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Gas constraint reduces to 3,967MW

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***Power sector loses 142MW due to water constraint
***supplies 3,175MW    
Constraint caused by shortage of gas to power reduced from 4,307Mega Watts (MW) of August 5th to 3,967MW on Sunday, 7th of August.
On the day under review, the Nigeria Electricity System Operator (SO) of the Transition Company of Nigeria (TCN) sent out 3175MW to the 11 distribution companies (DisCos).

The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) made this disclosure on its website on Monday, reported that line constraint was 240MW. It noted that water constraint that was 142MW rose marginally by 1MW.

All the constraints, on the day under review, said NESI, resulted in loss of an estimated equivalent of N2,088, 000, 000 on August 07 2016 due to constraints.
It said: “On August 07,  2016, average power sent out was 3175MWh/hour (up by 27MWh/h). The reported gas constraint was 3967MW. The reported line constraint was 240MW according to TCN. The water management constraint was 143MW.
It would be recalled that the power sector did not report any constraint due to water supply for over a month, first said that on August 5, it recorded 142Mega Watts (MW) water constraint.
Although the spokesperson of the company, Mrs. Seun Olagunju did not receive our Abuja correspondent phone call to inquire what led to the water constraint, The Nation learnt that it was due to some undisclosed mechanical issues in the Kainji Hydro Power Station.
The source that spoke to The Nation in confidence said that “they (TCN) are doing as much as they can possibly do with the mechanical constraint.”
Another source said that the company was trying to be more efficient by not using all its water and make some reservation for other days.
He said “they are restricting the water because the want it to last. There are two options with an hydro -electric dam. You can use all the water when you have it. You can manage it so that the day you don’t have water you have water in storage. They are not even using all their water.”
According to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) website that published the power performance daily summary, on the day under review, the Nigerian Electricity System Operator (SO) sent out 3,135MW to the 11 distribution companies .
The report however noted that the sector recorded 265MW line constraint .
All the losses, said the NESI, was an estimate of N2.7billion .
It said: “On August 05 2016, average power sent out was 3135MWh/hour (up by 59MWh/h). The reported gas constraint was 4307MW. The reported line constraint was 265MW according to TCN.  The water management constraint was 142MW.
The power sector lost the estimated equivalent of N2,263, 000, 000 on August 05 2016 due to constraints.”
NATION

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FG, KOICA to Launch Phase2 ICT Project

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Adebayo Shittu

Adebayo Shittu

BY SARAUNIYA G USMAN, ABUJA

The Federal Government and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) are collaborating to launch second phase of partnership in ICT that would develop experts and highly skilled labor in information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria.

This was disclosed yesterday when a high powered delegation from the KOICA office, led by its Country Director, Sook Hyun Park paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Communications, Abuja.

The country Director said that, South Korean government through KOICA has enjoyed a strong partnership with Federal Ministry of Communications in its e-government capacity building project for the past 7 years.

“Our first e-government project which has existed for the past 7 years with a strong partnership with Federal Ministry of Communications would be concluded next year.

We shall keep our effort and support to Nigeria. E-government in the 2nd project which we plan to embark upon, we are interested in developing human skilled labor in ICT areas hence, the need for the Minister to share his expertise and ideas that would be of good direction to the Federal Government ”, the Director stated.

Sook Hyun stated that KOICA’s visit to the Ministry of Communications was aimed at introducing the agency’s upcoming project (phase 2) being worked towards year 2020 and beyond, following the conclusion of the introductory (first phase) which would be concluded by 2019.

In his contribution, Headquarter Coordinator, An Kwangsoo, said KOICA as an agency was set to move from the introductory part of its partnership project which was focused on e-government capacity building, scholarship for masters and PHD Degrees in Korean Universities for Nigerians to a bigger phase in order to assist Nigeria in achieving the implementation of her e-government master plan.

In his remarks, the Minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu thanked KOICA on behalf of the Federal Government, for generously investing so much towards the development of Nigeria, particularly in areas of e-government and capacity building.

The Minister said that, Federal Government cannot take KOICA’s selfless cooperation for granted and urged them to sustain the smooth relationship that is being enjoyed by both parties in service to humanity.

He urged the Agency to meet with the Ministry’s e-government department to work together for a very beneficial launch of the 2nd phase of broader partnership between the federal government and the Republic of Korea via KOICA.

In the new phase, Shittu urged the Agency to make conscientious efforts to ensure at least 100,000 civil servants are trained annually, to improve Nigeria’s system of operations to be more effective and efficient.

He also appealed to them to collaborate with the Nigerian Universities by sending technology gurus from the Korean universities to impart technological ideas and knowledge to students in Nigeria who shall in turn train others.

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Nigerians open one million bank accounts monthly: NIBSS

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Mr Niyi Ajao, Managing Director, Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), says one million bank accounts are opened monthly by Nigerians as the nation’s financial inclusion rate increased to 63.6 per cent from 45.4 per cent recorded in 2016.

Ajao made the disclosure at the launch of the 2018 Financial Inclusion Survey by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) on Tuesday in Lagos.

He said with the rise in the rate, the efforts of stakeholders in the financial industry were beginning to pay off.

Ajao, however, said that there was need to do more if the country would meet the 20 per cent exclusion rate by 2020.

According to the survey, 63.6 per cent of Nigeria’s adult population of 99.6 million have access to financial services, while 36.4 per cent, equalling 36.6 million of the adult population are financially excluded.

Out of the 36.6 million adult population that are financially excluded, 55.9 per cent are women, while 44.1 per cent are men.

The survey also showed that 39.7 per cent of the population are banked.

