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Nigeria, Siemens Sign 25,000MW Six-Year Electricity Deal

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Nigeria and electricity giant, Siemens, has signed a power deal that will lead to the production of 25,000 megawatts of electricity by 2025.

President Muhammadu Buhari gave the indication at the Presidential Villa on Monday during a meeting with the Siemens’s Global Chief Executive Officer, Mr Joe Kaeser.

He asked Siemens, the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the regulator to work hard to achieve 7,000mw and 11,000MW of reliable power supply by 2021 and 2023 in the first and second phases of the deal, respectively.

By 2025 when the contract will lapse, a total of 25,000MW is expected to have been met.

The deal came out of the August 31, 2018 meeting between the Nigerian President and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Abuja.

Buhari said on Monday, “We all know how critical electricity is to the development of any community or indeed any nation. “And in Nigeria, while we are blessed to have significant natural gas, hydro and solar resources for power generation, we are still on the journey to achieving reliable, affordable and quality electricity supply necessary for economic growth, industrialization and poverty alleviation.

“There have been many attempts at solving the electricity problem in our country. Previous governments have explored state-funded solutions through the ill-prepared National Independent Power Projects. They also explored the installation of large emergency power projects. There was also the partial privatization of the power generation and distribution sectors.

“These various interventions to solving the electricity problem have yielded an imbalance between the amount of power generated and the amount available for consumers. Despite over 13,000MW of power generation capacity, only an average of 4,000MW reliably reaches consumers. Now, we have an excellent opportunity to address this challenge.”

The President recalled that his administration’s priority was to stabilize the power generation and gas supply sectors through the Payment Assurance Facility, which led to a peak power supply of 5,222MW.

He, however, lamented that the transmission and distribution systems had remained major constraints.

He said, “This is why I directed my team to ask Siemens and our Nigerian stakeholders to first focus on fixing the transmission and distribution infrastructure, especially around economic centres where jobs are created.

While it was evident that more (work) needed to be done to upgrade the sub-transmission and distribution system, our government was initially reluctant to intervene as the distribution sector is already privatised.

“I am therefore very pleased with the positive feedback from private sector owners of the distribution companies, who have all endorsed government’s intervention to engage Siemens on this end-to-end plan to modernise the electricity grid.”

The President also said, “Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes. My challenge to Siemens, our partner investors in the distribution companies, the TCN and the electricity regulator is to work hard to achieve 7,000MW of reliable power supply by 2021 and 11,000mw by 2023 – in phases one and two, respectively.

“After these transmission and distribution system bottlenecks have been fixed, we will seek in the third and final phase to drive generation capacity and overall grid capacity to 25,000MW.”

On his part, Kaeser recalled that a Letter of Agreement on the Nigerian Electrification Road map was submitted to the Nigerian President in November, 2018.

He explained that the road map would deliver 7,000MW in the first phase, and in the second phase, up to 11,000MW.

He said, “That will significantly enhance the country’s power supply and gets the country to the next industrial phase. We believe we will all very much benefit together, the people of Nigeria and of course Siemens as a company.

“I am very honoured that we were able to sign this road map today in the presence of the President and our partners. I will personally make sure that this will be a big success for Nigeria, Siemens and our partners in the country.”

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BREAKING: Many Feared Dead In Multiple Accident At Otedola Bridge, Lagos [GRAPHIC PHOTO]

Peter Okunoren

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Tragedy occurred again at the notorious Otedola Bridge, Lagos, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, in the early hours Wednesday, when many were feared dead in fatal multiple-accident.

According to an eyewitness, Remilekun Abiola, the accident involving five vehicles, occurred about 8 am during the early morning downpour at Otedola Bridge, out ward Lagos to Berger.

Though, the immediate and remote cause of the accident could not be ascertained at press time, but eyewitness attributed over speeding and sloppy nature of the road by Otedola Bridge, coupled with the heavy rainfall which affected visibility of motorists.

At press time, one of the victims, an unidentified male, has been confirmed dead by men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA and Lagos State Ambulance Service, LASAMBUS, who raced to the tragic scene.

There were different versions on the number of casualties.

While eyewitnesses said many people died, LASEMA confirmed one person dead so far.

The injured victims have also been taken to various hospitals for treatment. Other rescue team at the scene, include: Men of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of the Lagos State Police Command, Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Ciro’s, FRSC, among others.

The accident led to chaotic gridlock along the axis as motorists were trapped in the resultant traffic.

Meanwhile, motorists have been urged to make use of alternative routes.

“Anyone going out of Lagos should take either Otedola under bridge or go through Ogba-Ojodu-Berger axis to connect the Lagos Ibadan Expressway and move on their journey,” LASEMA source stated.

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ICPC Declares Buhari’s Former Aide, Obono-Obla, Wanted Over Fraud Allegations

Peter Okunoren

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared the suspended Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr. Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla, wanted due to his repeated failure to appear before it to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.

The spokesperson of the ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, in a statement Tuesday, said Mr. Obono-Obla is facing a series of allegations levelled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.

She said the Commission was in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records, living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation.

She said the suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorized petitions and prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Okoduwa said the ICPC had conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr. Obono-Obla.

“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason.

“Attempts to track and make him appear before the Commission also failed to lead ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts,” she noted.

She explained that “one of such contact has yielded results as records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Mr. Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country.”

She said the NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August 2019, through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, and has not returned two months after.

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VIDEO: How We Arrested Mompha With N20million Watches On His Way To Dubai — EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed how its operatives from the Lagos Zonal Office arrested Ismaila Mustapha, a social media celebrity, popularly known as Mompha.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, on Tuesday, said: “The suspect was arrested on Friday, 18 October 2019, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his way to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, following series of actionable intelligence reports linking him to organized transnational cyber fraud and money laundering.”

He added Ismaila allegedly perpetrates his fraudulent activities under the cover of being a Bureau de Change operator, to launder his proceeds of crime.

The five wristwatches with a total value of over N20,000,000 was recovered by the EFCC from Mompha.

Also in a series of tweets by the commission, it quoted EFCC operatives saying, “actionable cross border intelligence received from collaborative law enforcement agencies about his alleged involvement in the criminal activities further strengthened our suspicion.”

It added: “Ismaila who allegedly perpetrated his fraudulent activities under the guise of being a Bureau de Change operator is always seen with his little son flaunting huge amount of foreign currencies on his social media platforms.

“Investigations have also revealed that Ismaila is only using the BDC business, he jointly owned with his siblings, as a decoy to launder his proceeds of crime.

“However, the suspect has volunteered useful information to the operatives and has admitted being reasonably involved in the first two cases he was alleged to be involved.”

Uwujaren further noted that the suspect had volunteered useful information while the investigation continues.

“At the point of arrest, five wristwatches with a total value of over twenty million Naira (N20, 000,000:00) was recovered from him.

“The suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded,” the EFCC spokesman added.

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