Category archives for: Energy

Gambia:Wuli East NAM Harps On NEMA Kunku, Farato Madina Electricity, Water Crisis

The National Assembly Member for Wuli East Hon. Suwaibou Touray in his contribution to the adjournment debate on Friday 6th October 2017, expressed dismay that two communities in the West Coast Region, namely Nema Kunku and Farato Madina, are inadvertently deprived of water and electricity, despite being located within the service zone.

Hon. Touray said he visited an area of Nema Kunku where electricity and water services are closed to the two communities but there are no electric poles nor any water pipes for residents to access utility services.

“I visited Nema Kunku where I was pronounced as a member of the National Assembly and this drew the attention of quite a number of residents who all came to me to explain their predicament with the hope that their plight would now be transmitted to the responsible authorities for possible redress,” he stated.

Hon. Touray asserted that this was why he was amplifying their voices so that Ministers could capture it and do something for the desperate residents of the two communities.

He said he surveyed the whole area with the residents who showed him only one well which in fact was broken down and could not be used at the moment; that this compels residents to use donkey carts to fetch water from other neighbourhoods which is quite unfortunate.

The Wuli East NAM said NAWEC poles are closed to the community but for some reasons the Utility Company did not construct any poles nor build water pipes to allow residents to access water, and this has totally baffled the understanding of the people.

“This is a large community who cannot survive without water and Government should immediately look into their plight and address the situation with immediate urgency,” the Wuli East NAM said.

Hon. Touray went further to inform his colleagues that the same situation exists in Farato Madina in the Kombo South constituency.

He said a large number of inhabitants could not access water because the main water pipe is over 200 meters away from the people.

He pointed out that NAWEC would charge between 160,000 to 200,000 dalasi for provision of water, which is unaffordable to residents.

He also indicated that electric poles are far away from residents making it exorbitant to access.

“NAWEC needs to provide more main pipes to make it accessible and affordable to the people” he suggested.

He finally called on the Minister of Energy to prevail on the Utility Company to look into their plight and redress the anomaly.

He said this is the second time he is speaking on this matter and he would continue to do so until their problems are addressed.

The member for Kombo South cum Majority Leader Hon. Kebba K. Barrow in his contribution, concurred with what the member for Wuli East said as ‘quite’ true.

He said the boreholes that produce water for the Greater Banjul area are all located in his constituency.

He said the water is sent to the treatment plant before being supplied to consumers; that the irony is the people of his constituency do not have water.

He said even his own home is affected. He urged government to look into the matter and address the situation.

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South Africa:Huguenot Tunnel Closed to Heavy Vehicles Due to Power Failure

The Huguenot tunnel on the N1 has been closed to heavy vehicles, Western Cape traffic officials say.

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said the tunnel has been closed to heavy motor vehicles due to a power failure that occurred earlier on Saturday.

“We have closed the tunnel to heavy vehicles for the time being, but light vehicles are still being allowed through until further notice,” he said.

The Huguenot tunnel runs through the Du Toitskloof mountains between Paarl and Worcester.

Africa urged motorists to make use of alternative routes.

Source: News24

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Nigeria:Alternative Energy May Force Oil Prices Down to $10 Per Barrel, Says Expert

By Oladeinde Olawoyin

As alternative energy fuels continue to attract more investors across the world, oil prices are poised to crash to just $10 per barrel, an expert has said.

In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Chris Watling, chief executive of Longview Economics, said the crash may be experienced over the next six to eight years.

In his forecast for 2018, Mr. Watling acknowledged that a key catalyst for the oil market would most likely be Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) in the second half of next year.

Speaking on Saudi Arabia’s state oil group being launched on the international stock market, he said the oil producer needed to get it away before the crash.

“Well I think they need to get it away quick before oil goes to $10 (per barrel),” he said.

Mr. Watling, however, explained that he did not necessarily expect such an intense decline in oil prices over the coming weeks or months.

“What happens with electric vehicles is really, really important,” he said, saying that’s because “about 70 per cent of oil is used for transportation.”

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global outlook for oil markets in 2018 could put a dampener on hopes for higher prices.

In its report Thursday, the IEA said global stock builds, rising non-OPEC production and static oil demand could weigh on the oil price.

The organisation’s latest monthly report was published amid optimistic forecasts from the major oil producer group OPEC, with the cartel arguing there was evidence of the global oil market rebalancing following several years of low prices.

In June 2014, the price of oil collapsed from almost $120 a barrel due to weak demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. shale production.

