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Uncertainty hits Nigeria’s power sector as Adelabu foot-drags on policy direction

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Uncertainty hovers around Nigeria’s power sector as operators wait on Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu for policy directions two months after his inauguration.

Adebalu, in September, said the Government plans to add 20,000 megawatts of electricity as the country battles with a decade-old 4,500mw capacity.

The target struck stakeholders differently; some believed it was doable, while others perceived it as a political statement.

Meanwhile, DAILY POST gathered that the Minister is yet to come up with a blueprint upon which the additional 20,000 electricity capacity would be championed.

But Adebalu has not failed to assure Nigerians that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Government would provide adequate and reliable electricity.

He gave similar assurances at the ongoing three-day Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) Market Participants & Stakeholders Roundtable (NMPSR).

But energy experts say the perennial problems facing Nigeria’s generation, transmission and distribution value chain transcend from elusive political statements to concrete policy documents required to drive the industry.

The electricity distribution companies are battling liquidity issues and low remittance compounded by the metering gap still, the generation companies struggle with poor investment and transmission inadequacies, leading to incessant grid collapses.

For years now, the country has struggled with 4,500-5,000 megawatts of electricity daily for a population of over 200 million people.

The problems of the Nigerian power industry have remained unsolved, becoming a persistent clog in the wheel of progress for Nigeria’s economy.

Amid the prevailing power sector challenges, experts posited that unveiling a succinct policy blueprint in power would serve as a compass for efficiently implementing the Government’s plan.

Speaking in an interview with DAILY POST, Kunle Olubiyo, the President of the Nigerian Consumer Protection Network, insisted that Nigeria’s power sector has failed in all ramifications, hence a need for a thorough review.

According to him, the expiration of the Performance Agreement and Licensee Moratorium on November 1 2023 would avail the Government the opportunity to rejig the sector.

“Government should bring together all critical stakeholders to look at the power sector. The power sector in all ramifications has failed; hence, the review will bring to the table all players,” he said.

Similarly, an energy expert, Joseph Eleojo said the Minister’s planned target has unveiled his lack of understanding of the country’s power sector challenges.

“For the Minister of Power to be talking of adding only 20,000mw smacks of his lack of knowledge of the electricity problems. Is the Minister gunning for a paltry 20,000mw for 200 million people?

“Why wait till 2026 to generate only 20,000mw? It is ridiculous and shows the Minister’s lack of knowledge of the electricity sector.

“The quick fix is to harness the vast resources of sun and water we have across Nigeria to generate electricity. Each local Government should be given direct support and supported by competent consultants and equipment manufacturers in solar and mini-hydro to generate electricity in their local Government areas since the new Electricity Act allows them to generate, transmit and distribute such.

“There are templates for rural electrification that are practicable, realistic and workable in South America, Southeast Asia and other places we can adopt. I pray for the President and his team to realise the importance of electricity quickly in this infancy of his administration.

Also, a former managing Director in Nigeria’s power sector, who preferred anonymity, said there is a need for precise strategies for proper policy implementation.

“Before you make a policy statement, what strategies are in place to achieve the 20,000mw target by 2026? What are the components to drive this target within this period? Is the capacity coming from gas, hydro, or solar, or what is the specific strategy to achieve the said target?

“The Minister must devise how he intends to achieve this; if not, it is a mere political statement”.

“It becomes more surprising that the Minister intends to achieve 20,000mw in three years when the country has been battling with 4,500mw generation capacity for decades.

“There should be a blueprint or roadmap to achieving the said target. Meanwhile, what Nigerians need is an adequate power supply. It is achievable if there are strategies and methods put in place to achieve the target.

“As much as possible, the government should have a concrete plan and strategy to deliver power to the people”, he stated.

 

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Pictorial: Gender mobile signs Mou with university of Uyo

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Monday June 10th Gender Mobile lead by Barr Omowunmi Ogunrotimi signed an Mou with the university of Uyo lead by its Vice Chancellor Professor Nyaudoh Ndaeyo

The Mou will allow Gender Mobile to support the University of Uyo to institutionalize sexual harassment prevention frameworks through policy, preventative education, and technology adoption.

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How US Billionaires Allegedly Fund Organ Trafficking In Nigeria

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The Global Prolife Alliance, GPA has sensationally revealed that billionaires from the United States are funding an organ trafficking cartel in Nigeria.
The GPA made the shocking revelation in a letter to President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Speaker, House Of Representatives.
The letter is signed by Academician (Dr) Philip Njemanze, Chairman, Global Prolife Alliance, GPA.
Njemanze said the cartel’s grip on the country’s healthcare system has resulted in the poaching of human organs and ovarian eggs, with millions of lives at stake.
The GPA cited the National Health Act of 2014 (NHAct 2014) as a tool for the cartel’s nefarious activities.
According to them, the cartel’s scheme involves coercing female farmers into purchasing genetically modified seeds in exchange for their ovarian eggs.

