier this week that Justice Derefaka had said vehicle owners in the country would have to pay N250,000 to have their cars converted to autogas from petrol.
COVID-19: Moderna says it will produce 500 million vaccines by 2021
Moderna Inc, has said that the company has the capacity to produce up to 500 million coronavirus vaccines by 2021.
Stéphane Bancel, CEO of pharmaceutical company and Covid-19 vaccine maker, Moderna Inc, has said that the company has the capacity to produce up to 500 million coronavirus vaccines by 2021.
The CEO disclosed this at the Nasdaq Investor Conference, as reported by Reuters.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported last month that the pharmaceutical company had stated that its Covid-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in treating coronavirus, after preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.
- UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock announced in November that the UK had secured 5 million doses of the vaccine.
The company disclosed that they had applied for emergency use of the vaccine in the United States and EU after finalizing clinical trials which showed 94.1% efficacy, and would hold a December 17 meeting with the American Food and Drug Administration to discuss emergency use.
“For 500 million, I am very comfortable we are gonna get there (2021),” Bancel said at the Nasdaq Investor Conference.
The CEO added that the price for its vaccine would remain at $37 per dose, but expected it to fall to $25 as purchase volumes rose.
Moderna says up to 125 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine will be supplied globally by the first quarter of 2021.