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FG to patronise local meter manufacturers to bridge metering gap

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The Federal Government has pledged its commitment to patronising local meter manufacturers in boosting local content development and fostering growth in the industrial sector.

The Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu during a working visit to Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Ltd. (MEMMCOL), gave the assurance to local manufacturers investing in domestic production in Mowe, Ogun State.

Adelabu emphasised the importance of sustaining local producers through access to affordable funding and long-term capital.

He said, “We will also prioritise patronage, ensuring sustainability in their operations, aligning with President Bola Tinubu’s renewed agenda.

“It is a must to have significant local content in the power sector’s projects and contracts.”

He highlighted plans to introduce legislation mandating local content in the power sector, just like the oil and gas industry, stressing the necessity of comprehensive plans for full backwards integration and technical training.

Adelabu said, “That is the only way local producers can be sustained.

“But, we need to start developing capacity in terms of investment infrastructure and also ensure mass production.

“We need to develop local capacity to avoid importation.

“We must have a comprehensive plan for full backward integration, so that locally manufactured products will be achieved.

“We need to start training our people in technical training.”

The minister outlined the Presidential Metering Initiatives’ target of installing two million to 2.5 million meters annually over the next five years.

Commending MOMAS for its contributions to bridging the metering gap, Adelabu stated,  ”MOMAS remains our proud local meter manufacturing company in Nigeria. Its investment in metering and other electrical equipment is topnotch.

“I visited the meters manufacturing company to see how they can be supported.

“lt’s part of my visit to see how they can be supported through the meter expansion programme of the Ministry of Power.

“We know that Nigeria is a highly import dependent country, which is one of the reasons our currency has lost values.

“The intention of government is to ensure we are back on import substitution journey.

“The only way we can do this is to support local manufacturers, apart from support.

“We must also incentivise them by providing conducive atmosphere that we make their production activities in terms of cost to be competitive,” Adelabu expressed.

He acknowledged MOMAS’s substantial investment in metering infrastructure and emphasised the importance of creating a conducive environment for local manufacturers to thrive.

Impressed by MOMAS’s commitment to local content, Adelabu promised to engage with regulatory bodies to expedite meter acquisition plans, underscoring the urgency of addressing the widening metering gap.

He urged other Nigerian businesses to emulate MOMAS’s dedication to local content development, emphasising the government’s commitment to promoting self-reliance and reducing dependence on foreign goods.

In response Chairman of MOMAS, Mr Kola Balogun expressed appreciation for the Minister’s support and stressed the need for sustained government commitment to local industries.

Balogun highlighted MOMAS’s capability in meter manufacturing and called for increased government support to facilitate raw material procurement and potentially explore export opportunities.

As the nation’s sole Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in meter production, he said that MOMAS is poised to meet Nigeria’s metering needs.

He advocated for continued government patronage to support its investment in the country’s industrial development.

“We design meters from scratch and that capability not in doubt because we complied with all the various standards that Nigeria has set and also global best practices in terms of design.

“Virtually all DisCos are our partners. We also supply meters to Liberia,  Sierra Leone and other African countries, but the volume Nigeria needs supersedes any volume in Africa,” he said.

Balogun said, “The local patronage is still very much needed to be able meet up the investment threshold that we have done in the country today.

“We are the only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the country. We design from scratch, which is an embedded conceptualisation in engineering.

“That is the capability we have brought to the country.  It also behooves on the government to leverage on this and patronise us,”  Balogun added.

Energy

FG, UAE plan new oil exploration deal

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The Federal Government, on Monday, urged the United Arab Emirates to invest in the renewal and reconstruction of the more than 50-year-old oil pipelines in Nigeria, stressing that the facilities had outlived their lifespans.

It also stated that Nigeria and the UAE were on the same page concerning oil exploration as crude oil drilling would not be abandoned despite calls for its abandonment in some quarters.

The Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, disclosed this in Abuja while playing host to a delegation from the UAE led by the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Al Shamsi.

Lokpobiri said, “This country has enormous investment opportunities, our pipelines need renewal. They have been there for over 50 years since Nigeria found oil in commercial quantities in 1956/1958.

“And from then till now it is almost 70 years and most of those pipelines were built around that time and have already outlived their lifespans. And even if you can produce, you need to evacuate to the terminals where you would export.

“So it is an opportunity that we are looking up to potential investors from the UAE to come and invest here and recover their money through those investments.”

The minister told his guests that the investment models would be very attractive.

