P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Electricity, Oil and Gas http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:26:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Shell Sells Nigeria Oil Fields http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/28/shell-sells-nigeria-oil-fields/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/28/shell-sells-nigeria-oil-fields/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:39:39 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209069 Royal Dutch Shell has sold some of four oil fields up for grabs in Nigeria, it said on Wednesday, as the oil and gas company pushes ahead with global asset sales to cut costs.

Shell last year put up for sale its 30 percent shares in four oil blocks in the Niger Delta — Oil Mining Licence (OML) 18, 24, 25, 29 — as well as a key pipeline, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line.

“We have signed sales & purchase agreements for some of the Oil Mining Leases, but not all that we are seeking to divest,” a Shell spokesman said.

No details were available on the value of the deals signed, nor when the full process will be completed.

France’s Total and Italy’s Eni are also set to raise revenue from the sale of their 10 percent and 5 percent shares in the assets. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owns the remaining 55 percent.

The Financial Times on Wednesday reported that Shell is close to selling the assets for about $5 billion to domestic buyers.

In March, Reuters reported that Nigerian firms Taleveras and Aiteo made the highest bid of $2.85 billion for the biggest of the four oil fields, OML 29.

Shell, along with many other oil majors, is undergoing a broad process of asset sales across the world in an effort to cut costs and boost profits.

Other companies, including Total, Eni, Chevron and ConocoPhillips have sought to pull out of the oil-rich West African country which has been plagued by oil theft.

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Electricity company decries equipment vandalism in Bayelsa http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/24/electricity-company-decries-equipment-vandalism-in-bayelsa/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/24/electricity-company-decries-equipment-vandalism-in-bayelsa/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 13:54:54 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208473 Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company

The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) said on Sunday that the vandalism of its equipment in Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital, was affecting its operation.

The Public Affairs Manager of PHEDC, John Onyi, told NAN in Yenagoa that 10 of its 200kva and 250kva transformers were vandalised in the city in recent months.

He said the transformers were located in Gwegwe St., Ebis Mechanic Road, Ministry of Tourism, Bossy-Water-Tombia Road, Mgbongbon Plaza, Opolo Housing Estate and Sani Abacha Expressway.

Onyi also disclosed that the company was faced with the challenge of non-payment of electricity bills by consumers.

He said the business unit had recorded about 65 per cent loss of revenue in the state since it started operation in November, 2013.

According to him, only 2,585 of the 12,350 registered customers in the state capital paid their electricity bills for the month of July.

He further decried the harassment of the company’s field workers by some consumers, noting that the company could not remain in business if consumers refused to settle their bills.

Onyi therefore appealed to the residents to desist from such acts as the company was working hard to improve on power supply in the state.

He also appealed to the residents to protect electricity installations in their areas and report any suspicious movement of persons around such installations to law enforcement agents.

The spokesman said that the company had improved on its operation in the state in spite of the challenges.

“The Yenagoa business unit admits that the expected 24-hour uninterrupted power supply has not been achieved yet.

“But Yenagoa receives between 34 and 50 megawatts of electricity out of the load demand of 60 megawatts, which translates into 13 to 19 hours power supply on a daily basis.

“What the business unit receives from the national grid is not enough and this has necessitated load shedding in the city.”

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Gas shortage hindering effective power supply http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/gas-shortage-hindering-effective-power-supply/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/gas-shortage-hindering-effective-power-supply/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:01:27 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207883 Port Harcourt Refinery

Port Harcourt Refinery

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said that sustained shortage of gas had remained a major threat to sustainable electricity power supply in the country.

The National President of IPMAN, Chinedu Okoronkwo, made the assertion in an interview with NAN in Lagos.

Okoronkwo said that power privatisation in the country would have yielded positive results if the various power plants had adequate gas supply.

He, however, said that in spite of the gas challenge, some areas in the country had started enjoying 18-hour uninterrupted power supply.

He noted that new investments in the power sector, including procurement of equipment by the investors and upgrade of infrastructure were contributing to the improved power supply in parts of the country.

Okoronkwo appealed for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in its original context to open up the oil and gas sector so that jobs would be created to mitigate the country’s growing unemployment.

“I appeal to the relevant stakeholders and credible organisations like NUPENG, IPMAN and Petroleum Trust Development Fund to prevail on the National Assembly to the pass the Bill with clear separation of policy formulation, regulation and operation roles.

“When the oil and gas sectors are opened up, jobs will be created to take care of the teeming unemployed population,” he said.

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Nigeria Unveils Aircraft To Fight Oil Thieves http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/nigeria-unveils-aircraft-to-fight-oil-thieves/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/20/nigeria-unveils-aircraft-to-fight-oil-thieves/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:52:36 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207850 Nigeria’s military on Tuesday took the wraps off a new aircraft to tackle oil thieves high-seas pirates off the country’s coast, as well as maritime hijackers.

