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‘All On’ First Investments in Nigerian Off-Grid Energy Businesses To Aid SMEs

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All On, an independent impact investing company, has made its first set of transactions aimed at facilitating increased access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy sources for low income households, SME’s, and communities.

Seeded with funding from Royal Dutch Shell, All On works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services for under-served and un-served off-grid energy markets in Nigeria, with a special focus on the Niger Delta.

“This initial set of transactions demonstrates our commitment to utilizing a market-based approach to making a sustainable impact in the off-grid energy sector in partnership with global and local market leaders,” Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of All On, said. “it is just the beginning of our investments towards improving access to energy in Nigeria for the tens of millions of off-grid households and SMEs across the country,” he added.

The initial investments include an equity investment in Lumos Global BV, the fastest growing “distributed utility” in West Africa, and a grant to renowned Nigerian tech ideation incubator, Co-Creation Hub, to launch a challenge to engage Nigeria’s technology innovation ecosystem in the access to energy space.

All On has also entered into a grant agreement with Solar Nigeria, a UK Aid-funded project implemented by Adam Smith International, for the receipt of grant funding to further de-risk investments made by All On in the Solar Home System (SHS) space.

The firm is also currently in the latter stages of negotiations for an equity and debt investment in Green Village Enterprises (GVE), the award-winning indigenous mini grid operator in Nigeria headquartered in Port Harcourt.

Commenting on the proposed investment, Ifeanyi Orajaka, managing director of GVE, said: “We at GVE are excited about this relationship with All On. An investment from a world-class organisation such as All On further validates our position as one of the leading and most innovative indigenous clean energy solutions providers in Sub-Saharan Africa. We are very optimistic and look forward to achieving our medium-term target of impacting 2% of Nigeria’s 180 Million population through this partnership.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of CCHub, Bosun Tijani, says: “The organisation is proud to partner with All On to support Nigeria’s early stage clean energy entrepreneurs. Matching our expertise identifying and supporting innovative startups with All On’s seed capital, we hope we can unearth amazing enterprises to meet the energy needs and aspirations of Nigerians.”

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NNPC, Marketers Stole N784Bn from Nigeria in 2017 – Senate

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Revelations were made in the Senate on Wednesday that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Independent marketers  duped Nigeria to the tune of N784.700 billion on surplus volume of fuel importation of about 5.9bn litres in 2017 alone.

 

The sum, according to the Upper Chamber, was the excess of fund lost by Nigeria to the sharp practices by NNPC and other importers who claim volume of fuel imported in excess of what they actually brought into the country.

 

The Independent newspaper reported that in expressing disgust about the fraudulent act, the Senate mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) headed by Senator Kabiru Marafa to carry out thorough investigation on the alleged fraud.

 

The Parliament also expressed disgust over claims that the NNPC has been paying subsidy on imported fuel with the lawmakers questioning the source of the money being used for the payment.

 

The Senate noted that no such money was voted for the payment in the budget and therefore described it as illegal just like other unapproved spendings by the Executive arm of government.

 

With a strong threat to sanction any infraction, of the Executive using the dictates of the Constitution, the Senate demanded an immediate stop to any unappropriated spending henceforth, particularly as regards the illegal subsidy regime of N26 per litre being effected on fuel sales in the country.

 

The N784 billion fraud, according to revelations made to that effect in the interim report of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), which investigated the lingering fuel scarcity in the country, came about through five days surplus importation at 35million litres per day by NNPC on monthly basis totalling 60 days surplus importation in addition to marketers 109 days surplus supply.

 

The Committee, in the report stated thus: “NNPC said it is importing 30 cargoes of 30,000meric tonnes (minimum) of PMS monthly through the Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme.

 

“This means NNPC is importing 30x 30,000x 1, 341= 1, 206,900,000 litres of PMS monthly.

 

“Therefore, at an average consumption of 35million litres/day, NNPC said the country consumes between 27-30 million litres/day from January to September and 30-40 million litres per day from September to December.

 

“From the above figures, NNPC monthly supply is supposed to last the country for about 35 days at 35million litres per day.

