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Tinubu’s executive orders will boost local patronage, fast-track contracting timelines — NCDMB ES

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The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe has clarified that the Executive orders issued by President Tinubu on the oil and gas sector will boost local patronage and fast-track contracting timelines.

This is as the NCDMB also commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for announcing the Presidential Executive Orders directed at incentivising the Nigerian oil and gas industry, encouraging new investments in the sector, reducing contracting costs and timelines, and promoting cost efficiency in local content requirements.

The Executive Orders are the Oil and Gas Companies (Tax Incentives, Exemption, Remission, ETC) Order 2024; Presidential Directive on Local Content Compliance Requirements, 2024 (EO 41); and Presidential Directive on Reduction of Petroleum Sector Contracting Costs and Timelines, 2024 (EO 42).

Speaking at the Nigerian Content Tower in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the Executive Secretary stated that the policy directives had reinforced the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act and codified the Service Level Agreements (SLA), which the NCDMB first introduced in May 2017 to fast-track approvals for the Nigeria LNG Limited Train 7 project, before expanding it to the entire industry after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) and five international oil-producing companies in September 2023.

Engr. Ogbe clarified that the Presidential Executive Orders did not whittle down the powers of the NCDMB or abrogate the schedule of the NOGICD Act. Instead, according to him, the Executive Order 41 mandates the Board to ensure the patronage of local companies with domiciled proven capacities and capabilities to achieve cost competitiveness and project delivery within schedule.

He equally pointed out that Executive Order 42 reemphasised NCDMB’s obligation to fast-track approval processes as required by the SLA and section 23 of the NOGICD Act, which mandates the Board to review projects’ documentation within 10 days and advise the concerned operating company.

He assured that the Board would comply with the terms of the Presidential Executive Orders, insisting that the Board had always been pragmatic with its implementation of the NOGICD Act and mindful of the cost competitiveness of projects and schedules.

He maintained that the objectives of the Executive Orders and the SLAs were directed to shorten the oil industry’s contracting cycle to six months or less, engender speedy development of new projects, contribute to increased oil production, and improve the national economy, expressing delight that President Tinubu had put his stamp of authority on the noble objectives of the SLAs.

He commended Mr. President for acknowledging the giant strides recorded in Nigerian Content development, particularly the impressive capacities built by local oil and gas service companies in key areas of the industry and the substantial benefits that had accrued to the Nigerian economy and her citizens through local content implementation.

The NCDMB boss assured that the agency would continue to serve as a business enabler and maintain the recognition conferred by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), which awarded the Board the most efficient agency amongst all Federal Government’s MDAs in 2022 and the PLATINUM rating by the Bureau for Public Service Reforms in recognition of the self-imposed reforms of Board’s processes.

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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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Energy

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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Energy

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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