OPEC’s reluctance to cut output was also seen as a key reason behind the fall. But, the oil cartel soon moved to curb production — along with other oil producing nations — in late 2016.

But Nigeria was exempted from the cut imposed on member countries in January 2017, due to its low output caused by unrest in its oil rich Delta region.

In September, the Joint Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, and non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee, JMMC, also extended the exemption granted the country over the output cut.

At its meeting in Vienna, Austria, the Committee upheld Nigeria’s position that the exemption, which was extended by another six months last May, should be sustained until the country’s oil production stabilises.

The extension of the exemption period means more revenue earnings from oil exports by Nigeria, as the country would be able to export all the oil it produces as oil prices hover around $57 a barrel.

Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s oil minister, has said that although Nigeria was making considerable progress since October 2016 in its production recovery efforts, it was not enough as full stability had not been attained.

“Although Nigeria’s oil production hit 1.802 million barrels per day in the month of August, that was not enough justification for a call by some countries for Nigeria to be brought back into the fold,” Mr. Kachikwu pointed out.

The next JMMC Meeting is scheduled to be held in Vienna, on November 29, 2017.

Speaking further on Friday, Mr. Watling said things are changing and people may shift attention to alternative energy sources.

“We forget don’t we? I mean 120 years ago the world didn’t live on oil. Oil hasn’t always driven the global economy… The point is alternative energy in some forms is gathering speed (and) things are changing,” he added.

The Longview Economics CEO forecast the price of oil would ultimately slump to $10 a barrel over the next six to eight years.

Nigeria: Residents Protest Against Ikeja DISCOs Estimated Bills

By Victor Ifeanyiuzoho and Precious Soochichinemelum

Abnormal estimated bills, unjustified disconnection of electricity and collection of illegal and illegitimate charges by the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) has led to a street protest by the residents of Oshodi and Mafoluku community seeking an end to the problem.

The Chairman, Oshodi Articulate Residence, Monday Alfred, in an interaction with The Guardian, complained about the estimated billing which has been going on for three years now even after officially reporting the issue several times to the IKEDC head office Ikeja, Okota branch and Oshodi undertaking office.

According to Alfred, “We have been clamouring for prepaid meters for more than three years now, IKEDC promised us that they will give us the prepaid meters but up till now we have not seen any and they have been using the opportunity to extort money from us.”

He continued, that the overestimated billing has been going on for over three years now, rising from N3,000 monthly per residence or flat to 30,000 Naira and in some cases it goes above 100,000 Naira per month.

“We have written several times to IKEDC appealing to them to give us Prepaid Meters. We had a rally last year and at the secretariat in Alausa and all they said was that they will get back to us but till now we have got no response,” Alfred added.

The spokesperson of the Oshodi Articulate Residence, Akinmuye Adewu, during the protest stated that what happened in Oshodi-Isolo Local Government is to put an end to the estimated bills being given to them by the IKEDC which they see as a way to illicitly extort money from them.

Adewu said, “After we complained to their head office, they said we should be paying gradually till it is corrected but the bills keeps going higher and we are tired. We want to pay for what you use and not what you didn’t use and that’s why we need the Prepaid Meter.”

“We started experiencing this overbilling issue when the new Manager, Oshodi Undertaking Office of IKEDC, Ore Oluwa, was transferred to Oshodi,” he added.The councilor of Shogunle ward, Hon Femi Mustafa, while addressing the protesters commented on their efforts to see that the right thing is done owing to the fact that it affects everybody including the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government.

He urged them to make the demonstration peaceful and promised to deliver their complaints to the Chairman immediately he get to the office. He also promised to try his possible best to see to it that the Chairman treats the matter judiciously.

The Manager Oshodi Undertaking Office of IKEDC, Ore Oluwa, when contacted by The Guardian didn’t deny the accusations by the protesters but refused to speak about it saying it’s against their policy.

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Nigeria:Residents Protest Against Ikeja DISCOs Estimated Bills

By Victor Ifeanyiuzoho and Precious Soochichinemelum

Abnormal estimated bills, unjustified disconnection of electricity and collection of illegal and illegitimate charges by the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) has led to a street protest by the residents of Oshodi and Mafoluku community seeking an end to the problem.

The Chairman, Oshodi Articulate Residence, Monday Alfred, in an interaction with The Guardian, complained about the estimated billing which has been going on for three years now even after officially reporting the issue several times to the IKEDC head office Ikeja, Okota branch and Oshodi undertaking office.

