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Communities demand accountability  of 3% HCDT from OML54

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Members of OML54 communities have asked Aradel Holdings Plc, to make available the details of the 3percent host community development fund accruable to the community as enshrined in the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA.

The people who made the demand during a town hall meeting with the management of Aradel Holdings Plc, insisted that the host communities ought to know how much has accrued to them from the 3 percent HCDT fund, either quarterly or annually.

Aradel, formerly known as Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Plc, NDPR is the operator of OML54 and Aradel Modular Refinery in Ahoada East and Abua/Odual Local Government Area of Rivers State. The company in the past, has been at loggerheads with its host communities leading to endless protests.

Speaking, the General Secretary of Ogbele community, Comrade Solomon Oyagiri, lamented that Aradell Holdings has not accorded the community its due, despite developmental promises made by its pioneer Managing Director, Aret Adams.

Oyagiri cited the continuous refusal by the company to give details of the 3 percent development fund accrued to it as one of the vexing situations created by the company, and queried the non payment of equitable fees from badges and vessels trucking at the community river bank.

He alleged that the selective justice created to cover the fraud and mismanagement of the host community trust fund was the bane of development, progress and the cause of myriads of litigations to contest injustice and marginalisation by the people and urged the company to align with genuine community representatives.

“A Post Environmental Impact Assessment, as a result of hazardous pollution and accompanying economic deprivation and social benefits to numerous fishermen and women arising from Aradel’s trucking operations on its coastal lines has not been carried out.

“We frowned at the continuous refusal by Aradell Holdings Nigeria Plc to implement the agreement reached with the community after the September 2022 peaceful protest. Even some staff of Aradel have teamed up with some of our community members to thwart the reached agreement.

“Aradel has refused to employ our sons and daughters from the host families into managerial positions; there is lack of total employment, refusal to adhere to the Local Content Act and impoverishment of our people through lack of award of contracts.”

Responding, the Community Relations Manager, Aradel Holdings Plc, Mr Blessing Okpowo, promised to take their demands to the management and assured the people that the community’s maternity home would soon be upgraded to a cottage hospital where healthcare services would be accessible and affordable.

Okpowo urged the people to be united in their demands and affairs, saying, “only unity of purpose can attract the needed development,” and assured the people of a regular interface with the community leadership.

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Energy

NUPRC shifts 2024 licencing bid registration deadline

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By Opeyemi Abdulsalam

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), says it has extended the 2024 licensing bid round registration by 10 days.

Engr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive Officer, said this in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the extension is to allow interested investors to take advantage of the expanded opportunities.

Komolafe explained that in pursuit of the commission’s commitment to derive value from the country’s abundant oil and gas reserves and increase production, the commission has been working assiduously with multi-client companies, to undertake more exploratory activities, acquire more data to foster and encourage further investment in the Nigerian upstream sector.

He added that as a result of additional data acquired concerning deep offshore blocks, the commission has added 17 deep offshore blocks to the 2024 licensing round.

Just a few days ago, the NUPRC announced the commencement of the 2024 Licencing Round at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas.

At the event, Komolafe reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to advancing its oil and gas sector, and highlighted incentives by President Bola Tinubu’s leadership aimed at attracting the attention and involvement of international investors.

He explained that the licensing round offers selected blocks, spanning diverse geological formations with great potential for economic growth, and energy security for shared prosperity.

Komolafe also pointed to the regulatory framework anchored by the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, aimed at entrenching fairness and transparency, thereby fostering confidence among investors.

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All On, RMI, GEAPP address energy access gap in Nigeria with focus on mini-grid solutions

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All On, a leading Nigerian impact investment company in partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute, (RMI) and The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) co-hosted an Alliance Partners Roundtable recently to discuss the existing and emerging challenges faced by Mini-grid developers and financiers, while proffering solutions that will drive growth and unlock scale within the Mini-grid Sector.

The event hosted the President of Rockefeller Foundation, RF, Dr. Rajiv H. Shah, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. It highlighted the root cause(s) of the limited scale in the Mini-grid sector (Isolated & Interconnected Mini-grids), shared key learnings and opportunities from the Demand Aggregation for Renewable Technologies (DART) program, Energising Agriculture Program (EAP), Utility Enabled DERs and DER Roadmap.

These seek to address challenges related to financing, underutilisation within the Mini grid sector, prohibitive financing cost, Import Dependency and Unavailability of FX, and lack of scale.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) faces an energy crisis, with 43 percent (590 million) people lacking electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA, 2021). Nigeria, the region’s most populous nation, is particularly affected, with 45 percent (99 million) people lacking access.

This lack of access to electricity requires a significant funding increase of an estimated $27 billion annually needed by 2030 in SSA.  With this, the event focused on exploring ways to unlock commercial, local currency financing and refinancing for mini grids, and of unlocking scale through productive uses of power for mini grids.

Speaking at the event, CEO, All On, Caroline Eboumbou, said, “This roundtable discussion with our esteemed partners emphasises the urgent need to address the energy crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Nigeria. With millions lacking access to electricity, innovative solutions like mini grids are crucial.

