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FG to set standards for electric, CNG vehicles

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The National Automotive Design and Development Council has announced plans to validate its National Occupational Standards for the conversion and maintenance of electric vehicles and Compressed Natural Gas vehicles.

The Director-General of NADDC, Joseph Osanipin disclosed this during the validation workshop exercise for the draft of the national standards for auto gas vehicles in Nasarawa recently.

He stated that the primary objective of the workshop was to develop a blueprint for skills development and standardised operational procedures in the conversion, calibration, and maintenance of those new automotive energy sources, aligning with the government’s renewed hope agenda.

Osanipin noted that upon approval of the draft by the National Assembly, it would facilitate job creation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as ongoing plans include the establishment of more CNG gas stations in Abuja.

He said, “If we achieve what the Federal Government wants us to achieve with autogas, it will reduce the dependency on PMS and diesel and mitigate environmental concerns. It will also create more jobs and wealth for the nation.”

According to Osanipin, the essence of the workshop was to ensure that the input of all relevant stakeholders was captured in the making of this national document.

He added, “This is in line with international best practices, it is expected that the document will come out of this effort at international standards and help to drive the auto sector to global standards.”

He emphasised the significance of the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan 2023 – 2033, relaunched by the Federal Government in 2023, aimed at revitalising the automotive industry and fostering sustainable growth through technological and skills development.

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Energy

AKK gas pipeline critical to Nigeria’s industrialisation, economic growth – Edun

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The Minister of Finance/Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun has described the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project as critical to the industrialisation and economic growth of Nigeria.

Edun stated this on Friday, during a working visit of three cabinet Ministers to the AKK gas pipeline project site where they inspected the River Kaduna crossing milestone of the project in Kaduna.

This is coming just as the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd, Mr Mele Kyari assured Nigerians that the project would be delivered by the end of the first quarter, 2025.

This is contained in a statement by Olufemi Soneye, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd.

Edun was accompanied in the visit by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Mohammed Malagi and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo.

Speaking at the project site, Edun described the AKK Gas pipeline as the pipeline of prosperity, which is very dear to the President, because it will deliver the critical infrastructure needed to trigger the nation’s economic growth and industrialisation.

“The AKK Gas Pipeline is crucial for this administration and its delivery is in line with Mr President’s strategy of bringing prosperity to the people,” Edun added.

In his remarks, Malagi said the AKK Gas Pipeline Project was a testimony to the fact that the Federal Government’s “Decade of Gas” has commenced in earnest.

“Nigerians should be proud of the AKK Gas Pipeline project. With the delivery of this project, the prosperity that Mr President is always talking about is unravelling right here before our eyes,” he said.

Also speaking, Ekpo described the gas pipeline as part of the Federal Government’s many efforts to harness the nation’s abundant gas resources towards improving power generation, revamping ailing industries and creating employment opportunities.

Ekpo urged all stakeholders to support the NNPC Ltd. towards delivering the project and several other gas projects as the country depends on it to bring prosperity to the people.

The three ministers, who lauded the NNPC Ltd. and its project partner, Brentex/CPP Ltd (BCL) on the progress made so far, also expressed optimism that the NNPC will deliver as promised.

Earlier, the GCEO NNPC Ltd, Mr Mele Kyari assured the Project will be delivered by first quarter of 2025, as major segments of the job have been completed.

“Without promising too much, we assure you that this project will be delivered on schedule.

“Our mission is to work towards delivering it by December 2024. But we are confident this project will be delivered by first quarter of 2025,” Kyari informed the three visiting Ministers.

The GCEO, who said the NNPC Ltd. recognises the strategic importance and enormous value of the project to Nigeria’s economy, said the Company was bankrolling the project on the back of its own balance sheet.

Gov. Uba Sani of Kaduna State, represented by his deputy, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said the completion of the AKK gas pipeline would herald the much-needed economic and industrial revival in the state.

“If you know about the Kakuri Industrial Area and how most of our factories there have become moribund, you will understand why we in Kaduna State are all excited about the AKK Gas Pipeline.

“Without doubt, the pipeline will revamp our industries and bring about a huge impact on our people. We can’t wait for it to be completed,” the Governor added.

The Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline is a 40 inch by 614km linear pipeline system running from Ajaokuta in Kogi State to Kano.

It has associated intermediate, terminal gas facilities and other related equipment to transport natural gas to off-takers at Abuja, Kaduna and Kano.

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FG approves N21bn for purchase of meters – NERC

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has announced the approval of N21 billion for 11 electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to provide meters for customers.

This announcement was made in NERC’s ORDER NO: NERC/2024/072 on The Operationalisation of “Tranche A” of the Presidential Metering Initiative Under the Framework of Meter Acquisition Fund.

”The order signed by NERC Chairman, Mr Sanusi Garba and Commissioner Legal,  Dafe Akpeneye, shall become effective From June 2024 and may be amended or revoked by subsequent orders issued by the commission.

“The commission hereby approves the  sum of N21 billion apportioned pro rata to contribution by the DisCos as Tranche A of the MAF scheme.

”Attached to this order as Schedule 1 is a breakdown of the funds available for each DisCo for the purchase of end-use customer meters.

”All the meters to be procured and installed under the MAF framework shall be at no cost to the customers of the DisCos,” it said.

According to NERC, it introduced the Meter Asset Provider (“MAP”) Regulations 2018 and subsequently, the Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering (“MAP&NMMR”) Regulations in 2021 to address metering challenges in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (“NESI“).

