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Cleaner energy: Nigeria on path to meeting global demands – Osibanjo



vice President Osibanjo

The Federal Government says it is working conscientiously to ensure that the country meets the global demands on cleaner energy.

Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, said this on Tuesday at the opening of the 2021 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference holding at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

Osinbajo represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, noted that the country had no option than to move with the global trend being signatory to international protocols on cleaner energy.

He said the Federal Government was leaving no stone unturned at ensuring that the country moved to cleaner renewable energy but that the step must be gradual.

Osinbajo explained that government had already directed stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to focus on natural gas resources as a transition fuel that would function as a bridge between the dominant fossil fuels and the cleaner energy.

“Natural gas has the intrinsic abilities to meet the increasing global requirements for cleaner primary energy use, while at the same time enabling much needed domestic industrialisation for rapid economic growth in very few endowed countries such as Nigeria.

“We are not unmindful of the peculiar challenges confronting the gains from oil and gas operations in Nigeria.

“From infrastructural deficiency and insecurity to high cost of operations, to mention just a few, the government is working conscientiously to tackle all without lagging behind on our path to meeting the cleaner energy global demands.

“In spite of the current global challenges in the industry, government has been supporting the aggressive implementation of the nationwide gas infrastructure blueprint.

“This informed our recent declaration of year 2021-2030 as “the Decade of Gas” after the successful kickoff with the National Gas Expansion Programme in 2020,” Osinbajo said.

Also speaking at the event, Mr Bitrus Nabasu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, who represented the Minister of Petroleum, said the signing of the PIB would help the country to  move faster in achieving a cleaner energy.

“The PIB cannot come at a better time than now that the COVID-19 pandemic caused uncertainty in the oil and gas sector.

“We are on the part of witnessing another investment in our oil and gas sector and it will help have a good administration and infrastructure and ensure development of the country to make life more meaningful for the citizens.

“Natural gas will help government achieve it’s aspirations and very soon we will reap the benefits of our decade of gas programme.

“These include auto gas vehicular movement, industrial application, welfare gas pipelines for electricity and domestic usages will help Nigerians even in rural areas to improve life.”

The minister said gas had a lot of role to play in the country’s quest for cleaner energy resources.

Malam Mele Kyari, the Group General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) said investment in the oil and gas industry had dwindled by 30 per cent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kyari said energy transition was not just about moving from fossil fuel to renewable energy but that it was creating the right balance.

“There is this mistake that by 2050 fossil fuel will go away and we will only have renewables; that is not true.

“For us, we know for sure that oil will still be relevant for us because today we have deficit of electricity, infrastructure and so many other things and we have to deal with them.

“We must ensure we produce the quick oil; quick oil means that we have to monetise every resources that is available today, so that we help the resources that will create the future.

“And oil will provide that fulcrum for us to procreate the wealth but one thing we are also sure is that gas is everything.

“So, our focus today is to deepen gas monetisation, not necessarily consumption and that means we have to do both domestic and export, so that we can take value from both ends,” Kyari said.

He  said the focus now was to see how to accelerate development and monetisation in gas.



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Business & Economy

Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister



Ahmed Idris - Account General of the Federation

The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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Business & Economy

NEPC, 13 trade promotion organisations shortlisted for WTOP award



NEPC Headquarters, Maitama - Abuja.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has been nominated along side 13 other Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) for the 2022 World Trade Organisation (WTPO) Awards for Excellence in Trade Promotion.

A statement released on Monday by Ndubueze Okeke Head, Corporate Communications of the NEPC, it said Nigeria is poised to clinch the “Best Use of a Partnership”.

He said the NEPC has been shortlisted along with Apex Brazil, Jamaica Promotion Corporation, Qatar Development Bank-Tesder and Saudi Export Development Authority.

The WTPO Award which is scheduled to hold on 17th May, 2022 in Accra, Ghana is open to all national TPOs.

The statement also said, “NEPC acknowledged WTPO as it recognizes excellence in providing trade support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs to become competitive in international trade.

“In 2018, Nigeria, through NEPC won the award for the ‘Best initiative to Ensure that Trade is Inclusive and Sustainable”.

The NEPC won that category with its Zero to Export initiative which builds capacity of would-be exporters and SMEs on export procedures and documentation as well as provide practical training on product sourcing and market access.

The NEPC said that the initiative had trained 560 SMEs.

The International Trade Centre Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton said, “At a time when small firms have been hit by supply chain disruptions, climate change crises and other socio-economic challenges, it important to show inspiring models that connect small firms to Trade opportunities that are Inclusive and sustainable”.

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak will represent Nigeria at the Award Ceremony.

The statement further said, Austria, Canada, Malaysia, Tanzania is competing in the “Best use of Information Technology”, while Sri Lanka, Republic of Korea, Netherlands and Zimbabwe will compete for the “Best initiative to ensure that trade is inclusive and sustainable category”.

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Business & Economy

Skils acquisition: ITF, Sightsavers train 32 physically challenged on 8 set of skills



ITF Logo

In fulfilling its mandate of promoting skills acquisition in the country, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), in partnership with Sightsavers, an international non-governmental organization that promotes disability rights have trained and graduated 32 Nigerians on different skills.

The skills include, computer hardware, event management, catering, phone repair, photography and poultry management.

Sir Joseph Ari, Director General of the ITF, at the graduation ceremony in Abuja on Thursday, said that the agency has made the training of physically challenged persons a priority.

He said “Among the the 34 that started the training only 2 couldn’t continue, therefore making the graduands 32.

“There is a physically challenged Act today in Nigeria, therefore as an agency thatt caters for the growth and development of youths and women through skills acquisition, we have decided to focus on our attention on the physically challenged so they can acquire different skills and contribute their quota to national development because we believe there is ability in disability,”

Yahaya Manu, Area Manager, ITF Kaduna, who reppresented Ari, also charged the graduands to make good use of their start up parks provides to them by the agency.

“Now that you have acquired these special skills, I urge you to deploy it into judicious use so you can contribute your quota to the growth and development of the country, because the ultimate aim of this training is to reduce youth unemployment,, and the agency is always committed to support the physically challenged in any capacity” he further stated.

On his part, the country director of Sightsavers Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, said the rationale behind their partnership with the ITF is to transform the labour market system to be disability inclusive.

“We are building the disability confidence of employers, job readiness of young persons with disabilities and supporting government agencies to ensure their programs promote disability inclusive economic empowerment.

“While we have trained hundreds of persons with disabilities on soft and digital” skills, preparing and connecting them to formal job, we decided to partner with ITF to empower the graduates today in vocational training and prepare them for entrepreneurship,” he said.

He said the courses were carefully selected for the disability persons due to its relevance to the labour market while admonishing the graduands to apply the knowledge they have gathered during the training to start their business.

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