Ajao said that NIBSS, which holds data for the banking industry had recorded up to one million new accounts being opened in banks on a monthly basis.

He said that majority of the new accounts were opened by people who already had accounts.

The managing director said that more than 30 million Bank Verification Number (BVN) holders had continued to make more transactions as the volume of electronic transactions grew.

“When we look at the figures for adult population for EFINA report for 2016, 96.4 million and now 99.6 million.

“This is about 3.3 per cent growth of adult population if you look at the number of financially included, 56.4 million as at 2016 has grown to 63.6 million in 2018 that is a growth of 11 per cent.

“So, the increase is way above the population growth and that means the efforts of all players have yielded fruits but we need to continue with the efforts.

“This is because we still have a lot to conquer if we must achieve the 20 per cent exclusion by 2020.

“We have seen NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) which we use to gauge the payment behaviour of Nigerians from 2016 up,” Ajao said.

He said that the inclusion rate was growing slowly until 2018 when the volume doubled year on year.

“This year by our projection, we will be doing one billion NIP in 2018. We did half of that in 2017.

“It is clear that what we are experiencing is that it is the few banked people that are doing all the transactions.

“Throughout 2017, the volume of transactions kept on growing, instant payment, Point of Sale (POS), bulk payment, even during the recession when the value of transaction became smaller, we were having more and more volume done.

“That again points out that we are winning the war gradually against cash. More people that would have done cash are now doing e-payment,” Ajao said.

“However, the few banked are the ones doing majority of the transactions.

“This year alone, we have 9.9 BVN holders do all the instant payment transactions we saw in the third quarter and that shows the structure we have in place.

“This growth looks much lower than what we see in the bulk of e-payment, it is this same account holders who are opening new accounts and who are doing more transactions.”

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NNPC educates Senate on NLNG dividend account

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shed light on the probe of alleged illegal withdrawal from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Dividend Account by the Senate, clarifying that there was nothing illegitimate about it.

In a statement, the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the clarification was made by the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr. Isiaka Abdulrazaq, at an interactive session with the media over the weekend in Lagos.

The release stated that in a detailed presentation, the CFO clarified that the Senate probe was not about missing money as was being insinuated in some quarters, but rather an investigation into whether NNPC acted legally in withdrawing the sum of $1.05bn from the NLNG Dividend Account to support fuel importation.

According to the release, while granting the statutory right of the legislators to carryout oversight functions, NNPC CFO said that relevant extant laws such as the Appropriation Act 2018 defines revenue from NNPC as net of cost, indicating that NNPC has the right to defray the cost of its operations from earnings.

He also cited the NLNG Act which explicitly provides that NNPC could defray its cost from the dividends, as one of the legal grounds relied upon for the expenditure without recourse to appropriation by the National Assembly.

Expatiating further on the matter, Mr. Abdulrazaq, according to the release, cited the case instituted by some state governments in 1999 seeking the interpretation of revenue on account of their contention that all accruals from oil and gas operations amount to revenue and should be swept into the Federation Account.

The ruling on that case by the Supreme Court in 2002, according to him, was in tandem with NNPC’s position that revenue is accruals net of cost.

“We have provided the legal authority on which we rely to use funds from the NLNG Dividend Account to the Senate. We believe they will reason with us. But if need be, we will seek legal opinion on it”, the CFO stated.

On the general impression that NNPC and indeed the entire Oil and Gas Industry is opaque, Mr. Abdulrazaq contended that in the light of efforts made by the Management of the NNPC since the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to entrench a culture of transparency, nothing could be further from the truth.

“NNPC is very open and transparent. We publish our NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations reports in the media. No one does monthly reporting, not even the international oil companies or the publicly quoted companies. The best they do is quarterly reports. But we do monthly reports of revenue (profit and loss for the entire corporation, including the subsidiaries). We do operations report on how much oil and gas was produced, sold and the monetary value; how much products the refineries processed and how much was imported and sold by PPMC. We do all these to defuse the perception of opacity. Yet some people still say we are opaque, and I think that is not fair”, he argued.

Abdulrazak disclosed that as part of the stewardship accounting designed to make NNPC’s operations transparent to the public, the inherited six-year unaudited accounts of the corporation have been audited up to date, stressing that the account for 2017 has been fully audited, approved and forwarded to relevant authorities.

On fuel supply and efforts to ensure zero-scarcity throughout the end of year festivities and beyond, the CFO disclosed that NNPC has 2.6 billion litres of premium motor spirit (petrol) in offshore and onshore storage that could last for 52 days at 50 million litres per day consumption.

Also speaking at the event, the Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mallam Bello Rabiu, said the major focus of the Upstream Autonomous Business Unit of the NNPC was to drive down the cost of crude oil production and link the Oil and Gas Industry with the economy.

According to him, bringing down the cost of production would lead to cheaper energy cost which would in turn boost industrial and economic growth.

He said security and funding that used to be the bane of Upstream operations have been largely taken care of by the corporation through practical engagement with stakeholders in the Niger Delta region and the cash-call exit programme.

The COO said that as part of efforts to drive down cost, the NNPC was looking at extending the Escravos-Warri crude oil evacuation pipeline surveillance contract model to downstream pipelines to guarantee efficient crude supply to the refineries post-rehabilitation.

“Before now, it was not possible to get crude to Warri and Kaduna refineries. But with the kind of security contract in place for the Warri-Escravos Pipeline, we now have 99% crude oil recovery rate. The balance is paid for by the contractor. That is why we have replicated that model for the Trans-Forcados Pipeline to guarantee security”, Mallam Rabiu explained.

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