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TCN Restores Power Supply, after Breakdown of 5 Towers in Lagos

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Collapsed Towers in Lagos.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says it has restored power supply to areas affected by early morning explosion, which brought down its five 33KV Towers through the activities of vandals in Isheri area of Lagos.

Mr Sule Abdulaziz, the TCN Managing Director, made this known during his visit to the site of the incident on Friday evening in Lagos.

Abdulaziz said that TCN had energised the second 330KV Akangba-Ikeja West line, which before the fire incident, served as a redundant line in that axis, in keeping with TCN’s N-1 reliability criteria.

“The second 330KV line which trippled during the incident was patrolled by TCN engineers and certified okay before it was energised.

“The line II was energised at about 2.38 p.m on Friday and now wheels 121MW to the Akangba Transmission Substation.

“This means that areas under Ikeja Disco, whose supply were affected by the pipeline fire incident, will now have normal supply of electricity,” he said.

In view of the importance of transmission line redundancy, Abdulaziz said that TCN had already directed two contractors to mobilise to site and commence the reconstruction of the towers and 330KV line on Monday.

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On the level of damage done to the towers, he condemned the act of vandalism by the vandals, adding that the damage to the towers were massive.

“The damage is very great; the transmission line is carrying 145 Megawatts and you can imagine on a whole day if you cannot transmit the power supply.

“Secondly, it will take a lot of money and time before the towers could be restored; so, it is a great loss to Nigerians,” he said.

The managing director reiterated the need for everyone to be part of the fight against vandalism of the nation’s assets.

“I am advising the vandals to stop destroying the nation’s assets; they should look out for legitimate work to do.

“Government property is everyone property; so by destroying the towers, you are taking us back. We are going to spend money which is not in the budget to repair this towers.

“If we want the nation to move forward, they should stop these activities,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that tragedy was averted on Friday at Isale-Odo, LASU Road in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, following the containment of a pipeline explosion.

Commenting, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, Acting Coordinator, South-West Zonal Office of the National Emergency Management Agency, confirmed the development in a statement.

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Farinloye said the explosion was caused by the collapse of a 33KV line which occurred within the axis earlier in the day.

He said the collapsed high tension line from Egbin Power Plant, Ikorodu, supplies electricity to Ikeja West.

“The electricity cable collapse led to sparks and the sparks got to spilled petrol around the area which led to the pipeline gutting fire and a subsequent explosion.

NAN also reports that TCN confirmed the loss of five electricity towers as a result of the inferno caused by a vandalised pipeline along Isheri Olofin, off Igando-LASU Expressway.

The TCN General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mba, had in a statement in Abuja said that the development triggered a resistant pull on the high-tension towers along the line route causing five of them to collapse.

“The incident which is estimated to have occurred at about 12.29 a.m on Friday burnt a wide portion of the 330KV transmission line which wheels 145MW of bulk power to the Akangba Substation.

“The transmission towers affected are the two closest to the site of the incident and three across the Lagos Canal,” she said.(NAN)

Energy and Power

FG Spends N758.1bn on Petrol Subsidy in Three Months

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Nigeria has spent N758.1 billion in the first three months of 2022. This is from the report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

Many economic experts have over time described the country’s subsidy regime as an unsustainable burden borne by the three tiers of government, the federal, state and local governments and is posing a huge leak on the country’s revenues.

In January the NNPC withheld N210.382 billion while in February it deducted N219.783 billion and is expected to again remove N328.004 billion, to hit over N758 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

Nigeria’s largely opaque long-running petrol subsidy, will see the country spend close to a quarter, that is N4 trillion,  of its entire budget of roughly N17 trillion this year on the major subsidy cost centre.

An analysis of the latest Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) shows that the NNPC has been unable to contribute a Kobo into the joint account operated by the tiers of government in the whole of this year.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed in an announcement which came as a shock to many economists last month, said the federal government will draw $2.2 billion from the Eurobond it issued last September, and add to the proceeds of fresh domestic borrowing this year to fund fuel subsidy.

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In January, the government reneged on a previous decision to halt the subsidy regime, opting to prolong it by 18 months in what was seen as a move to forestall a potential civil resistance in the prelude to the 2023 presidential election.

For the umpteenth time last week, the World Bank Group urged Nigeria to rethink its fuel subsidy regime, with its boss, David Malpass, saying that resources being expended on the subsidy could be channelled to other sectors of the economy to accelerate growth.

“One is that they (subsidies) are expensive because they go to everyone and they are often used by people with upper incomes than by people with lower incomes so they are not targeted.

“So, we encourage that when there is need for subsidy, either food or for fuel, that it should be carefully targeted at those most in need of it. And so, we have encouraged Nigeria to rethink its subsidy effort,” he said.

Although the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, recently described the controversial subsidy regime as “a criminal enterprise,” Nigeria has continued to service it even as it doesn’t know the actual volume of petrol the country consumes.

In her comments, the immediate past President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Audrey Ezigbo, also insisted that subsidy should be removed as over N10 trillion had been spend between 2006 to 2021. According to her, that’s more than what the 36 states generated last year.

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Also an Energy Expert, Ronke Onadeko, described it as a scam, saying that Nigeria cannot even generate enough funds to cover the subsidy it pays. She submitted that subsidy should only be retained for the 3 per cent of Nigerians which data show actually need the subsidy.