AFP reports that the high-tech plane is one of seven to be operated by the state-run Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Air Force.

It includes sensors, radar and Electro-Optic Surveillance and Tracking (EOST) equipment, which houses three cameras to monitor ships in Nigerian waters, said Sergeant Sunday Olalekan Omotosho.

“When fully operational, no vessel can escape our coverage,” he told reporters before a demonstration flight from Lagos to Escravos in the Niger Delta and over offshore platforms in the oil-producing southeast.

The 20-seat plane can fly as low as 200 feet (60 metres) above the sea and passes on information about maritime traffic to the navy, who can intervene with fast-attack craft if necessary, he added.

“Our aim is to fight all manner of maritime crimes in the country. With this aircraft, we can spot any vessel hundreds of kilometres (miles) away,” said Air Group Captain Enobong Eneh Effiom.

The aircraft is inscribed with the words: “Vigilance over the ocean.”

Piracy off the western coast of Africa has been rising in recent years, with attackers targeting ships playing a key role in the region’s thriving oil industry.

Early this month, global maritime watchdog the International Maritime Bureau said West African piracy made up 19 percent of attacks worldwide last year.

Nigerian pirates accounted for 31 of the region’s 51 attacks — the most since 2008.

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Power privatisation yielding positive results – BPE http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/16/power-privatisation-yielding-positive-results-bpe/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/16/power-privatisation-yielding-positive-results-bpe/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207312 Director General BPE, Benjamin Dikki

Director General BPE, Benjamin Dikki

The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki, said power privatisation in the country had started yielding results with 18-hour uninterrupted power supply to consumers in Lagos.

This was contained in a statement by BPE’s Head of Public Communications, Mr Chigbo Anichebe, on Friday in Abuja.

The statement said that Dikki made the disclosure when members of Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA) visited the Bureau.

Dikki, it said, however stated that power supply around the country would have improved but for the shortage in gas supply to power generating plants.

He said that the new power owners had invested heavily to upgrade infrastructure so as to give Nigerians steady and uninterrupted power supply but restated that steady gas supply had remained an impediment.

While appealing to Nigerians to be patient with the new owners of the power assets, he said that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to solve the gas challenge.

He pointed out that the establishment of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Debt Management Office (DMO) and National Pension Commission (PENCOM) represented government’s resolve to reform the economy.

The director-general affirmed that BPE would take advantage of platforms provided by credible organisations like ABUCCIMA to showcase its achievements.

According to him, the pension reform, for instance, has attracted over N4.2 trillion into the financial system which could be quadrupled in the next few years.

He appealed for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to open up the oil and gas sectors for job creation.

“I appeal to organisations like ABUCCIMA to prevail on the National Assembly to the pass the PIB with clear separation of the role of policy formulation, regulation and operation.

“This will open up the oil and gas sectors so that jobs will be created to take care of the country’s teeming unemployed population,” he said.

The statement said the First Deputy President of ABUCCIMA, Mr Tony Ejinkeonye, assured that the chamber would partner BPE to showcase its activities during the upcoming 9th Abuja Trade Fair.

The trade fair is scheduled to hold from September 23 to 6 October.

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Petroleum Marketers Decry Pipeline Vandalism http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/14/petroleum-marketers-decry-pipeline-vandalism/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/14/petroleum-marketers-decry-pipeline-vandalism/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:04:44 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207038 Vandals

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Wednesday expressed worries over continuous petroleum products pipeline vandalism and its attendant negative impact on power supply across the nation.

The Operations Director of IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, expressed the association’s concern in an interview in Lagos.
He said the association was disturbed by the spate of pipeline vandalism, adding that sustained communal participation in monitoring the pipelines remained one of the ways to fight the vandals.

Osatuyi said that there was need for the government to engage the services of local security groups in protecting the petroleum products pipelines.

According to him, IPMAN remains committed to the Federal Government’s resolve to fight the menace of pipelines vandalism.

He said the notion that the petroleum pipelines were no longer safe was a major setback to the government’s effort to boost the economy and polity.

The operations director said that IPMAN engaged the services of local security men to compliment government security agencies’ effort in guarding the pipelines.

Osatuyi said that the federal government had taken measures to check vandalism and had spent a lot of money to repair vandalised pipelines.

The Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) said it spent more than N1.32 billion on clearing and grading of the Pipelines Right of Way (PROW) between 2011 and 2012.

Available statistics showed that the Eastern operations of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) suffers an average of six pipelines vandalism per week.

It also indicates that SPDC lost about 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day due to crude oil theft and shut-ins.
Mr. Precious Okolobo, Shell Nigeria’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, revealed on telephone that crude oil theft remained a challenge in the Niger Delta.

Okolobo also said that the volume of crude oil lost daily to theft vary widely. “But the Nigerian government estimates crude oil theft and associated deferred production at over 300,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) in 2013.