“This event focused on identifying the challenges that hinder mini-grid growth, such as financing limitations and underutilised capacity. By unlocking commercial, local currency financing and promoting productive uses of power, we can create sustainable mini-grids and empower communities across the region.”

“The World Bank, African Development Bank, and GEAPP are committed to partnering with project developers and governments to electrify 300 million Africans, with a focus on providing 100 million Nigerians with clean energy. We will learn from your challenges and work together to overcome them, fostering a more sustainable and equitable future for all,” said President, Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Rajiv H. Shah.

Also speaking at the event, Nigeria Country Director, Rocky Mountain Institute, (RMI), Suleiman Babamanu, said, “We are thrilled to bring together renewable energy developers in the presence of the RF president for this alliance roundtable.

“This collaborative effort represents a significant step forward in our mission to create sustainable and resilient energy solutions. By combining our expertise and resources, we can address the pressing challenges of climate change and energy access, driving innovation and economic growth for communities worldwide.”

Other speakers at the event were Finance Manager & DART Program Lead, All On, Tomilola Olakiigbe; Senior Associate, RMI, Folawiyo Aminu; CEO, Prado Power, Washima Mede and Nigeria Country Director, PowerGen, Seun Edun.

The Alliance Partners Roundtable represents a significant step in tackling the energy access crisis in Nigeria. By harnessing the collective knowledge and expertise of key stakeholders, the critical solutions to unlock the potential of mini grids identified can pave the way for a future where millions in Nigeria and by extension Sub-Saharan Africa, can gain access to clean and reliable electricity, fostering economic growth and improved livelihoods.

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Create enabling environment for gas technology devt in Africa — NAEC tells FG, Stakeholders

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The Chairman, Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC), Ugo Amadi has called on the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders in the energy sector, to create an enabling environment for gas development and innovation of Gas technologies in Africa.

Amadi made this call at the Africa Gas Innovation Summit (AGIS) 2024, held in Abuja, with the theme, “Igniting the Future: Driving Sustainability in Africa’s Energy Landscape through Gas Technology and Innovation.”

Chairman of the energy correspondents association of Nigeria in his contribution at the conference said a lot can be achieved by creating policies that encourages investments, including collaboration which encourages adaptation to new technologies needed to help improve the economy

Delivering a welcome address at the Technical session themed; ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for Gas Technology Development and Innovation in Africa.’

Amadi noted that the country is faced with numerous challenges but said addressing these challenges is crucial to achieving significant progress in the energy sector.

Amadi said, “We are not unmindful that Africa and Nigeria’s energy sector is facing several challenges, which include but not limited to Inadequate infrastructure, Lack of policy consistency, inconsistent Energy access, Insufficient incentives and regulatory hurdles that discourage private investment.”

Other challenges according to Ugo Amadi include concerns about energy security, particularly in the face of rising demand and declining domestic production, Inadequate funding for energy projects and programmes, Weak institutional capacity, corruption, and political interference which hinder effective policy implementation.

“Therefore, addressing these challenges is crucial to developing a sustainable, efficient, and inclusive energy sector in Nigeria and Africa.

“The leadership of His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who doubles as Minister of Petroleum Resources, recently signed the Presidential Executive Orders on oil and gas in March this year, aimed at improving the efficiency and attractiveness of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

“However, stakeholders are still calling for a proper review of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 in order to unlock Nigeria’s vast hydrocarbon potential, attract investment, and propel the nation towards greater economic success and shared prosperity.

“As an association, we are committed to advocating a just and equitable energy security for Nigeria and Africa as a whole. We are also dedicated to telling the gas story in the most compelling way possible and support the implementation of Nigeria’s Decade of Gas Initiative.”

The NAEC Chairman advised on the need for the federal government to take more practical approaches to addressing the issues in the industry with the aim of creating a more sustainable energy future.

“We are calling on all stakeholders and the government to ensure  an enabling environment for gas technology development and innovation in Africa which requires a multi-faceted approach.

“Some of those result oriented approaches include but are not limited to Government policies that encourage investment in gas technologies and innovation, Strengthening institutional and human resource capacities in Africa, Collaboration among government, industry, academia, and the entrepreneurial community to address challenges and opportunities in the gas sector.

“Also, there is need to promote digital technologies such as blockchain, digital platforms, and smart grids to achieve new energy production and consumption models;  Encouraging technical, vocational, and tertiary education and training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; Enhancing cooperation to strengthen tertiary education systems and increase access to online education in areas related to sustainable development

“In addition, increasing the number of scholarships available to students in Africa to enrol in higher education is necessary while Ensuring adequate, balanced and effective protection of intellectual property rights in both developed and developing countries,” the chairman noted.

“Today, we stand on the verge of history in our energy sector, we must change the narrative, in such a manner that gives credence to the quotation ‘We have stayed long enough on this mountain, we must take our journey into our destiny.’ So let us do all we can  to harness the opportunities  that promise not only to meet the immediate needs of  our growing economies but also to secure a sustainable future for the next generations for the commonwealth,” Amadi concluded.

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