The Federal Government has disclosed that it expects to save as much as N1 trillion ($2.6 billion) annually, and create massive jobs following the removal of fuel subsidy.
The disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, during an interaction with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, September 11, 2020.
Sylva said, “It is time for Nigerians to face reality and do the right thing. What is deregulation going to do? It is going to free up a lot more money. At least from the very beginning, it will save us up to a trillion, and more every year. Already, we have taken off the budgetary provision for the subsidy which is about N500 billion in the budget.
“Also, we have taken off the excess forex price that special rate that was given to NNPC which also came at a cost. So, all the money that we used to defend the Naira at that time to subsidize the dollar will now be freed up for development. I believe that this discussion around subsidy has been a vexed issue that has captured the imagination of this country for a long time now,” the minister said.
He pointed out that past administrations had lacked the political will to deregulate the downstream sector, and remove subsidy despite attempts to do so. At some periods, the time was not good for it.
The Minister said, “And why did I say that time was not good for it? Does that imply the time is good for it now? The problem around deregulation is that people must understand first that the product we are talking about is a derivative of crude oil.
READ: Subsidy and PIB
“It is refined from crude oil. Therefore, it has a direct relationship with the price of crude oil. If the price of crude oil goes up, then you expect that it would reflect in the price of the derivative.
“So, the best time to achieve this we looked at was the time when crude oil prices are low so that Nigerians will get the benefit of those low prices.’’
The Minister, however, lamented that when the Federal Government announced the deregulation policy in March, and reduced the price of petrol which was beneficial to consumers, the price of services and goods in the market place did not reduce.
“Whenever there is a kobo increase in the pump price of petrol, people will use it as an opportunity to triple the selling price of their commodities,” he said.
Africa’s electricity generation will double by 2030, fossil fuel to be dominant – Research
Fossil fuel is expected to dominate Africa’s energy mix by the end of the decade.
A new research from the University of Oxford has predicted that the total electricity generation across the African Continent will double by 2030.
The study also expects that fossil fuel will still be dominant in Africa’s energy mix by the end of the decade, accounting for two-thirds of all generated electricity across Africa, posing a potential risk to global climate change commitments.
An estimated 18% of the generation is set to come from hydro-energy projects, which have their own challenges, such as being vulnerable to an increasing number of droughts caused by climate change.
The study, which looked into Africa’s energy generation landscape, uses a state-of-the-art machine-learning technique to analyse the pipeline of more than 2,500 planned power plants and their chances of successful commission.
The study shows the share of non-hydro renewables in African electricity generation is likely to remain below 10% in 2030, although it varies by region.
What there are saying
Galina Alova, Study Lead Author and Researcher at the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment said that:
- “Africa’s electricity demand is set to increase significantly as the continent strives to industrialise and improve the wellbeing of its people, which offers an opportunity to power this economic development through renewables.”
- “There is a prominent narrative in the energy planning community that the continent will be able to take advantage of its vast renewable energy resources and rapidly decreasing clean technology prices to leapfrog to renewables by 2030 – but our analysis shows that overall it is not currently positioned to do so.”
Philipp Trotter, Study Author and Researcher at the Smith School said:
- “The development community and African decision-makers need to act quickly if the continent wants to avoid being locked into a carbon-intense energy future. Immediate re-directions of development finance from fossil fuels to renewables are an important lever to increase experience with solar and wind energy projects across the continent in the short term, creating critical learning curve effects.”
What you should know
- The study suggests that a decisive move towards renewable energy in Africa would require a significant shock to the current system. This includes large-scale cancellation of fossil fuel plants currently being planned.
- In addition, the study identifies ways in which planned renewable energy projects can be designed to improve their success chances – for example, smaller size, fitting ownership structure, and availability of development finance.
- Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum, natural gas, oil shales, bitumen, tar sands, and heavy oils. All contain carbon and were formed as a result of geologic processes acting on the remains of organic matter produced by photosynthesis, a process that began in the Archean Eon (4.0 billion to 2.5 billion years ago).
- These non-renewable fuels supply about 80 percent of the world’s energy. They provide electricity, heat, and transportation, while also feeding the processes that make a huge range of products, from steel to plastics.
FG insists on no petrol, electricity subsidies in 2021
The FG has insisted that its policy on the removal of subsidies on fuel and electricity in the 2021 budget remains.
The Federal Government has insisted that it will go ahead with its policy on the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) and electricity, with no provision made in the 2021 budget for their subsidy.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during a virtual public presentation of the Breakdown and Highlights of 2021 Appropriation Act on Tuesday in Abuja.
What the Minister for Finance is saying
While answering a question on whether there would be a return to petrol subsidy following the reduction in petrol price about a month ago, the Minister said the answer is a flat no.
- “We are not bringing back fuel subsidy. We didn’t make provision for fuel subsidy in the budget. The impact of what was done was reducing some of the cost components that were within the template. And also related to it, on matters of electricity subsidies, no provisions have been made for subsidy for fuel and no provisions have been made for subsidy for electricity.”
Also, while talking about the new Finance Act 2020, which took effect from 1 January 2021, Ahmed said the act adopts counter-cyclical fiscal policies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic by providing fiscal relief to taxpayers.
The Minister stated that the government would hold the unclaimed dividends of investors in the stock market in trust and would make the fund available when needed by an investor.
- “On the issue of unclaimed dividends and government’s accounts and projections, there would be as much as N850bn to be realized in the special trust fund of unclaimed dividends. Government is keeping the money in trust for the beneficiaries. At any time, a registrar or a bank confirms that this is the true and bonafide beneficiary of this fund, then the government will release from that trust fund to the investor who has it.”
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government, in early 2020, announced the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry which culminated in the removal of petrol subsidy.
- The government said that following a sharp drop in revenue, it was becoming increasingly unsustainable for it to continue to subsidize the product with funds that can be used for the development of critical infrastructures in the country.
- Similarly, it also pointed out that the removal of subsidy on electricity tariff and ensuring the implementation of the right pricing for power will help attract the needed investment in that sector.
Daystar Power secures $38m funding to grow its West African’ operations
Daystar Power, provider of hybrid solar power solutions to businesses in West Africa, today announced a Series B investment of $38 million.
Daystar Power has announced a Series B investment of $38million.
The company expects to grow its operations in its key markets of Nigeria and Ghana, while deepening its presence in other regional countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo with the funds raised.
The company expects to expand its installed capacity to over 100 megawatts – enabling it to meet demand from its clients in the financial services, manufacturing, agricultural and natural resources sectors.
What you should know about the funding
- Taking into account the previous round by Verod Capital and Persistent Energy, Daystar Power has received equity investments totalling $48 million.
- The funding is led by the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), the Danish development finance institution (DFI).
- IFU is joined by new investors STOA, a French impact infrastructure fund, Proparco, the French DFI, backed by a guarantee from the European Union under the African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility (ARE Scale-Up); and Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
What they are saying
The CEO and Co-founder of Daystar Power, Jasper Graf von Hardenberg, stated that:
- “By offering our commercial and industrial clients cheaper, reliable and cleaner power, we have seen a more than 50-fold increase in power-as-a-service revenue over the last two years. African businesses are realizing that solar power stand-alone or in tandem with a second power source is a superior energy alternative to the often-unreliable grid or too expensive, polluting diesel generators.”
Thomas Hougaard, Vice President sub-Saharan Africa, IFU said:
- “We believe that Daystar Power has the right elements – the client base, technology, engineering expertise, and executive leadership to scale off-grid solar across West Africa. Not only is Daystar Power at the forefront of a growing market, it is helping to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in some of Africa’s fastest growing cities.”