 But another oil and gas analyst,  Zaka Bala, argued that subsidy is necessary to relieve the huge burden the current economic crisis places on Nigerians , saying that Nigeria would be making its biggest mistake by removing subsidy.

He noted that the subsidy on diesel, kerosene, jet fuel and gas which have all been removed have not helped the country in any way, adding that it is almost crashing the economy as banks now close before time due to high diesel prices.

In 2021, the country spent N1.43 trillion on what it terms under-recovery, which has almost tripled with the N4 trillion approved for the purpose in 2022 by the National Assembly recently.

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Energy and Power

FG Directs NASENI to Produce Electric Vehicles

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By Abubakar Yakubu

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has been directed by the Federal Government to prioritise need-oriented products such as electric vehicles, microchips and solar cells, among others.

 This was disclosed by NASENI’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Mohammed Sani Haruna, who said the directive was part of the resolutions reached at a retreat organised in Abuja by NASENI for the technical board of directors and managing directors of its development institutes across the country.

He said manufacturing electric vehicles would enhance the agency’s visibility and participation in the global market, adding that the synergy between NASENI, universities, polytechnics, research institutions and the industries should be enhanced to fast track industrialisation.

The vice chairman said it was resolved that each institute should identify at least one need oriented product for full development and commercialisation within a maximum time frame of 24 months for immediate production and commercialisation.

He said NASENI will create the baseline indices for the development institutes to set targets and measure performance as well as promote R&D through home grown technologies to boost confidence in made in Nigeria products and discourage importation of similar goods.

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According to him, NASENI partners with the private sector in order to achieve some of its mandates, adding that Nigeria would soon witness industrial revolution.

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BUSINESS

Nigeria’s Oil Production Rises 5.07% to 1.388mbd in Q1

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Nigeria’s daily crude oil production in the first quarter of 2022 rose by 5.07 percent to 1.388 million barrels compared to 1.321 million barrels produced daily in the fourth quarter of 2021.

According to the latest data released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in its Monthly Oil Market Report, Nigeria reported daily crude oil production of 1.

238 million in March, 1.
258 million barrels in February and 1.399 million barrels in January.

The data showed that oil production in the country in the first quarter consistently failed to meet the 1.73 million barrels per day quota set by OPEC for Nigeria.

Nigeria’s failure to boost crude oil production in the face of high price of oil in the international market has been largely blamed on high oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region.

According to the industry operators, the rising level of pipeline vandalism and oil theft has left the sector struggling for survival.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari revealed earlier in April that oil production has crashed to 1.15 million barrels per day.

He said the increasing rate of vandalism has caused massive disruption in oil production, noting it was the worst the country has ever witnessed.

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According to him, “As we speak now, there is massive disruption to our operations as a result of the activities of vandals and criminals along our pipelines in the Niger Delta area. This has brought down our production to levels as low as we have never seen before.

“Today, we are doing less than 1.15 million barrels per day simply because some criminals decided that they should have some infractions on our pipelines. That is clearly the biggest form of business disruption that we are facing today and this kind of engagements, the certifications that we have today around our systems and processes should be able to respond to this and part of the response is to bring in the best framework possible to contain the situation”.

Also speaking on the situation, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), disclosed that about $3.27 billion worth of oil has been lost to vandalism in the past 14 months.

The Commission disclosed that most of the crude oil losses came from Bonny Terminal Network, Forcados Terminal Network and Brass Terminal Network.

The Chief Executive of NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe said the government was determined to end the menace so that the country can benefit from the rising price of oil and also to protect the environment from oil spills.

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According to him, “the issue of oil theft has become a very worrisome issue to the government of Nigeria and I believe to you as investors too”.

Engr. Komolafe stressed that it was important that the government and the oil companies’ work together resolve the issue especially on the agreed volume of oil lost to vandals as the issues strike at the heart of Federation revenue”.

The International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating the country have however pointed out the issue has gone beyond mere oil theft to organized crime.

According to the Chairman/Managing Director of ExxonMobil, Richard Laing, their position was based on the sophistication of the operation of the vandals.

He said: “As an industry, I know how hard my colleagues work to produce products that we need and to suffer the level of theft that we have is disheartening. But more importantly it is a threat to investments, a threat to the health of the industry and wealth of the nation

“It is important that the stakeholders integrate their activities and their thoughts. As OPTS we have met with a number of stakeholders over the last several months and we want to make sure that whatever we do is joined up and effective.

“The language is very important and I think we use theft rather quickly. I don’t think this is theft, this is organized criminal activity. The level of sophistication in terms of tapping into the pipelines, the distributions, efforts required to move hundreds of thousands of barrels a day isn’t some guy coming along and taping into a pipeline and taking container crude oil. It is organized criminality”, Laing stressed.

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On its part, the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) disclosed that about 82 percent of its oil production was stolen in the month of February 2022.

The Managing Director of Waltersmith Petroman, Chikeze Nwosu opined that the independent producers were facing existential threat.

Nwosu explained that the oil theft challenge has grown from what it used to be in the past of about 4 percent to a high of 91 percent in December, 2021.

According to him, “The TNP (Trans Niger Pipeline) is the major issue. We have seen crude theft grow from single digit percentages to reports of 91 percent in December for some of the operators who produce into the TNP, 75 percent in January and the February report we got has an average of 82 percent”.

He pointed out that the situation seems to be getting worse despite all effort to curb it. He therefore called for urgent action from the government and stakeholders.

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