NERC said that the regulations provided several options for metering end-use customers but the interventions, though significant, had not resulted in the closure of the national metering gap which currently stood in excess of seven million customers.

”The inability of distribution companies (DisCos) to raise financing in the form of debt or additional equity was identified as the major constraint in the acquisition and deployment of end-use meters and other capital investments.

”The Meter Acquisition Fund (MAF) scheme was therefore, developed and approved by the commission, primarily to address the challenges of DisCos creditworthiness inhibiting the deployment of end-use meter in NESI.

”By creating a credible revenue stream from the market funds on the back of which long term financing may be secured by the utilities,” it said.

NERC said that the management of Fund Manager (FM) based on terms and conditions, negotiated by the DisCos and approved by the commission.

According to the commission, the federal government approved the Presidential Metering Initiative (PMI) with the overarching objective of closing the metering gap in the NESI within three years leveraging on smart metering technologies for data analytics.

The MAF shall form one of the revenue streams for the repayment of the long tenor financing for metering.

The order also revealed that the commission approved the deregulation of meter prices under the MAP scheme vide Order NERC/2024/040 to ensure an efficient pricing of meters while responding more quickly to changes in macroeconomic parameters.

“The order provides that all prices of meters under the MAP scheme shall be determined through a transparent and competitive bidding process by eligible MAPs.

“A competitive bidding process was held on  May 21, 2024 based on the provisions of Order NERC/2024/040 where a total of 24 ( MAPs participated across the 12 DisCos.

”A total of 44 bids were submitted for 10meters specifications,” it said.

NERC said the deployment of funds under the MAF scheme would accelerate the deployment of meters and a closure of the current metering gap.

”Thereby reducing commercial and collection losses to DisCos, enhancing quality of service and improvement of customer satisfaction,” it said.

NERC also noted that while the NESI is expected to leverage on the revenue stream under the MAF framework to raise substantial capital funding for metering, there was an imperative to accelerate a closure of the metering gap for all customers.

”Currently classified under tariff Band A for the purpose of revenue protection and facilitating demand side management for the affected customers.”

NERC said that the DisCos should utilise the first tranche (Tranche A) of disbursement from the MAF scheme based on contributions made by DisCos as at the April 2024 markets settlement.

It said that attached to this order as Schedule 1 was to procure and install meters for unmetered Band ‘A’ customers within their franchise areas.

The commission said DisCos shall, within 14  days from the effective date of the order, conduct a transparent and competitive procurement process, for meter price determination, selection and engagement of MAPs/LMMAs for the metering of end-use customer meters under the MAF scheme.

”The order also directed that a report containing details of the process undertaken for the selection of MAPs/LMMAs including meter price, meter specifications.

”And the list of customers to be metered shall be sent to the commission for approval, within 20 days from the effective date of this Order.

” Upon approval of the commission, the DisCo shall enter into contracts with selected MAPs/LMMAs on one of the following terms,”it said.

The commission said that where an Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) issued by a commercial bank in the country is provided by a qualifying MAP/LMMA, 30 per cent of the contract sum shall be paid by the FM on behalf of the DisCo to the MAP/LMMA.

” Upon execution of the contract. A further two milestone payments shall be made upon the completion of 60 per cent of contracted quantities and 100 per cent of the contract respectively, with the funds advanced against bank guarantee amortized over the payments.

“Where the MAP/LMMA do not request an advance payment, the milestone payments shall be made upon the verified installation of 20, 60 and 100 per cent respectively of the contracted volume of meters.

”A vendor may, at his option, defer payment until the completion of the installation of the contracted volumes.

“DisCos shall ensure that all the necessary resources and network clearance required by the MAP/LMMA to install meters based on installation plans are provided and/or completed,” it said.

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Shell reiterates commitment to Nigeria’s development, wins FRCN award

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Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to supporting the socio-economic development of Nigeria, especially in its areas of operations in the Niger Delta.

SPDC Director and Head of Corporate Relations, Igo Weli, made the restatement in Port Harcourt on Friday at a dinner to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Treasure FM, a member of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) network.

“Our commitment stretches back to the 1950s, with a wide range of programmes supporting education, infrastructure, community electrification, and business empowerment,” Weli said.

A key highlight of the anniversary dinner was the presentation of the FRCN Award for Consistent Media Partner to Shell companies in Nigeria.

Weli, who was represented by the Shell Spokesman, Michael Adande, said, “This award serves as a strong reminder that Shell’s dedication to the socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region remains a cornerstone of our presence in Nigeria.”

The award recognises Shell’s partnership with FRCN, particularly its support for the weekly live programme Canvas: Niger Delta Roundtable, which fosters crucial discussions on development issues impacting the region.

“While the award itself was unexpected, it reinforces the value of initiatives like Canvas,” Weli added. “This recognition motivates us to keep promoting development, not just in our operational areas but across the entire nation.”

Since 2017, Canvas: Niger Delta Roundtable has aired twice weekly on different radio stations in the Niger Delta with live online streaming. These broadcasts dedicate an hour to exploring topics relevant to the development of the region and its people.

The General Manager, FRCN Treasure FM Port Harcourt, Fred Onyeka Nwaulune, commended Shell’s partnership.

“Shell has been a reliable media partner, consistently educating the Niger Delta region on the importance of dialogue for development and peaceful solutions,” he said. “Their programme aligns perfectly with FRCN’s focus on sustainable development.”

He noted that through the dialogue radio programme, Shell had demonstrated a continued focus on driving progress and positive change in the Niger Delta and beyond

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