“On the average, around 32,000 bpd were stolen from SPDC JV pipelines and other facilities, while the joint venture lost production of around 174,000 bpd due to shutdowns related to theft and other third-party interference,” he said.

He disclosed further that in 2013, the number of spills from SPDC operations caused by theft and sabotage increased to 157 incidents compared to 137 in 2012.

The SPDC spokesman added that production losses due to crude oil theft, sabotage and related temporary shut-downs increased by 75 per cent.

The company admitted that there were fires on the 28-inch Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP) at K-Dere and on July 23 at B-Dere, all in Ogoniland.

“JIV (Joint Investigation Visit) established the cause of the two incidents as hacksaw cuts. There was also a leak on the 28-inch TNP at Mogho on July 28, caused by a drilled hole.

“The fires have been extinguished and the leaks repaired. The 28-inch TNP resumed production on July 30,” the Shell spokesman said.

Okolobo said that as the international oil company with the most extensive footprint in the Niger Delta, SPDC remained the worst affected.

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NUPENG threatens strike over alleged anti-labour practices http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/12/nupeng-threatens-strike-over-alleged-anti-labour-practices/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/12/nupeng-threatens-strike-over-alleged-anti-labour-practices/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 05:07:43 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206654 The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened to shut-down oil and gas operations over alleged anti-labour practices by two oil companies.

The companies are the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NOAC) and the Onne Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority (OGFTZA).

The union, in a communiqué at the end of its Eastern council meeting in Port Harcourt, on Monday, said that Plantgeria Limited and BK Tubulars, contractors to NOAC and OGFTZA, failed to honour its directive to stop workers’ victimisation.

The union’s Port Harcourt zonal Chairman, Godwin Eruba, said at a news conference that the union would embark on strike if the companies failed to resolve issues raised by the union at the end of 14 days.

“NOAC should as a matter of urgency respect the April and June 2014 letters from NAPIMS directing it to discuss the Stop-Gap contract of Turbines and related equipment maintenance in OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale with Arco petroleum Limited.

NUPENG

“The refusal of NOAC to obey this directive has posed a great threat to the jobs of our members in Arco who have contributed to the economic growth of this country since the contractor mobilised to site on that contract in 2006.

“The alleged replacement contractor (of Arco), Plantegeria Nigeria Limited, has concluded plans to cut the workforce by 60 per cent and cut the existing collectively-negotiated salaries by 40 per cent.

“Plantegeria also plans to force the (remaining) workers’ to sign a yellow-dog contract denouncing membership of NUPENG or PENGASSAN.”

Eruba said that NOAC should reverse the recently terminated service contracts of workers’ in Lagos, Port Harcourt, OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale locations.

He said that NOAC sub-contractors had yet to pay salary arrears owed workers ranging from three months to one year in all the locations.

“All the 13 workers whose jobs were terminated in April 2014 by the management of BK Tubulars Nigerian Limited in connivance with the management of OGFTZA in Onne be recalled.

“The state governments, Federal Government, oil majors in the sector and other relevant stakeholders should wade into this matter within 14 days of this resolution or face the prospect of (our) service withdrawal.

The union also called on management of NOAC and Onne OGFTZA to set up a tripartite committee as directed by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity to resolve the issue.

The NUPENG Eastern zone comprises Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Cross River, Imo, and Rivers.

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OPEC trims 2014 oil demand growth forecast http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/08/opec-trims-2014-oil-demand-growth-forecast/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/08/opec-trims-2014-oil-demand-growth-forecast/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:44:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206120 OPEC

OPEC

The OPEC oil cartel trimmed its 2014 forecast for global oil demand growth on Friday after weaker-than-expected economic growth in rich countries in the second quarter and a “fragile” worldwide recovery.

The Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries said it now expects demand to grow by 1.10 million barrels per day (mbd) to 91.11 mbd, down from a previous projection of 91.13 mbd.

In its new monthly report OPEC, which pumps a third of the world’s crude, stuck however to its forecast that demand would grow by 1.12 mbd in 2015 to 92.32 mbd.

It kept unchanged its forecasts for global economic growth of 3.1 percent and 3.4 percent for 2014 and 2015 respectively, saying the “slow and uneven recovery” was continuing.

“The current growth forecast accommodates continued fragility in the global growth development,” it said.

This took account of “some uncertainty about the dynamic of US growth, ongoing fragility in the eurozone, Japan aiming for fiscal tightening and also the near-term development in (emerging markets) as well as geo-political developments, will all need close monitoring,” it said.