 

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CONTRACT SCANDAL ROCKS TETFUND AS ICPC ARRESTS CONTRACTOR

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A contract scandal of monumental proportion is currently rocking the the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

So bad is the situation that operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have beamed their searchlight on the activities of TETFund.

Last Tuesday, a contractor, known as Paul Chukwuma, was arrested by the and as at the time of filling this report, he was yet to regain his freedom on account of not been able to perfect his bail condition.

We gathered that Paul Chukwuma, who is the founder and promoter of Fides Et Ratio Academy, an educational service provider was detained by the ICPC over his alleged involvement in contract mess.

Recall that the media was agog with the report of how TETFund awarded a controversial N3.8 billion contract to Mr Chukwuma’s company and paid N2.9 billion to the company in four installments without following due process

Shortly after the publication by Premium Times in April, the anti-graft body detained TETFund’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Gloria Olotu, and grilled others including the Director of Human Resources and General Administration, Kolapo Okunola, and the Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Joseph Odo.

Mr Chukwuma’s detention is the latest major development in the ICPC investigation that dates back to April.

ICPC’s spokesperson, Ademola Bakare, on Wednesday, confirmed Mr Chukwuma was in the agency’s custody.

The suspect, a player in the education business in the country, was also on the list of members of governing councils of tertiary institutions recently released by the Nigerian government before President Bola Tinubu directed the review of the list.

Recall that TETFund– a tertiary institutions’ funding agency under the Federal Ministry of Education– awarded the contract which it tagged: “Capacity Building Certificate Course (Communication, Entrepreneurship, and Productive Skill Development) inclusive of the Train-the-Trainer Programme for 502 (five hundred and two) Participants”.

Findings by this newspaper indicated that the funding for the contract was sourced from the 2023 annual direct disbursement budget domiciled in the agency for the use of about 251 beneficiary institutions – public universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education across the country.

Multiple sources confirmed that the institutions’ 2023 direct disbursement budget which totalled N15.2 billion was for Information Communication and Technology intervention projects.

However, rather than releasing the funds to the institutions as mandated by its operational guidelines, TETFund deducted the funds upfront from each of the institutions, amounting to a total of N7.6 billion.

During an interview with our reporters, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, told PREMIUM TIMES that each beneficiary institution contributed 50 per cent of its ICT funds while each polytechnic and college of education contributed 25 per cent of theirs to the project.

The choice of the project, the sourcing of the contractor, and signing a memorandum of understanding with the vendor were undertaken by TETFund. This development angered the administrators of most of the institutions.

Also, while the project designs and modalities were yet to be finalised, sources confirmed that within a month of the award of the contract TETFund on 30 June 2023 credited the company’s bank account with over N550 million (N550,380,780.23).

The transfer is with mandate number CBN/PROJ/224/JUN2023.

Over N820 million (N820,223,850) was additionally paid into the account on 12 July 2023, while on 26 July 2023 and 17 November 2023, N1.5 billion (N1,503,743,850) and N62.68 million (N62,684,036.05), respectively, were credited to the account by the CBN on behalf of TETFund.

Meanwhile, despite the various supposed beneficiary institutions denying the execution of the project, Mr Chukwuma, during a meeting between PREMIUM TIMES’ reporters and the company’s management, said the project “has been done and dusted.”

PREMIUM TIMES is aware that the project was designed for training 12 ICT officials across the 251 beneficiary institutions, and to onboard more than 500,000 students for both physical and virtual sessions. However, only two ICT officials in each of the tertiary institutions have taken part in what some of these officials described as engagement sessions.

Mr Chukwuma promised to make documentary evidence to back his claim to PREMIUM TIMES in April but as of the time of filing this report he has yet to do so.

He said his company was only helping Nigeria to achieve the very best for the students and the schools, saying the courses being offered the students through the programme has been “ridiculously subsidised.”

Learnt that Mr Chukwuma was on Tuesday invited to give a statement concerning his involvement in the contract scandal being investigated by the agency.

However, sources confirmed that after going through his statement, the antigraft agency imposed strict bail conditions that require the suspect to produce highly placed persons as suretees, among other conditions.

The agency’s spokesperson, Mr Bakare, who confirmed that Mr Chukwuma was in ICPC custody, said the suspect remained in detention because he could not satisfy the bail conditions.

“Yes, Chukwuma is in ICPC’s custody, unable to fulfil bail conditions,” Mr Bakare wrote in a terse statement shared with our reporter on early Wednesday. As of 6.05 p.m. when contacted over the telephone again by our reporter, Mr Bakare said he could not immediately ascertain if the suspect met the bail conditions before the end of official work hours.

Meanwhile, ICPC said the Executive Secretary of TETFund was yet to be invited, and not in its custody as being allegedly circulated.

It, however, said the investigation into the scandal was still ongoing and that it could not rule out the possibility of arresting anyone who played roles in the matter.

“Echono wasn’t invited but investigations are still ongoing,” Mr Bakare said.

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