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Elumelu urges US Congress to pass the Electrify Africa Act

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Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and Founder Tony Elumelu Foundation has called on the United States Congress to pass the ‘Electrify Africa Act’ stating that the passage in to law would make a world of difference in Africa.

“When you leave this place call your Representatives and the leadership of the House and ask them to pass the bill” Elumelu urged members of the packed audience.

The bill which would preserve and expand President Barack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative by codifying access to electricity as a U.S. foreign policy priority for Africa has already been passed by the U.S. Senate and is expected be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives next week.

Speaking at the Mariott Hotel in Washington D.C; venue of the “Power Africa Summit” on Thursday, January 28, 2016, Elumelu commended President Obama for working through the Power Africa Initiative to mobilize the private sector to invest $43 billion in the African power sector.

According to Mr. Elumelu, Africa must win the energy challenge if it seeks to become an industrial power in the 21st century, noting that “power outages on the continent must spark power outrages. The kind of outrage that ignites the activist in us”

Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings; a propriety Investment company, through Transcorp Power Limited has committed $2.5 billion to deliver 2,000 megawatts of electricity under the Power Africa Initiative. Already Transcorp Power is currently generating about 19% of Nigeria’s power needs with a target to increase capacity to 25% in the near future.

“Power cuts across and has impact on healthcare delivery, job creation, education, food security communications and all other sectors of the economy. It is unacceptable that 600 million Africans lack access to energy in the 21st century” Elumelu said.

The call in Washington DC, follows the joint letter to the U.S. Congress from Elumelu and President of Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote, on behalf of the African Energy Leaders Group (AELG), which they co-founded with other leaders in January 2015. The letter, similarly urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to act swiftly and pass this critical piece of legislation to scale up U.S. efforts to help provide Africans with access to electricity.

In continuation of his advocacy for Africa, Elumelu also testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission on ‘The Future of the U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Relationship’ on the same day. Chaired by Ambassador Michael Froman, the US Trade Representative, the Hearing is part of efforts by the U.S. government to put building blocks in place for the next phase in its economic relationship with Africa.

As a recognized African business and thought leader, Elumelu was invited to share ideas on how to enhance the U.S.-Africa trade and investment relationships beyond the preferential access to the U.S. market for Africa’s products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), to other tools like free trade agreements and investment treaties among others.

Speaking at the Hearing, Mr. Tony Elumelu said Africa does not need another trade agreement or preferential program and called for a new trade paradigm in the trade and investment relationship with Africa. He said “It is time to move beyond the unequal exchange of cheap raw materials for expensive finished goods that disadvantages Africa, to one that ensures technology transfer and sustainable economic development, huge economic returns for investors and creates new jobs for both sides.”

He proposed three approaches to achieving this; applying the principles of Africapitalism; focus on identifying and enabling specific value chains and promoting entrepreneurship. “Africapitalism can help shape the new trade paradigm because it requires governments, donors and the private sector to work together in “Shared Purpose” to ensure the creation of national plans and supporting policies around specific sectors and related targets, so the private sector can step in with capital and expertise geared to achieve those targets, be they tons of grain produced, megawatts of electricity generated or industrial parks created” he stated.

Apart from Elumelu, testimonies were also taken from Mr. Donald Kaberuka, Former President of the African Development Bank, Mr. Jim Kolbe, President JTK Consulting, Mr. Tom Hart, Executive Director, One Campaign and Mr. Scott Eisner, President U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Others included Senator Johnny Isakson, who said that AGOA has become a win-win for the U.S. and Africa, disclosing that a South African market for poultry products was opened from his home state of Georgia and Delaware on account of it.

Whilst stating that “Africa needs America, just as much America needs Africa” Froman in his remarks at the Hearing, said Africa’s next decades will be central to the global economy due to the rising number of African consumers. To shape the next American policy of engaging with Africa, he said the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is talking with its African partners, with industry and civil society, with academia and the investor community, with foundations in the U.S. and Africa on the path forward.

“This input is critical as we prepare a public report for delivery to Congress in June this year that will layout a set of options and road maps for advancing the US-Africa trade and investment agenda” concluded Ambassador Froman.

Elumelu’s engagements in the U.S. comes after the recent visit by a delegation of members of Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA), along with representatives of several U.S. government trade and investment-focused agencies. Led by the Honourable Penny Pritzker – U.S. Secretary of Commerce, they were on a fact-finding mission to Africa to inform their report to the U.S. President on recommendations to strengthen commercial engagement between the U.S. and Africa, which will result in mutually beneficial growth.

Elumelu hosted the delegation in Lagos, provided them an opportunity to interact and hear directly from young aspiring entrepreneurs drawn from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP); an audacious initiative that provides seed capital, training, mentorship and a networking platform for 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a 10 year period. Endowed with $100million by the African Philanthropist, the programme, which commenced last year with 1000 beneficiaries, is currently in its second year with another 1000 beneficiaries from Africa, scheduled to participate and benefit from the novel entrepreneurship development program in 2016.

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LP national chairman, Julius Abure, arrested

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Julius Abure the national chairman of the Labour Party (LP), has been arrested by the police in Benin City, Edo State.

It is currently unclear the reason behind his arrest but sources say it may not be unconnected with the recent crisis rocking the party.

Recently, he was accused of forging the signatures of some political aspirants in Ebonyi and Plateau States.