According to Alfred, “We have been clamouring for prepaid meters for more than three years now, IKEDC promised us that they will give us the prepaid meters but up till now we have not seen any and they have been using the opportunity to extort money from us.”

He continued, that the overestimated billing has been going on for over three years now, rising from N3,000 monthly per residence or flat to 30,000 Naira and in some cases it goes above 100,000 Naira per month.

“We have written several times to IKEDC appealing to them to give us Prepaid Meters. We had a rally last year and at the secretariat in Alausa and all they said was that they will get back to us but till now we have got no response,” Alfred added.

The spokesperson of the Oshodi Articulate Residence, Akinmuye Adewu, during the protest stated that what happened in Oshodi-Isolo Local Government is to put an end to the estimated bills being given to them by the IKEDC which they see as a way to illicitly extort money from them.

Adewu said, “After we complained to their head office, they said we should be paying gradually till it is corrected but the bills keeps going higher and we are tired. We want to pay for what you use and not what you didn’t use and that’s why we need the Prepaid Meter.”

“We started experiencing this overbilling issue when the new Manager, Oshodi Undertaking Office of IKEDC, Ore Oluwa, was transferred to Oshodi,” he added.The councilor of Shogunle ward, Hon Femi Mustafa, while addressing the protesters commented on their efforts to see that the right thing is done owing to the fact that it affects everybody including the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government.

He urged them to make the demonstration peaceful and promised to deliver their complaints to the Chairman immediately he get to the office. He also promised to try his possible best to see to it that the Chairman treats the matter judiciously.

The Manager Oshodi Undertaking Office of IKEDC, Ore Oluwa, when contacted by The Guardian didn’t deny the accusations by the protesters but refused to speak about it saying it’s against their policy.

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Namibia: Electricity Distributor Introduces Special Tariffs

By Obrein Simasiku

Omuthiya — The Northern Regions Electricity Distributor (Nored) has introduced special tariffs for pensioners and people living with disabilities.

The discounted rates are only available to those whose metre number is registered under their name. All eligible pensioners and people living with disabilities have to do is visit the nearest Nored office to be registered for the special provision, Nored informed a stakeholder meeting yesterday at Okashana.

However, Nored says the special tariffs might not save money if the beneficiaries plug in energy-consuming appliances.

Nored’s executive manager for corporation, Toivo Shovaleka, said Nored has vowed to make electricity accessible to the people and has committed N$10 million each financial year to the programme.

“As part of our corporate citizenship, we have made donations to the tune of N$880 000 during the 2016/17 financial year, and we have also resolved to subsidize new domestic connections as well as absorb the cost of maintaining and energy of street lights below 125kw,” added Shovaleka.

The investment started during the 2015/16 financial year.

Shovaleka, however, noted that they do have a connection backlog but they are working towards addressing the issue very soon and this will be done through contracting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for new connections projects. They have also decentralised the quotation services to the regions as opposed to the past where all quotations were forwarded to the head office.

Nevertheless, Nored says its efforts to roll out electricity are being hampered by communal landowners who deny Nored access to the fenced off land to connect neighbours to the electricity grid.

“We want to approach the traditional authorities in this regard so that they can inform the communities. Other challenges include vandalism and theft as well as non-payment by some institutions. How can we pay Nampower if some entities are not paying their accounts? You are encouraged to settle your accounts so that we can provide services efficiently,” he stressed. Meanwhile, Nored says it recorded an increase in profit of 8 percent this year over the last financial year, with an annual turnover of N$846.4 million. Nored’s asset base is now at N$1.3 billion. The customer base is at 79 781 clients, 76 705 of whom are prepaid. The large chunk of Nored’s income is derived from post-paid users who on a monthly basis put in an average of N$54 million in Nored’s coffers, while prepaid generates N$38 million.

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Namibia:Electricity Distributor Introduces Special Tariffs

By Obrein Simasiku

Omuthiya — The Northern Regions Electricity Distributor (Nored) has introduced special tariffs for pensioners and people living with disabilities.

The discounted rates are only available to those whose metre number is registered under their name. All eligible pensioners and people living with disabilities have to do is visit the nearest Nored office to be registered for the special provision, Nored informed a stakeholder meeting yesterday at Okashana.

However, Nored says the special tariffs might not save money if the beneficiaries plug in energy-consuming appliances.

Nored’s executive manager for corporation, Toivo Shovaleka, said Nored has vowed to make electricity accessible to the people and has committed N$10 million each financial year to the programme.