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No action from Shell, Nigeria on oil pollution report – Amnesty http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/04/no-action-from-shell-nigeria-on-oil-pollution-report-amnesty/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/04/no-action-from-shell-nigeria-on-oil-pollution-report-amnesty/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 07:49:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205554 Shell Nigeria MD, Mutiu Sunmonu

Shell Nigeria MD, Mutiu Sunmonu

Nigeria and Shell have done almost nothing to ease oil pollution in the Ogoniland area of the Niger Delta, three years after a landmark United Nations report called for a $1 billion dollar clean-up, Amnesty International said Monday.

Environmental devastation in Ogoniland has for many come to symbolise the tragedy of Nigeria’s vast oil wealth.

Decades of crude production filled the pockets of powerful government officials and generated huge profits for oil majors like Shell, while corruption and spills left the people with nothing but land too polluted for farming or fishing.

Exactly three years ago, a United Nations Environment Programme report said the area may require the world’s biggest-ever clean-up and called on the oil industry and Nigerian government to contribute $1 billion.

“Three years on and the government and Shell have done little more than set up processes that look like action but are just fig leaves for business as usual,” said Godwin Ojo of Friends of the Earth Nigeria, which partnered with Amnesty and three other groups in a new report called “Shell: No Progress”.

Shell has not pumped crude from Ogoniland since 1993, when it was forced to pull out because of unrest.

Two years later, environmental activist Ken Saro Wiwa, who had fiercely criticised Shell’s presence in Ogoniland, was executed by the regime of dictator Sani Abacha, one of the most condemned episodes in the region’s history.

Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999 after Abacha’s death, but critics say the governments elected since have done little to improve pollution in the Niger Delta.

“No matter how much evidence emerges of Shell’s bad practice, Shell has so far escaped the necessity to clean up the damage it has caused,” said Audrey Gaughran of Amnesty International.

In April of 2013, Shell staff returned to Ogoniland for the first time in two decades to study how best to decommission their decaying assets in the region.

The company described the move as “a key step” in complying with the UNEP report.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, pumping out roughly two million barrels per day.

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FG targets 5000mw of electricity, 370m gas by Dec http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/03/fg-targets-5000mw-of-electricity-370m-gas-by-dec/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/03/fg-targets-5000mw-of-electricity-370m-gas-by-dec/#comments Sun, 03 Aug 2014 07:27:57 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205456 Diezani Alison-Madueke: gets court order restraining National Assembly from probing her

Diezani Alison-Madueke: gets court order restraining National Assembly from probing her

The Federal Government has concluded arrangements to boost gas supply nationwide by 370 million metric cubic feet per day (mcf/d) to generate 5,000 megawatts within five months, officials said on Saturday.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Maduke announced the plan in Abuja at a joint press briefing with the Ministry of Power and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The briefing was attended by Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Chairman, Dr Sam Amadi and NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Joseph Dawha.

Alison-Maduke said the collaborating agencies with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was working assiduously to find lasting solution to gas and power problems.

The minister said NERC had approved a new benchmark price of 2.50 dollars per mcf for gas supply, and 0.80 dollars per mcf as transportation cost for new capacity from 2014.

“We have developed additional interventions that will address outstanding issues around gas pricing, fast track additional gas supply development, particularly in the short term.

“It is expected that barring unforeseen developments, these interventions will add at least 370 million mcf/d of gas and assure a generation capacity of at least 5,000 MW within four to five months,” she said.

Alison-Madueke said a review of gas pricing was now being implemented to further reflect market value.

According to her, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is deliberating with NERC to ensure that the pricing mechanism of gas to power will reflect market value.

“In the short term, it is anticipated that this will quickly boost gas supply and in turn power output.

“In the medium to long term, this new price regime should trigger additional investment in the infrastructure for gas to power.

According to her the benchmark will rise with the United States inflation annually.

The minister said the suppliers needed to be committed to supplying the agreed quantities of gas to generation companies as long as payment terms were met.

She said NERC was concluding the review of the Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection loses studies submitted by the distribution companies.

The minister said this would be followed up by a review of the revenue requirement for the power sector that would be covered by a revised MYTO (Multi Year Trarrif Order) path.

Alison-Madueke said while the detail tariff was being worked out, NERC had reaffirmed its commitment to ensure cost recovery for all prudent and efficient operators.

She said the CBN was set to clear up the most recent gas related debts of power sector as it was looking at the banking sector led measures to pay off N250 billion debts owed to gas supplier.

“This will be subject to reconciliation efforts and adequate provision for this support in a revised MYTO that ensure repayment within five years.

She noted that the “CBN will play a key role in financial arrangement that guarantee payment for gas supply by the power sector.”

Alison-Madueke said the ministry was targeting a number of gas supply projects that would help cushion the effect of supply shortage in the short-term.

She said these included Utorogu Field expansion with expected impact of 60 million mcf/d, expansion of Oben Gas Plant and drilling of new wells to add 100 million mcf/d

Others include re-entry of Odidi Field and revamping of the processing plant and lowliness to deliver 40 million mcf/d. and hooking up of already drilled oil wells in Pan Ocean’s OPL275 to add 40 million mcf/d.