Now, it has taken another dimension. This time around, it is financial allegations. Allegations coming from no other person than the national treasurer of the party, Mrs Oluchi Oparah. The Exchequer of the Labour party who is supposed to be 100% in the know of the party’s finances accused Abure of forging the signatures of the party’s late national chairman, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam to withdraw funds totalling N21 million.

Before this most recent allegation, a governorship aspirant of the party from Ebonyi state, Mr. Eze Oko, had accused the Party’s National Chairman of alleged forgery and conspiracy that led to his replacement few days to the March 18 gubernatorial election.

Specifically, Oko alleged that at the heat of political activities leading to the gubernatorial election in Ebonyi state, the national chairman initiated moves to illegally remove him as the gubernatorial candidate with an alleged forged withdrawal letter submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).

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Energy Mogul, Adewale Tinubu, takes Centre Stage at Guyana Energy Conference

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Adewale Tinubu, CON, boss of energy giant, Oando Group, is always a delight to watch when in the boardroom or engaged in anything concerning business.

He usually leaves his watchers and admirers enthralled by his articulation and aplomb. He is always graceful in his fine grasp of business intricacies, with a very strong sense of deep erudition in discussions, especially in the area of economic development in Nigeria.

Of course, the foregoing may not be news to many. But what many may not know about this technocrat is that beyond his feats in the oil sector, he is endowed with oratorical power.

 That excellent trait was much on display at the ongoing Guyana Energy Conference, where the top oil player once again showcased his God-given talent.

While speaking on the topic, ‘Upstream Activities Required for a Resilient Oil and Gas Value Chain, the oil and gas mogul received intermittent standing ovations, accompanied with several rounds of applause for his dazzling and awe-inspiring speech.

Oando, Africa’s largest integrated energy solutions provider, is diamond sponsor of the third edition of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, which started on Monday, 19th February to Thursday, 22nd, 2024, attracted participation, at the highest level, from more than 21 countries also drawn in 19 sectors – outside of the energy sector.

 Participating companies at the conference tackled important concerns affecting the energy sector, as well as the challenges of climate change mitigation and maximizing the benefits of local content development in Guyana and the region.

Commenting on the conference, Mr. Tinubu posted on his social media handles.

He wrote:

 ‘’Spent the last two days at the Energy Guyana Conference and Supply Chain Expo – a first time attendee and 3rd time visitor to this beautiful country.

Myself and the #HumansofOando welcomed the President of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaa1, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith Rowley and the Minister of Petroleum, (Trinidad and Tobago) Stuart RYoung 1 to our exhibition booth, where we walked them through Oando’s journey to date in curating Nigeria’s energy mix.

The oil and gas industry in Guyana is rapidly evolving, thus the importance of creating an enabling environment for growth cannot be understated.

Yesterday, I delivered a keynote address to industry leaders and other esteemed guests explaining the winning Oil and Gas Industry Strategy.

With the warm welcome we received we are assured of promising collaboration towards successful oil and gas venturing in Guyana’’.

Other speakers at the event include His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana; Bharrat Jagdeo, Vice President, The Cooperative Republic of Guyana; the Honourable Vickram Bharrat, Minister of Natural Resources, The Co-operative Republic of Guyana; Stuart Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Antonio Almonte, Minister of Energy and Mines, the Dominican Republic; His Excellency, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister of the State of Qatar; Alistair Routledge, President, Exxonmobil Guyana and Her Excellency Jane Miller OBE, British High Commissioner to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, among several other world class personalities.

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Hope In Time Of Crisis: A Call For Unwaivering Faith In Nigeria.

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By: Ayobami Ladipo

 

 

Dear Nigerian Youths, Friends and The Social Media Community.

 

I feel the need to share some words with you this morning, not just for communication sake but because it’s the right thing to do at a time like this when we’re all groaning in pains.

 

Indeed, times are hard, the pain is unbearable, the cost of living has tripled and ripple effect of the current economic hardship on the common man can only be imagined.

 

Truth be told, we are all SUFFERING!

 

Let’s take a moment to situate this correctly, especially for those of us who are not public office holders but campaigned for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, believed in the manifesto and still optimistic that he’ll deliver his good promises to Nigerians, it’s not been easy.

 

Believing in a mantra or giving support to the president at a time like this does not take away the pain, it doesn’t not alienate me or any of his supporters from the people or the present economic hardship, it just shows that we still believe that pain is normal when something good is about to be spring forth.

 

Standing on the mandate no mean say leg no dey pain oh, but just like Isaac believed in Abraham his father to the point of death when he had thought he would be slaughtered as a sacrifice to God before the Almighty provided a ram, we also believe that the ongoing reforms will yield a great result and restore our country’s lost glory.

 

When we stop believing, hope fades away and nothing good will come through, hence the PLEA for calm and for us all to put aside our political or ethnic differences right now, let’s persevere a little more and keep up the conversation for a better and working Nigeria.

 

We won’t stop talking, we won’t stop engaging government, we won’t stop registering our displeasure via the right channels but PLEASE let’s come together as one and show some love to one another at this trying time.

 

Just like the Bible says, weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning, May the joy of Nigeria come so quick and May we all be alive to witness a new Nigeria that’ll be full of prosperity and greatness .

 

As I conclude, I want to plead with you all that we refrain from the needless curses, insults and abuse, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and TOGETHER shall we witness greatness at the end.

 

Naija Shi Ma Dun

 

God Bless Nigeria 🇳🇬🙏🇳🇬

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