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UPDATED: FG appoints Eweluka as NBET MD, as finance, power ministers wrestle

Eweluka would succeed Dr Marilyn Amobi as substantive CEO with immediate effect.

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Federal Government has appointed Dr Nnaemeka Eweluka as the Managing Director of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.

This was announced by the honourable Minister of Power, Engr Sale Mamman in a statement issued on Monday.

Eweluka, who was the company’s General Counsel and Secretary, would succeed Dr Marilyn Amobi as substantive CEO, while the former MD is to hand over and proceed on terminal leave with immediate effect.

The statement, which was signed by the Special Adviser, Media & Communications, Aaron Artimas, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier approved the recommendation to this effect.

Eweluka, a lawyer, has over 20 years’ experience, spanning private practice, academics, and the power sector.

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The new NBET boss is a specialist on privatisation and legal energy reforms as well as a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration.

However, the development took another turn as some ministers are divided over the appointment.

Shortly after the Minister of Power announced the replacement of Amobi with immediate effect, another  event unfolded, which suggest that she may now serve out her tenure as the Managing Director of bulk electricity trader, NBET.

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The finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, countered her power counterpart move when she allegedly got another letter from the presidency, secured her the completion of her tenure.

The most confusing part of the drama was that the two ministers separately claimed President Buhari authorised their opposing actions.

The finance minister, Ms Usman, is the chairperson of NBET board but the company is a major player in the power sector overseen by Mr Mamman, the power minister.

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Energy

FG to deliver 1 million vehicle conversion to autogas by end of 2021

The FG’s Autogas programme is expected to deliver at least 1 million vehicle conversions by the end of 2021.

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FG to deliver 1 million vehicle conversion to autogas by end of 2021

The Federal Government has revealed that its Autogas programme is expected to deliver at least 1 million vehicle conversions by the end of next year.

The implementation of this programme by the government will herald the clean energy transition for Nigeria and the delivery of cheap transportation.

This was disclosed on Sunday, November 29, 2020, by the Federal Government via tweets on its official Twitter handle.

READ: 25 million Nigerians to pay N4,000 monthly for solar power system

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READ: N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund to be rolled out before end of October – Minister

The rollout is the culmination of the resolve of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to deepen domestic usage of natural gas in its various forms. It is also in line with the government’s plan to make gas the first choice source of cheaper and cleaner energy for Nigerians in their personal and industrial use.

(READ MORE: FG gives reasons why it is repackaging its social intervention programmes)

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The government also stated that there will be a commencement of formal dispensing of Autogas (CNG and LPG) products at two NNPC retail stations.

In addition, there will be a handover of CNG-powered mass transport buses to NLC, in fulfilment of the agreement during recent negotiations. This agreement was reached with labour during negotiations and in recognition of the role organized labour plays in the quest to bring relief to ordinary Nigerians.

READ: Cornerstone Insurance Plc projects PAT of N537.4million in Q1 2021

What you should know 

Nairametrics reported in September that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva revealed that Nigerians can now convert cars using petrol to gas, which is cheaper, with effect from October 2020.

The Department of Petroleum Resources also ordered 9,000 filling stations nationwide to begin the installation of facilities for gas products.

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READ: PIB may be passed by first quarter of 2021 – Sylva

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In October, the Federal Government estimated that the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) will cost N97 per litre, as it had promised to provide alternatives to the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, for poor Nigerians.

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Energy

25 million Nigerians to pay N4,000 monthly for solar power system

25 million Nigerians will be expected to pay about N4,000 monthly over a 3-year period to benefit from the FG’s Solar Power Naija project.

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US-based solar company to invest $300m in Nigeria, 25 million Nigerians to pay N4,000 monthly for solar power system

The Presidency has disclosed that an estimated 25 million Nigerians that will benefit from the Federal Government’s Solar Home Systems which is expected to commence this week will be expected to pay about N4,000 monthly over a 3-year period.

According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, through a statement on Sunday titled “25m Nigerians to own 5m solar systems at N4, 000 monthly.”

READ: Ikeja Electric tops with 10.7% approved meter allocation – NERC

While giving further insight into earlier reports that the Federal Government will from next week commence the process of installation of 5 million solar-home systems in underserved and off-grid communities across the country, Akande said the solar programme nicknamed Solar Power Naija, whose installations would start in December, is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency.

The Presidential media aide who pointed out that the programme was designed to boost ongoing efforts to fix Nigeria’s energy supply challenge, also said that priority would be given to Nigerians residing in rural areas and urban settlements either under-served or cut off the national grid.

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(READ MORE: World Bank approves $2.2 billion loan for Nigeria)

He said an important aspect of this scheme is the option of outright ownership by beneficiaries at a cost ranging from N1, 500 per week to N4, 000 per month depending on the capacities for the 3 years.

He noted that that the arrangement allows as many as 25 million Nigerians to own personal solar systems in their homes.

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READ: FG delivers 100 KWP Solar Mini-Grid to serve off-grid community in Ogun State

He added that, as indicated in the Economic Sustainability Plan, the 5 million connections initiative is a private sector-led electricity access acceleration scheme to be facilitated by a low-cost loan facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria and implemented by REA.

Akande said, “The programme will include the assembly or manufacturing of components of off-grid solutions to facilitate the growth of the local manufacturing industry. In view of the scale of materials required, solar equipment manufacturers/assemblers will be incentivised to set up facilities in Nigeria, thereby offering additional job opportunities to Nigerians.’’

READ: Nigeria’s inflation rate to moderate by first half of next year

“In addition, installation, servicing, and payment collections are expected to provide thousands of other jobs. In all, at least 250, 000 jobs will be created.”

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Optics: If religiously implemented, this will help provide affordable energy to the under-served Nigerians in rural areas with the objective of improving social, economic, and environmental welfare of 25 million Nigerians while generating jobs, increasing revenues, and import substitution.

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READ: FG set to create at least 5 million jobs for youths in the power sector – Minister of Power 

However, the fear is whether this will go the same way as other government’s programmes or initiatives in the past.

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Energy

Transmission company of Nigeria gives reason for nationwide blackout

Following the current nationwide blackout, TCN has stated that it has started the process of restoration to the national grid.

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has on Sunday announced that the current power blackout in the country was due to multiple trippings.

According to a report by Vanguard, General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, who made the announcement through a statement said the company had started the process of restoration to the national grid.

Mbah pointed out that the places that power is yet to be restored were Calabar, Makurdi, Jos, Gombe, Yola, Ugwuaji and Maiduguri axis.

She stated, “The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) regrets to inform electricity consumers nationwide that at 11:25 am today, the nation’s electricity grid experienced multiple trippings, which led to the collapse of the system.’’

“TCN has since commenced grid restoration; power has been successfully restored to every part of the country, except Calabar, Ugwuaji, Markurdi, Jos, Gombe, Yola, and Maiduguri axes. The effort is however ongoing to ensure full restoration nationwide.”

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“We regret the inconvenience this has caused electricity consumers. Investigations would be conducted to establish the immediate and remote cause(s) of the multiple trippings as soon as the grid is fully restored, considering that the grid had been relatively stable in the last couple of months.”

What  you should know

At around 11:25 pm on Sunday, November 29, electricity supply to most parts of the country was disrupted as the national electricity grid experienced multiple trippings.

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