“As part of our corporate citizenship, we have made donations to the tune of N$880 000 during the 2016/17 financial year, and we have also resolved to subsidize new domestic connections as well as absorb the cost of maintaining and energy of street lights below 125kw,” added Shovaleka.

The investment started during the 2015/16 financial year.

Shovaleka, however, noted that they do have a connection backlog but they are working towards addressing the issue very soon and this will be done through contracting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for new connections projects. They have also decentralised the quotation services to the regions as opposed to the past where all quotations were forwarded to the head office.

Nevertheless, Nored says its efforts to roll out electricity are being hampered by communal landowners who deny Nored access to the fenced off land to connect neighbours to the electricity grid.

“We want to approach the traditional authorities in this regard so that they can inform the communities. Other challenges include vandalism and theft as well as non-payment by some institutions. How can we pay Nampower if some entities are not paying their accounts? You are encouraged to settle your accounts so that we can provide services efficiently,” he stressed. Meanwhile, Nored says it recorded an increase in profit of 8 percent this year over the last financial year, with an annual turnover of N$846.4 million. Nored’s asset base is now at N$1.3 billion. The customer base is at 79 781 clients, 76 705 of whom are prepaid. The large chunk of Nored’s income is derived from post-paid users who on a monthly basis put in an average of N$54 million in Nored’s coffers, while prepaid generates N$38 million.

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Nigeria: NERC Fines Ibadan DISCO N50 Million for Misuse of CBN Loan

By Chineme Okafor and Nnenna Akuma

Abuja — For allegedly giving out a loan worth N6 billion from the N11.367 billion it received from the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Fund (NEMSF) granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to its core investor group, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has levied a fine of N50 million on the Ibadan electricity distribution company (Disco).

The NERC has also launched a full investigation on the remaining 10 Discos in Nigeria’s privatised electricity market to determine how they applied the NEMSF in their operations in addition to pursuing the full recovery of the misused funds from Ibadan Disco including the accrued interest at Nigerian Inter-bank Offered Rate (NIBOR) + 10 per cent.

A statement from NERC Head of Public Affairs, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, yesterday in Abuja, disclosed that the decision of the commission to fine Ibadan Disco was a fallout of an open book review it did on the Disco’s financial records.

NERC’s financial penalty on Ibadan Disco also came on a day a former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, disclosed how politicians and officials in the last government of President Goodluck Jonathan jostled for shares in the power generation and distribution companies that were privatised by the government in 2013.

Usman’s claims in his remarks at the October 26 lecture of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) indicated that government officials who ordinarily should have been neutral in the privatisation exercise were however guilty of foul plays and used their positions to leverage their interests in the exercise albeit secretly.

But in its statement, NERC said the board of Ibadan Disco approved a loan of N6 billion to its core investor – Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited (IEDMG) – from the CBN facility instead of using the facility to improve its distribution network.

It stated: “Following the outcome of an open book review conducted on the financial records of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company plc (IEDC), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission found the company wanting on two grounds of inappropriate financial transactions and was subsequently fined a sum of N50 million.”

“The fine was (on) account of its failure to secure a refund of an interest-free loan the board of IEDC granted to its core investor group. The commission had, vide its Order 173, directed IEDC to recover the sum of N5.7 billion being the balance of the inappropriate loan of N6 billion granted by the utility to IEDMG, the core investor in Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc.

“The loan was sourced from a total sum of N11.367 billion disbursed to IEDC under the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Fund granted by the CBN towards the improvement of infrastructure in the company including metering.

“The commission has reaffirmed that it will pursue the full recovery of the misused funds from IEDC including the accrued interest at NIBOR + 10 per cent,” the statement stated, adding that the repayment of the loan to CBN by the 11 Discos has continued to be made as a first charge on the revenues of the companies, and that it was reviewing the utilisation of the NEMSF in all other Discos.

Meanwhile, Usman stated at the NSE lecture which was delivered by its former President, Mustafa Shehu, that most of the transaction principles often included and followed in the privatisation of government’s assets were sidestepped during the sale of the power assets to private investors.

He said the outcome of the power privatisation was heavily influenced by political considerations against economic or technical capacities of the eventual preferred bidders, and thus linked parts of the current challenges of the sector to his claims.

“I was part of the power privatisation, and I am not going to extricate myself, it is a collective responsibility and I am not comfortable with the speed at which we rushed that exercise.

“I was the first Director General of Technical Committee of Privatisation and Commercialisation (TCPC) which is the agency that started privatisation in this country in 1988. We had our office in Lagos, and we did the first privatisation in this country. As at that time, we had the code of conduct that ensured that no member of the management or the board actually could buy any of the assets that we were selling.

