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Reps to Investigate Delay in Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline Project

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The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the delay in the commencement of the Trans-Saharan Natural Gas Pipeline project.

The resolution was a sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Ahmed Munir (APC-Kaduna state) at the plenary on Wednesday.

Moving the motion, Munir said that on Jan.

14, 2002, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Algerian National Oil and Gas Company (Sonatrach) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a 12 billion dollars pipeline project.

He said that the plans was to construct 4,128 kilometers of natural gas pipelines with a projected annual capacity of 30 billion cubic meters that will extend gas supply to Europe.

According to him, in June 2005, the NNPC and Sonatrach signed a contract with Penspen Limited for a feasibility study of the project, which was completed in September 2006.

The lawmaker said that the pipeline was discovered to be technically and economically feasible and reliable which, in turn, led to the inter-governmental agreement on the pipeline signed by the Energy Ministers of Nigeria, Niger, and Algeria on July 3, 2009 in Abuja;

“In 2013, the Federal Government approved a budget of 400 million dollars for commencement of the project originally scheduled to be operational by 2020 with no commensurate progress made to date.

“Cognisant that a new Gas Master Plan (GMP) needs to be crafted due to the current geopolitical realities such as; the newly completed 20, 000 barrel per day Zinder Refinery in the Niger Republic, new Niger-Benin Republic Pipeline due for completion in 2023, and the discovery and exploitation of hydrocarbons in commercial quantity in the Lake Chad Region of Chad Republic.

“Also the prospects of oil and gas on the Nigerian side of Lake Chad, the discovery of hydrocarbons in Bauchi, a spike in the cost of hydrocarbon, security situation along the right of way across the Sahel, as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict leading to Western Nations looking for alternative options to meet energy demands.

“The successful completion of this vital project will create jobs, spur economic growth, and enhance energy and regional security,” he said.

The house urged NNPC to provide information regarding the implementation, funding, utilisation, and status of the project.

The green chamber also urged NNPC to review the National Gas Master Plan relating to the project to conform to the variables of today’s global economy.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep. Idris Wase mandated the Committee on Gas Resources to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action. (NAN)

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Business News

FG Targets 350GW Electricity Generating Capacity by 2043

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government towards achieving the desired target of 350GW electricity generating capacity by the year 2043.     

The Minister, who spoke during a briefing session Thursday, in his office in Abuja, by top management staff of the Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency (NEMSA)  said that it would only be possible if all hands were on deck towards realizing the targets.

He informed that ‘’the present administration of President Bola Tinubu,  has prioritized the Power Sector as the topmost priority of all the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) assets classes” 

He added that over the years, the government had also embarked on several reforms to turn around the power sector, the latest  being the new Electricity Bill.

Bagudu pointed out that ‘’the electricity law repeals the Electricity and Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 and consolidates the law relating to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

 The Minister noted that the Nigeria Electricity Act 2023 prioritized the implementation of tariffs that accurately reflected the cost and service provided as well as promoted competition in the electricity sector through the use of contracts and rules’’. 

He further stated that the main objective of the law was to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nigeria electricity industry, adding that NEMSA was one of the key players in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) charged with the responsibility of carrying out the enforcement of technical standards and regulations, technical inspection, testing, and certification of all categories of electrical installations across the country to ensure stable, safe and reliable electricity networks.

Bagudu added that the agency strived to ensure zero incidences of electrical accidents, energy accountability, eliminate substandard electrical equipment and material and rid the system of quack electrical installation personnel contractors. 

Bagudu explained that the agency had embarked on some of the activities, which included: an inspection of over 15,931 electricity projects across the country, out of which 10,692 had been certified fit for use by NEMSA, monitoring of 12,114 existing networks and power systems nationwide; Inspection of 3,255 electrical installations at factories across the country, among others.

In his brief, the MD/CEO of NEMSA & Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation, Engr. Aliyu Tukur Tahir said that their priority was to have a steady light electricity network that was stable, safe, and reliable. “We also strive to ensure zero incidences in the electricity networks, energy accountability, and eliminate substantial electrical material and equipment across our network in the country”.

He pointed out that “electricity has become part of our everyday life, it is a great benefit to all of us but the electricity we use is associated with a lot of hazards and these hazards are so real that they can even affect professionals themselves; so to mitigate these hazards, number of technical standards and revelations are now developed and that was why this agency was established to carry out enforcement of technical inspection, testing and certification before they are allowed to be used”.

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Business News

BPP, AfDB Partner to Strengthen Energy Sector Reforms

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 The Breau of Public Procurement (BPP) and African Development Bank (AfDB) have entered into partnership to strengthen on-going reforms in the energy sector to improve productivity and add value to the economy.

According to a statement by Janet McDickson, Head,  Media, BPP, the Director General of BPP, Mamman Ahmadu, made this known on Tuesday, while welcoming the AfDB team to his office.

The AfDB team was led by Dr Patrick Owuori, the Regional Procurement Coordinator.

Mamman said that emphasis should be placed on quality, while implementing the much needed energy sector reform, adding that  government projects needed to be long-lasting and sustainable.

He said that sufficient rules should be made on how the money the organisation was putting on the table for the project was to be expended.

The director general said that BPP was working assiduously to achieve the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

“Procedures and strategies are put in place for spending government funds that will give value for money,” he said.

According to him, BPP  was also in collaboration with the World Bank to put in place an e- procurement mechanism for transparency in all procurement processes.

“We are designing a capacity building sector to design customises areas to train procurement officers in skills and knowledge that will match global best practices,’’ he said.

Mamman said that the BPP needed more funding to design procurement capacity that could work with the energy sector and  all procurements across board.

He, however, said that BPP’s partnership with AfDB would go a long way in enhancing the procurement sector engagement.

The leader of the delegation and Regional Procurement Coordinator, AfDB, Dr Patrick Owuori said, the new government of President Bola Tinubu, in the bid to get the power sector improve its services, had requested AfDB to develop and redesign a template to improve the energy sector.

Owuori said that the task would take them between six and nine months to redesign.

He said that the entire project would cost $1billion, with the timeline between 2023-2024.(NAN)

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Energy and Power

Nationwide Blackout As Power Grid Collapses Again

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Nigeria has witnessed yet another collapse of the power grid resulting in nationwide blackout.

Electricity supply plummeted from a high of 3,594.60 megawatts (MW) around 1:00 a.m. to an alarming 42.7MW on Tuesday, 19th September, 2023.

As of mid-day today, the only operational power plant on the grid was the Delta Power plant, generating 41.

00MW, while Afam contributed a mere 1.
7MW.

This occurrence follows closely on the heels of two recent grid collapses in just over a 12-hour period, plunging the nation into complete darkness.

Last week Wednesday, Nairametrics reported the collapse of the nation’s electricity grid throwing the country into a blackout.

The Minister of Power attributed the collapse of the grid to a fire outbreak at the Kainji/Jebba station.

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