“Collectively, these projects will add 240 million mcf/d. All these are in advance stages of delivery and progressive impact should be felt steadily from October till year end,” she said

According to her, on the eastern Axis, Nigerian Gas Company is building a six kilometre bypass line to enable alternative supply of 60 million mcf/d to Alaoji in Abia.

This line mitigates slippage in the Northern Option Pipeline line originally planned to supply Alaoji’s requirement for gas is expected to be met by year end.

“In the east, Seven Energy will be delivering 30 million mcf/d in the first instance to Calabar NIPP. It is expected that Gbaran and Omoku Power plants will be completed by end of Q1 2015.

“When this happens it will make available a future mmcf/d of gas to be utilised,” she said.

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Jonathan appoints new GMD for NNPC http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/01/jonathan-appoints-new-gmd-for-nnpc/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/01/jonathan-appoints-new-gmd-for-nnpc/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:56:56 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205318 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

The federal government has approved the appointment of a new Group Managing Director for Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, Dr Joseph Thlama Dawha is the new Group Managing Director of the NNPC while Anthony Ugonna Muoneke is now Managing Director, NPDC.

“The new Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Dawha hails from Borno state. He has served previously as the Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production, NNPC and Managing Director of Integrated Data Services Ltd (IDSL), a subsidiary of the NNPC.”, Abati’s statement said.

“Mr Anthony Muoneke, the new Managing Director of the NPDC, hails from Anambra state. Called to the Nigerian Bar in 1985, he has over 29 years’ experience at both local and international levels in the oil and gas as well as the energy and power sectors, including serving as Executive Director, Finance & Admin, Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd. (NDPHC),” Abati explained.

The presidency did not give any reason for the changes.

Other appointments according to the release are: Ms Aisha Mata Abdurrahman – Group Executive Director, Commercial and Investment, NNPC and Dr Attahir B. Yusuf – Group Executive Director, Business Development, NNPC.

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IKEDC Unveils Online Bill Payment Platform http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/01/ikedc-unveils-online-bill-payment-platform/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/01/ikedc-unveils-online-bill-payment-platform/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:41:52 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205312 Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company office in Lagos State

Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company office in Lagos State

The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) in partnership with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc (NIBSS), has created an online platform to facilitate secure, convenient and more efficient payment options for IKEDC post-paid customers, for both energy and non-energy related bills.

NIBSS is Nigeria’s Central Switch for Interconnectivity and Interoperability of payment schemes. This new payment process will ensure that post-paid customer accounts are credited promptly, avoiding unplanned service interruptions.

Abiodun Ajifowobaje, MD/CEO, IKEDC, said in a statement that “the platform which came into being on 1 August, 2014, is available via the following options:

IKEDC website (http://webpay.ikedc.com/pay) using credit and debit cards; Internet Banking portals of financial institutions with NIBSS e-BillsPay platform and bank branches across Lagos State.

Ajifowobaje said the initiative represents another milestone for the company as it continues to enhance customer experience within its network.

“This upgrade of our electronic bill payment process has been designed to deliver a more convenient, efficient and seamless experience for customers whilst paying their IKEDC bills. We urge all our esteemed customers to embrace the platform as we continue to work on ensuring enhanced power supply to our customers,” he said.

Explaining that the new payment channels have been developed for IKEDC post-paid customers, Ajifowobaje said the company was involved in ongoing plans aimed at providing more options for pre-paid customers.

He added that customers that encounter any challenges should contact IKEDC contact centre on 0800-2255-45332 or 0700-2255-4532 or send an email to: customercare@ikedc.com.

The IKEDC boss said customers can also visit the company’s website (www.ikedc.com) for more information on steps for payment online and in bank branches in Lagos.

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GTBank, Forte Oil partners to increase GTExpress locations http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/30/gtbank-forte-oil-partners-to-increase-gtexpress-locations/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/30/gtbank-forte-oil-partners-to-increase-gtexpress-locations/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:25:30 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=205056 GTBank MD Nigeria, Segun Agbaje

GTBank MD Nigeria, Segun Agbaje

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc says it is partnering with Forte Oil Plc, to further the cause of its recently launched “GTExpress”.

GTExpress is a comprehensive Agent Banking Service as part of its effort to bring banking services closer to existing and potential customers.

NAN reports that the new GTBank agent banking services is in partnership with Forte Oil Plc, a petroleum marketing company.

The bank said in statement on Tuesday in Lagos that the partnership would leverage GTBank capacity to bring banking services further to the masses using Fort Oil’s more than 500 marketing outlets.

It said that the platform would provide such services as account opening, cash deposit and withdrawal through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), customer enquiries, bills payment and funds transfer.

The statement also said that the agent banking services had already been inaugurated at 14 Forte Oil locations in Lagos.