“The electricity privatisation unfortunately was not handled that way. If you look at all these Discos and Gencos, unfortunately, some of us saw it that time but there wasn’t much we could do because of the rush and political thing it had become, there is in each and every one of them at least one or two ‘big masquerades.’

“That is not how to do privatisation; you don’t sell because of some people who are in the government, you sell because they have demonstrated the expertise, and a lot of people rushed into it because they think electricity is like telecoms without even understanding the industry,” Shamsuddeen explained.

Nigeria:NERC Fines Ibadan DISCO N50 Million for Misuse of CBN Loan

By Chineme Okafor and Nnenna Akuma

Abuja — For allegedly giving out a loan worth N6 billion from the N11.367 billion it received from the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Fund (NEMSF) granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to its core investor group, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has levied a fine of N50 million on the Ibadan electricity distribution company (Disco).

The NERC has also launched a full investigation on the remaining 10 Discos in Nigeria’s privatised electricity market to determine how they applied the NEMSF in their operations in addition to pursuing the full recovery of the misused funds from Ibadan Disco including the accrued interest at Nigerian Inter-bank Offered Rate (NIBOR) + 10 per cent.

A statement from NERC Head of Public Affairs, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, yesterday in Abuja, disclosed that the decision of the commission to fine Ibadan Disco was a fallout of an open book review it did on the Disco’s financial records.

NERC’s financial penalty on Ibadan Disco also came on a day a former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, disclosed how politicians and officials in the last government of President Goodluck Jonathan jostled for shares in the power generation and distribution companies that were privatised by the government in 2013.

Usman’s claims in his remarks at the October 26 lecture of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) indicated that government officials who ordinarily should have been neutral in the privatisation exercise were however guilty of foul plays and used their positions to leverage their interests in the exercise albeit secretly.

But in its statement, NERC said the board of Ibadan Disco approved a loan of N6 billion to its core investor – Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited (IEDMG) – from the CBN facility instead of using the facility to improve its distribution network.

It stated: “Following the outcome of an open book review conducted on the financial records of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company plc (IEDC), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission found the company wanting on two grounds of inappropriate financial transactions and was subsequently fined a sum of N50 million.”

“The fine was (on) account of its failure to secure a refund of an interest-free loan the board of IEDC granted to its core investor group. The commission had, vide its Order 173, directed IEDC to recover the sum of N5.7 billion being the balance of the inappropriate loan of N6 billion granted by the utility to IEDMG, the core investor in Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc.

“The loan was sourced from a total sum of N11.367 billion disbursed to IEDC under the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Fund granted by the CBN towards the improvement of infrastructure in the company including metering.

“The commission has reaffirmed that it will pursue the full recovery of the misused funds from IEDC including the accrued interest at NIBOR + 10 per cent,” the statement stated, adding that the repayment of the loan to CBN by the 11 Discos has continued to be made as a first charge on the revenues of the companies, and that it was reviewing the utilisation of the NEMSF in all other Discos.

Meanwhile, Usman stated at the NSE lecture which was delivered by its former President, Mustafa Shehu, that most of the transaction principles often included and followed in the privatisation of government’s assets were sidestepped during the sale of the power assets to private investors.

He said the outcome of the power privatisation was heavily influenced by political considerations against economic or technical capacities of the eventual preferred bidders, and thus linked parts of the current challenges of the sector to his claims.

“I was part of the power privatisation, and I am not going to extricate myself, it is a collective responsibility and I am not comfortable with the speed at which we rushed that exercise.

“I was the first Director General of Technical Committee of Privatisation and Commercialisation (TCPC) which is the agency that started privatisation in this country in 1988. We had our office in Lagos, and we did the first privatisation in this country. As at that time, we had the code of conduct that ensured that no member of the management or the board actually could buy any of the assets that we were selling.

“The electricity privatisation unfortunately was not handled that way. If you look at all these Discos and Gencos, unfortunately, some of us saw it that time but there wasn’t much we could do because of the rush and political thing it had become, there is in each and every one of them at least one or two ‘big masquerades.’

“That is not how to do privatisation; you don’t sell because of some people who are in the government, you sell because they have demonstrated the expertise, and a lot of people rushed into it because they think electricity is like telecoms without even understanding the industry,” Shamsuddeen explained.

