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Ministry seeks robust collaboration with its agencies in developing mining sector

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Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has called for more robust collaboration between it and its agencies to enhance growth in the mining and steel sector.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Mary Ogbe, made the call when she visited Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), a parastatal under the ministry, in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ogbe said that such collaboration would enhance the activities of the sector, thereby boosting the development of the country.

While commending the mutual relationship between the ministry and SMDF, she said that the collaboration would help the agency to achieve its mandate of ensuring the nation’s economic growth.

The permanent secretary called on other mining industries to support the ministry to rectify the myriad of challenges currently facing the sector.

According to her, the ministry will continue to ensure better and sustainable relationship with SMDF and other agencies to actualise their mandates for the overall benefit of the citizenry and investors.

She commended SMDF for its achievements, under its executive secretary, in ensuring that the sector moved forward.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of SMDF, Hajia Umaru Shinkafi, commended the ministry for its support by ensuring that the agency was effectively repositioned.

Shinkafi said that the mandate of SMDF was to enhance both human and physical capacity in the minerals and mining sector, particularly the mining institutions, to enable them perform their statutory functions.

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Energy

Axxela announces to develop 50 MMSCF/D gas processing plant

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Axxela Limited, a leading gas and power portfolio company in Sub-Saharan Africa, announces that it has taken Final Investment Decision for the development of a gas processing plant situated in OML 56, Delta State, South-South Nigeria.

This strategic investment marks yet another significant stride towards delivering on Axxela’s commitment to deepen domestic gas utilisation in Nigeria. The gas processing plant with a total capacity of 50 MMSCF/D will be delivered in phases.

The first phase will comprise a 12 MMSCF/D modular plant, with an interconnection pipeline network of about 4km alongside other ancillary infrastructure. The facility is expected to commence operations by the end of 2024.

Speaking on this pivotal landmark, Director of Business Development, Axxela,  Franklin Umole said, “As the Federal Government continues to pursue its Decade of Gas and Energy Transition Agenda, we remain a reputable private sector partner with the capacity to develop gas processing plants aimed at tackling the longstanding challenge of gas flaring and commercialisation in Nigeria.

“We are positioning to develop requisite infrastructure for natural gas processing and last mile distribution that creates market access for at least 20% of Nigeria’s gas demand.

“Over the past two decades, we have been at the forefront of natural gas advocacy, and this project is a further reaffirmation of our dedication to gas infrastructure development and our vision to deliver innovative energy solutions across Nigeria and Africa,” he concluded.

Following the Board’s Final Investment Decision, Axxela has executed a long-term feedstock supply agreement with a leading indigenous upstream player and established equipment supply arrangement with world class Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to assure quality delivery of the project. The design concept is based on a fast and modular expansion as Axxela is partnering with OEMs who have ready stock of equipment for deployment.

The project is strategically cited in OML 56 to serve as a potential hub which upstream players with fields within a 30km radius can partner with to process associated and non-associated gas.

Axxela believes in the potential of this central processing hub having identified two prospective fields and with the partnership with the OEMs, the company envisages that the plant’s output can be scaled up to 50 MMSCF/D within 18 months.

Beyond unlocking economic opportunities, the project can potentially transform gas flaring into a valuable resource that will further ensure a stable, cleaner energy for domestic utilisation thereby contributing significantly to annual CO2 emissions savings and supporting environmental sustainability.

 Upon completion, processed gas from the facility will be readily available for utilisation across various market segments including Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for vehicles, feedstock for industries, decentralised power solutions among others.

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Electricity supply: Power Minister decries activities of saboteurs, cartels

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The Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, has decried the activities of saboteurs and cartels in the electricity sector, blaming them for the incessant power outages in the country.

Adelabu expressed this during a  programme tagged “Confronting Nigeria’s Power Challenge as the Nation Migrates to a Multi-Tier Electricity Market” on Tuesday in Abuja.

The programme was organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Power.

The Minister said saboteurs and cartels perpetrated evil for their selfish interests in order to frustrate efforts at ensuring stable electricity supply in the country.

“We have saboteurs, cartels, and those who prefer to perpetrate evil for their selfish interests to frustrate our efforts,” Adelabu said.

He said all efforts must be geared towards propelling the country to  the league of  productive nations, adding that Nigeria was looking at reserves that would eliminate incessant power collapse.