The statement quoted the bank’s Managing Director, Segun Agbaje as saying that “the unbanked sector of the economy presents a significant growth area for banks in emerging markets.

“Our objective is to offer banking products and services to this segment via non-banking outlets, thus, breaking down barriers to financial inclusion such as accessibility and cost.

“This is a great step in achieving a more inclusive financial services industry”.

It also said that Akin Akinfemiwa, Group Chief Executive Officer, Forte Oil Plc noted that “we are pleased with the GTBank partnership as it reinforces our vision of being a one stop shop whilst affirming the wide reach of our retail network.

“With this alliance our customers who patronise GTBank Plc will be able to reduce the commuting time and cost in attending to their various needs”.

It added that GTBank had consistently pushed the innovative boundaries to make banking a convenient experience for its customers.

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FG signs MoU with US on development of power sector http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/25/fg-signs-mou-with-us-on-development-of-power-sector/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/25/fg-signs-mou-with-us-on-development-of-power-sector/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:06:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=204327 Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo

Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo

The Federal Government on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States government to fast track the development of Nigeria’s power sector

Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, signed on behalf of the Nigerian Government, while the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, signed on behalf of the US government.

Entwistle said the agreement, which was part of the “Power Africa Initiative”, recently launched by President Barack Obama, sought to support economic development in Africa through access to electricity.

“US President Barack Obama recognises the importance of electricity to the economic development of emerging economies.

“Last year, he launched Power Africa to bring combined expertise of 12 US Government agencies to partner with the private and public sectors.

James Entwistle

James Entwistle

“This will significantly increase the amount of electricity available to sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria.”

He said the agreement would allow the US to work closely with the Nigerian Government to develop the various sources of energy, including solar, gas, and biomass.

“In Nigeria, Power Africa supports the strengthening of the energy sector through credit enhancement, grants, technical assistance and investment promotion efforts,” he said.

The envoy expressed optimism that the transformation of Nigeria’s power sector would serve as a catalyst for the development of health, education, transportation and attainment of the MDGs.

Nebo said Nigeria was chosen as one of the first six African countries to benefit in the first phase of “Power Africa Initiative” because of its strategic and economic standing in Africa.

He said the agreement was facilitated by the Federal Government’s reforms in the sector and called on all stakeholders to support the initiative.

The minister commended the US, especially its agency for International Development (USAID) for its contributions to the development of key sectors in Nigeria over the years.

He expressed optimism that the MoU would go a long way in improving power supply in the country as well as development of other sectors of the economy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the MoU would involve the construction of some gas-fired power stations and renewable energy industries.

The minister also signed another MoU with a private US energy company, Global Edison Corporation, with a view to developing the energy sector.

He said that the agreement would ensure the establishment of solar panel manufacturing companies in Nigeria.

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Jonathan wants Nigeria, OPEC nations to strengthen ties http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/24/jonathan-wants-nigeria-opec-nations-to-strengthen-ties/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/24/jonathan-wants-nigeria-opec-nations-to-strengthen-ties/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:24:02 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=204285 Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday, called for closer ties between Nigeria and other members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Jonathan made the call at a meeting with the new ambassadors of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Nigeria, after receiving their letters of credence at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The new envoys are Mahmud Mohammed Mahmud Al-Mahumud of UAE and Adbdul Aziz Bin Mubarak Seed Al Muhannadi of Qatar.

Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, quoted Jonathan as saying that such partnerships would improve the decision-making process within OPEC.

According to the statement, the president said closer ties would also open up more opportunities for investment and socio-economic collaboration among its members.

“Jonathan told the new ambassadors that the cordial diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and other OPEC member-countries ought to be translated into more beneficial engagements.

“He said that the ongoing Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government had thrown up more opportunities for investments in agriculture, real estate development, power generation, manufacturing and other areas in Nigeria.

“Jonathan, therefore, urged the UAE, Qatar and other OPEC countries to take advantage of the immense potential of Nigeria’s large market and the new investment opportunities in the country.”

The statement also quoted the president as telling the envoys that many companies from the UAE had invested in telecommunications and real estate, and that they were doing very well.

“We want to see them also in agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, and other areas,” Jonathan said.

Both ambassadors assured the president that they would do their best to improve trade and economic relations between their respective countries and Nigeria during their tenures.

Jonathan also had a farewell audience with the outgoing ambassador of Finland, Mrs Rita Korpivaara.

The president commended Korpivaara’s efforts at enhancing bilateral relations between Nigeria and Finland.

He wished her success in her future endeavours.

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Empowering Nigerians our top priority – FG http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/23/empowering-nigerians-our-top-priority-fg/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/23/empowering-nigerians-our-top-priority-fg/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:46:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203961 Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, on Tuesday said the empowerment of Nigerians in an equitable manner remained a top priority of the Federal Government.