“Part of what we are proposing is that if you come and invest you will get your money, for as you transport the crude you’ll take it. Proportionately you’ll recover your investments, for any barrel of crude you transport through your pipes, you have to recover your investment by placing mutually agreeable charges,” he stated.

Lokpobiri further stated that Nigeria has over 208 trillion cubic feet of gas, adding that “we in Nigeria know that these records are over 20 years. We can double or triple our gas reserves in Nigeria. So Nigeria is more of a gas country than even crude.”

He said, “And even our crude reserves, I’m very confident that the 37 billion barrels we are talking about are also records of about 20 years. So even in terms of crude deposits in volumes, we believe that we should be doing much more than that.

“That is why when this government came on board, part of what was said was that we have to resume our drilling campaigns to ensure that we make more discoveries and sustain the momentum, and we are achieving that by liberalising the processes.”

He said the government was trying to eliminate the bureaucracy which had been one of the reasons why some of these investments were delayed.

“Of course, you know that following the introduction of the Petroleum Industry Act, the NNPC is now run as a national oil company that is to make profit for shareholders and Nigerians.

“So we want to assure the UAE that Nigeria is open for investments and we are committed to deepening our very strategic relationship with the UAE. I am happy that the visa issue has been addressed,” the Minister stated.

Lokpobiri told the ambassador that Nigeria and the UAE would continue to leverage their membership of OPEC to work as partners, adding that the Nigerian market is huge for investments, whether in LPG, CNG or the entire value chain in the oil and gas sector.

He said Nigeria lacks the amount of dollars required for suitable investments in the oil sector, but noted that the UAE has billions of dollars that could be invested in Nigeria and recovered by the investors.

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TCN: Electricity to be restored in North-East region by May 27

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has informed governors of North-East states that efforts are underway to restore electricity to the region by May 27, 2024, in line with previous commitments.

In a circular signed by the spokesperson of the commission, Ndidi Mbah, on Tuesday, TCN reported that its team is actively rebuilding the four towers that were destroyed by vandals in the region, and requested a bit of patience as the reconstruction progresses.

Mbah also mentioned that the commission has required contractors to install on-site machines to accelerate the fabrication processes of tower components, which is currently in progress.

“The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) wishes to assure the North East Governors Forum (NEGF) that we are doing everything possible in our power to ensure the restoration of power supply to the North Eastern axis of the country, as earlier indicated in our press release of 10th May 2024.

“Our team has been tirelessly working to rebuild the four towers destroyed by vandals, and we will not rest until power is restored to all the affected areas. We appeal for a little more patience, as work is truly advancing.

“To expedite the work, we have insisted that the contractor put in place on-site machines that will help increase the fabrication processes of tower members which is ongoing.

“We expect power supply to be restored by May 27, 2024, through the new 330kV transmission line, allowing Yola and Jos DisCos to offtake and distribute optimally from TCN substations,” the circular read in part.

Recall that in April, the TCN had reported that four of its towers on the Jos–Gombe 330kV transmission line were vandalized.

According to Mbah, the transmission line initially tripped and despite attempts by the company’s operators to restore it, it happened once more.

Mbah explained that this led to the deployment of TCN operators who were sent out to trace and rectify the fault along the line.

She added that while tracing the fault, TCN’s engineering crew discovered that towers 288, 289, 290, and 291 were vandalised and some parts carted away.

Many states in Nigeria continue to suffer from vandalism of electricity infrastructures, often leading to power outages that can last for weeks or even months.

Last month, TCN reported incidents of vandalism of its towers five times in February.

It noted that the destruction of its facilities counts as sabotage and urged security operatives and host communities to work towards bringing the culprits to book.

Meanwhile, following the report, Mbah noted that efforts by TCN are currently mobilising for repair works on the affected facility.

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Energy

Port-Harcourt refinery may resume operations July — IPMAN

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The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chief Ukadike Chinedu has revealed that the refinery may resume operations in July.

Speaking to journalists during the week, Ukadike stated that the development would stimulate economic activities, reduce the price of petroleum products and ensure adequate supply.

The IPMAN official stated that the work done represented a complete turnaround, not just rehabilitation, emphasising that every effort would be made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “Yes when we visited the place, the MD told us that the refinery was almost ready and by the end of July, they would start producing. It has been turned into a new one. They changed all the armoured cable to brand new and everything there is almost like a brand-new refinery.”

“The turnaround on maintenance is very massive and the job is being done day and night. All hands are on deck to make sure that they meet that target. By the end of July the refinery should be ready,” He said.

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