He said the Federal Government was considering the liberalisation of the power sector.

“We also encourage the state government to invest in power generation in their states,” the Minister said.

 Adelabu listed Abia as one of the states that had invested in power, adding that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had also granted Ekiti and Enugu State the right to generate tariffs.

The Minister said it was worrisome that a lot of investors did not come with their private equity, but had to borrow money from the bank to operate in the sector.

He, however, said that with time, investors would be made to operate the right way for the benefit of the sector.

The Minister also said that FG was looking at deepening rural electrification, adding that it would be done in collaboration with the state governments.

Adelabu said there were over 100 uncompleted power projects across the country, adding that those projects would not be energy-efficient without being completed.

Speaking, Group Managing Director, Sahara Power Group, Mr Kola Adeshina, expressed the regret that Nigeria could not supply electricity efficiently in spite of its abundant gas resources.

He said if electricity was not a priority in budget provision, it would be difficult for the country to work.

Adeshina said Nigeria had the resources to double its power generation.

“If the executive brings an appropriation bill before you(lawmakers) and the power sector is not number two after defence, then don’t allow it,” he said.

He urged the government to prioritise industrial areas in power distribution.

“After the industrial areas have had light during the day, we can shift power at night to residential areas because production takes place during the day.

“Let’s sequence our investment along the line of value-added. Nigerians are resilient, we are strong, and we have tenacity. Nigerians are tired of power collapse,” he said.

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Energy

Alleged $500m wasteful investments: Oil Minister dares Former NCDMB ES, vows to recoup investments

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The Minister Of State For Petroleum Resources(Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri has vowed to recoup alleged investments worth over $500m made by the Nigerian Content Monitoring and Development Board (NCDMB).

The Minister made this vow in defence of his allegation that the NCDMB wasted over $500 million of the industry’s fund in equity investments in private establishments and in loans that are now non-performing.

The erstwhile Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr.Simbi Wabote had earlier debunked the Minister’s statement describing it as reckless.

Wabote challenged the Minister to visit the sites of the projects the agency invested in while accusing the Minister of playing politics.

“The HMSPR-Oil is implored to visit the construction sites to avail himself of facts on ground. He should also check the MPR archives of the stategic plan to diversify oil and gas development clusters in the NigerDelta using Bonny Island, Brass Island, Onne, Ogidigben, Ibom, etc. Perhaps, this will cure his aversion to
any developmental initiative in Brass
Island and the Niger Delta in general.” Wabote said.

Reacting to Wabote’s statement, the Minister through his SA Media and Communication, Nneamaka Okafor, described Wabote’s claims as blatant lies from the pit of hell.

The Minister’s response reads: ‘’Our position is that he who alleges must prove same. So, if Mr. Wabote has proof of such conversation, he is challenged to provide same.”

‘’Secondly the Minister has no aide called Blackson. All his aides were duly selected in line with extant laws and have documents to that effect.”

‘’The Minister in his capacity as chairman of the Governing Council stands by his statement at The Petroleum Club’s quarterly event in Lagos, and as journalists I welcome you to visit the places mentioned to verify the allegations for yourself.”

‘’Thirdly, the said Atlantic Refinery was supposed to be built in Mr Wabote’s home town, he should show Nigerians where that refinery is.”

‘’Fourthly, the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical company was also paid for, you are welcomed to also visit the site to verify the facts for yourself.”

‘’Let me add that these revelations are not new, they were first made during an investigative hearing of the House of representative committee on local content. Again the records are there and you are welcome to verify these facts.”

‘’The Minister has never been part of any budgeting process of any parastatal under the Ministry, you are welcomed to visit these agencies to verify for yourself.”

‘’Finally, the Minister’s office is run with a budget superintended by the permanent secretary and so one will wonder, how the Minister will ask another entity to make provisions for the budget of his Office. The Minister has an impeccable record from his time as Minister of Agric and will continue to stand for the truth.”

‘’I have had course to read Mr Wabote’s release and every one can see that he is still nursing the wounds of being replaced even after spending seven years at the Board.At best, this is a clear case of when you fight corruption, corruption will fight back.” The response read.

The Minister also diaclosed that investigations are ongoing while making a vow to recover the resourced expended.

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