This was contained a statement issued in Abuja by the Deputy Director, Press, to the minister, Mr Samuel Olowookere.

The statement said Wogu gave the assurance in Oji, Enugu State, at the inauguration of the Electrical and Communication Laboratory built at the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria.

“The development and empowerment of our people, in an equitable way, will continue to be of top priority to this government.

“Be it in the improvement of technical training infrastructure, enhancement of skills acquisition, provision of critical infrastructure or health care facilities, among others.

Wogu said the completion of the project would help in expanding facilities available to train workers in the power sector.

The minister said the centre would also help to meet the requirement for a reliable, sustainable and improved capacity building for the power sector.

Wogu said despite security challenges in parts of the country, government was focused on building a peaceful and united nation.

The training institute was built by the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) project of the SURE-P.

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Power generation to hit 6,000 mega watts by December http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/power-generation-to-hit-6000-mega-watts-by-december/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/power-generation-to-hit-6000-mega-watts-by-december/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 12:50:12 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203544 There were indications on Friday in Lagos that the channelisation of the ongoing Independent Power Projects into the national grid in December would leverage the nation’s electricity generation to 6,000 mega watts.

Investigation by NAN and confirmed by a top official of the Ministry of Power showed the power projects would further boost the level of electricity generation.

The official, who preferred anonymity, however said that the contribution of the new plants would also depend on the availability of gas.

“We are currently generating between 3,000 mega watts and 3, 200 mega watts of electricity as against 4,000 mega watts generated in early in the year,” he said.

According to him, vandalism of gas pipelines, distribution, transmission and infrastructure of the sector were the greatest threat facing the sector, and urged stakeholders to assist in eradicating these sabotage.

Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) cannot keep all PHCN workers

Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) cannot keep all PHCN workers

“Nigerian stakeholders and civil society should increase advocacy crusade against this major act of sabotage against the power sector.

“Realisation of the dream of the present administration in power sector will help to reduce unemployment as well as boost national economy development.

“Government plans to diversify the energy sector through the exploitation of renewable source of energy in solar, wind, coal and small hydropower,” he said.

He also warned that the 70 per cent dependence on gas for the generation of the country’s electricity needs was illogical and fraught with danger.

The source said that contrary to other opinions, the country power generation would increase tremendously, when all projects handled by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) come on stream.

He identified some of the auxiliary power projects completed by NDPHC to include about 40 transmission lines, 45 transmission sub-stations and 20 sub- station extensions.

He said the Federal Government had already approved about 1.5 billion dollars of the 5.8 billion dollars realised from the sale of the 10 power plants to be ploughed into the development of the nation’s electricity sector.

The source said that about 16 hydropower stations would be upgraded and constructed to boost and augment power generation in the country.

The official expressed optimism that with the completion of the various power projects in the country, power supply would soon improve in the country.

He said that the present administration had invested much in the power sector having known that electricity was a catalyst to the realisation of vision 2020.

“This is one of the catalysts which can make the country to become one of the top 20 economics in the world.

“When Jonathan assumed office, the power generation was 2,250 megawatts, but today it is 3,200 and by December this year the country’s generation will hit 6,000.

“The transformation agenda of the present administration has helped to transform every sector of the economy, especially the power sector,” he said.

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Boost electricity supply, FG tells power companies http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/boost-electricity-supply-fg-tells-power-companies/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/boost-electricity-supply-fg-tells-power-companies/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 07:24:23 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203545 Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo

Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo

The Federal Government has urged private power firms to explore the use of embedded power generation to boost power supply, especially in industrial hubs across the country.

Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, made the call on Friday in Abuja when a delegation from Genesis Electricity Company paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

Embedded power generation is a situation where a dedicated power plant or modular generator powered by solar, wind, biomass, diesel or crude oil is connected to a particular distribution network to provide dedicated power to an area.

The minister specifically tasked the power firm to take advantage of the enormous gap in energy need of industries, especially in the South-East, so as to fast track the nation’s socio-economic development.

Nebo said that Nnewi, the hub of industrialisation in the south east, had in recent time had 40 of its 46 industries closed down due to huge cost of running generators.

“I heard on good authority that a company operating in that axis spends as much as 38 per cent of its production cost on diesel; this is definitely not good for business,” he said.

The power minister urged the indigenous firm to carry out a survey of industrial clusters, assess their power need and explore ways of addressing the power challenge.

“Genesis Electricity should also extend its services to rural and urban areas where they have no access to the national grid,” he urged the company.

Nebo assured the company of Federal Government’s support and described the company as critical to government’s plan to ensure stable power supply across the country.

The minister, who was presented with the “Africa in Power Utility of the Year 2013/14″ award won by the company, commended the firm for its contributions to the power sector.

Mr Akinwole Omoboriowo, the Managing Director of Genesis Electricity Company, said that the remarkable feat attained by the company was made possible by the enabling environment created by the Federal Government.