Nigeria: Govt to Review Power Sector Privatisation

By Ndubuisi Francis

Abuja — The federal government disclosed Thursday that it is considering a review of the power sector privatisation, commencing with the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, unveiled government’s new thinking in Abuja at the question and answer session with journalists, which drew the curtains on the 23rd Nigeria Economic Summit (NES) organised by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

Ahmed stated that the government and other stakeholders had come to the realisation that something critical needed to be done quickly in the power sector.

The review of the power sector privatisation, she stated, would commence with the Discos.

Ahmed said: “The power sector has been privatised but I’m sure every Nigerian can attest to the fact that the privatisation has not worked well, in the sense of what we sought to achieve in terms of power efficiency.

“It has not yet happened. We have now come to the point where government which is a stakeholder in the power sector and other stakeholders must come together and decide and cede some of their holdings to new investors that will inject new funding; investors that have the expertise to grow the power sector that will serve Nigerians.”

She continued: “It’s a process that is on-going, it involves negotiating with the existing owners and also with the government in deciding the right level of holdings that will go up for another round of sale.

“The privatisation has not worked out. We discovered that many of the companies are indebted to the banks, making it difficult for them to make fresh investments in their infrastructure.

“All stakeholders must come together to grow the sector, especially in discussing with the existing owners.”

The minister explained that before any new investment is made in the sector, the contentious issue of tariffs must also be discussed and agreed by all stakeholders in order to attract new investors.

Explaining the government’s thinking to attract fresh investments in the power sector, given the tariff quagmire, she said: “We said the power sector would be opened up to new investors. But it’s very clear that many won’t be convinced with the level of tariff.

“That’s a discussion that has to be held with the new investors. It’s very clear to us that the level of tariffs that we have now is not sustainable but where the tariffs will go will be the subject of negotiations between the government, the existing investors, the new investors and consumers.

“We will try to attain some optimal level that will make an impact on the tariff structure. The starting point will be the Discos.”

On the 2018 budget proposals, the minister said her ministry was ready to meet the October deadline it announced earlier for its submission to the National Assembly.

“The 2018 budget will be presented to the National Assembly in October and we are still on course. The budget is ready, it will be going to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) first of all for approval before Mr. President now conveys it to the National Assembly.

“We are on course to deliver the 2018 budget in October. We hope that working together with the National Assembly, the 2018 budget will be passed on time in December so that in January, we can start with a fresh budget going forward,” the minister said.

On the federal government’s domestic borrowings which is crowding out the private sector, the minister said government had reviewed its loan strategies.

“Government does not go to borrow at 20 per cent. The market actually determines the borrowing, but the point we are making is that because government is borrowing heavily, the financial sector is now concentrating on lending to the government and the private sector gets little or no attention at all.

“Why would the financial sector want to lend when they can buy Treasury Bills at 22 per cent? So we have come to the conclusion that government must reduce its domestic borrowing to free the space so that the financial sector is enabled to borrow to the private sector,” she explained.

On the NES as a platform for the exchange of ideas on the economy between the private and public sectors, she said recommendations arising from the summit would continue to form the nucleus of government’s policies.

“The NES has become a tradition; an institution, if you like, and every year we look forward to it. This is a summit that is undertaken in partnership with the NESG, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, and indeed the government,” she said.

This year’s summit with the theme: “Opportunities, Productivity & Employment – Actualising the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,” the minister noted had intense deliberations for three days.

“We had discussions that centred around strengthening skills and competency, access to finance; we also had discussions around the legislation required to unlock opportunities to grow the economy,” she said.

She added that at the end of it, “we have a summit report, a draft of which has been handed over to us today to government”.

“We will begin to work again in partnership with the NESG and its organised committees on how to address all of the various recommendations that have come out of this session,” she explained.

Responding to a question on the chaotic traffic situation in Apapa, Lagos, the minister said the reconstruction of very critical roads in the port city had been approved.

She stated that the level of degeneration of the roads in Apapa had led to recommendations for total reconstruction, noting that the federal government was determined to do so.

On what the government was doing to ensure optimal performance of the ministers, she said a monthly performance chart with set targets had been prepared by her ministry.

She said there would be consequences for failure to meet set targets.

Also speaking at the event, Mr. Nnanna Ude of the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER) described the consensus reached at NES 2017 as fruitful, calling for quick legislative actions on them.

He said: “There are pending bills and we always try to carry out the economic impact on them. For instance, the Competition Bill has the capacity to create 381,000 jobs annually, generate revenue of N148.3 billion yearly.

“It will also lead to a 10 per cent reduction in the prices of goods. For the National Transportation Commission Bill, it will also boost job creation and government revenue.”

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