“The Federal Government policy made this to happen, as it has given the sector a robust, proactive and strong power sector that has engendered competitiveness and confidence of players both domestic and international.”

He added that the government should remain focused as the sector moved forward in the mission of providing more access to electricity for Nigerians.

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Gas scarcity hinders electricity supply – BPE http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/18/gas-scarcity-hinders-electricity-supply-bpe/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/18/gas-scarcity-hinders-electricity-supply-bpe/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 07:15:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203415 Director General BPE, Benjamin Dikki

Director General BPE, Benjamin Dikki

The Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki, said on Thursday that scarcity of gas supply was impeding the government’s transformation in the power sector.

Dikki told newsmen in Lagos that Nigerians should desist from throwing blame on both the generation and distribution companies on the delay in getting the desired results in the sector.

NAN reports that the power sector was handed over to private investors on 1 November 2013 with the aim of improving electricity supply to boost socio-economic development.

“The major problem we have for power supply now is not the private sector investors who have taken over the distribution and generation companies.

“The major headache we have is that of the supply of gas – the gas to fire our plants. So the issue is not for the people to get angry with the distribution companies who don’t have the power.

“They are just trying to manage what the system generates, what is allocated to them, and make sure they rationalise so that every part of the distribution companies has some measure of light.

“So, I want people to understand that DISCOs (Distribution Companies) are not to blame, it is the power they receive that they distribute and the GENCOs (Generation Companies) also are constrained by lack of gas supply.

“Some of the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) plants that their constructions have been completed cannot be fired because there is no gas supply; that is the major challenge.

“If today we have sufficient gas to fire 6,000 megawatts Nigerians will see the fundamental difference between when these companies were not privatised and now.”

According to him, vandals that blew up gas pipelines that supply gas to power generation stations have affected the infrastructure which the government was trying to fix.

“If you recall sometime back, some vandals went and blew some holes into the gas pipelines supplying gas for power generation and for other uses.

“It took NNPC a couple of months and millions of dollars to fix those holes and to restore the supply of gas. I understand they (NNPC) are also almost finalising on that.

“The basic problem has been the lack of investment in gas infrastructure in the past. Now, we have to take the fire fighting approach to it, and Mr President has directed that $300m (N46.5billion) from the Europe bond should be channeled to the development of gas infrastructure.

“And there are other initiatives that are being taken by NNPC, the Ministry of Petroleum, under the directive of Mr President to ensure that this gas supply is bridged in the interim for long time measures to be taken that will ensure sustainable gas supply.”

Dikki urged Nigerians and labour unions to be patient as the government’s efforts would soon yield desired results in the power sector.

He said that the distribution companies had make lots of investment to improve infrastructure such that only Eko DISCOs produced $145m (N22.475 billion) to change transformers, cables and improve network.

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Renewable energy: EU supports Nigeria with N3.4b http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/18/renewable-energy-eu-supports-nigeria-with-n3-4b/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/18/renewable-energy-eu-supports-nigeria-with-n3-4b/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 23:08:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203372 President Goodluck Jonathan

The European Union on Thursday said it had given more than N3.4 billion grant to boost renewable energy in Nigeria under the Nigeria Energy Support Programme (NESP).

Mr Allan Munday, Acting Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), made this known at the inauguration of the second phase of the project in Abuja.

Munday said that the fund was to demonstrate EU’s commitment in ensuring that a greater number of Nigerians had access to electricity.

He described renewable energy as “solar power”, adding that the project would incorporate training of personnel on capacity building.

He said that the grant would also help in strengthening the partnership between Nigeria and donor agencies under the power sector.

In his remark, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, said that improving electricity supply and its efficiency for Nigerian households and businesses was part of Federal Government’s transformation agenda.

Igali said that the major problem of solar power was lack of maintenance, and advocated the training of youths in communities where power projects under the scheme would be located in order to ensure their sustainability.

He said that the measure would make the youths and communities to be stakeholders in the ownership of the projects.

He, however, commended EU, German International Cooperation (GIZ) and other development partners for their support in the sector.

Country Director of GIZ, Thomas Kirsch, in his speech, said that the programme, which funded by the EU and implemented by the cooperation was first inaugurated in March 2013.

He said that a grant of N2 billion was given for the first phase by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Kirsch said that the project was aimed at improving the conditions for investment in “renewable energy, energy efficiency and rural electrification”.

“The NESP started in 2013 with N2 billion from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

“The N3.4 billion additional EU funding will allow the programme to continue advising Nigerian institutions on enabling policy, institutional and regulatory framework conditions from the federal level.

“It will support improved rural electricification planning in five states and set up various demonstration projects, providing business models to increase energy access through sustainable energy resources.

“It will also initiate and support vocational training and capacity development in the electricity sector,” Kirsch said.

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