 

“The marketers on the other hand received from government about N1.669,180,182 billion at CBN rate of N305 to a dollar to import PMS from January to August 2017. This means that marketers were supposed to bring into the country about 3.8bn litres of PMS at landing cost of N133.

 

“In other words, marketers supply were supposed to serve the country for about 109 days at 35million litres daily in 2017.

 

“The implication of the foregoing is that NNPC has five days surplus every month, 60 days surplus in a year, added to the marketers’ 109 days supply, totalling 169 days supply surplus at 35million litres /day or 5.9bn litres which when multiplied by N133 subsidised landing cost per litre amounts to N784.700bn”, the report read.

 

Senator Kabiru Marafa, who read the Committee’s report, alleged further that the fraud arose from emergence of subsidy regime in the sector again, similar to the sharp practices carried out in the past through bogus volume of fuel importation.

 

Though the Senate, based on observations made by senators that the report did not capture the subsidy fraud going on in the sector adequately, returned it to the Committee for more thorough job.

 

However, the Senate President Bukola Saraki praised the Committee for unearthing the 5.9 billion litres volume importation fraud.

 

“The biggest fraud in the oil sector over the years under subsidy regime is not even the subsidy itself but that of volume through bogus claims that will be increasing from year to year.

 

“It is in the light of this that I will ask that, in line with submissions made by many of the senators here today, that thorough probe should be carried out by the Committee on the 5.9 billion litres surplus supply while the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, SPAC, should investigate the illegal subsidy regime as regards its authorisation and appropriation,” he said.

 

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Gov. Ambode’s Phone Line Cloned, 2 Men Docked

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Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos governor

Two men, who allegedly cloned the official line of Lagos governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to defraud the State Government of N50 million, appeared before Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya of Igbosere High Court, Lagos on Tuesday.

 

The defendants – Rilwanu Jamiu and Balogun Oyewole – are standing trial on a three-count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent document and impersonation.

 

The first prosecution witness, Abimbola Umar, the State’s Accountant General, while testifying before the court, revealed how she received a text message from the suspects, on February 10, 2016.

 

She said that the text message, which seemed to be from Governor Ambode, directed her to transfer the sum of N50 million to a designated Keystone Bank account.

 

Umar, who was led in evidence by the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adenijii Kazeem, said she found the message suspicious and highly irregular of the official accounting protocol.

 

She said: “I decided to bring the message to the attention of the Governor, who, after distancing himself from it, ordered immediate investigation into the matter.”

 

After Umar’s testimony, the prosecution called another witness, Wale Odu, Director State Service, Lagos State Command, to give evidence in the case.

 

In his testimony, Odu said that the investigation leading to the arrest of the defendants was conducted by his team at the DSS.

 

According to him, the investigation revealed that the second defendant (Oyewole), was one of the directors and shareholders of a firm, Clayder Ltd, into whose Keystone Bank account the N50 million would have been paid.

 

After listening to the testimonies, Justice Ogunsanya adjourned the case until February 14 for continuation of trial, and ordered that the accused be remanded at the Kirikiri Medium Security Prison.

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PTAD lauds Impact of Technology in Pension Verification

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Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) says the deployment of technology has made pension verification seamless.

Few years ago, when PTAD was still doing manual verification of retirees many of them were dying in the process.

PTAD deployed 45 functional laptops, 20 scanners, 20 webcam cameras, 20 thumb-print capturing machines and five printers.

Ikeazor made this known to newsmen when he officially declared open the verification NITEL and MTEL pensioners in Enugu on Wednesday.

She said the directorate was fully automated, adding that PTAD staff had been well-schooled and vast on how to operate the new devices.

“As I speak to you, we have our internet server here and all its necessary attachment to ensure seamless exercise and to key- in information instantly.

“The directorate had over the years invested heavily on modern technology that will make our work and service to the people very seamless and real-time,’’ she said.

The executive secretary said that through the help of technology PTAD was now doing mobile verification for sick and incapacitated pensioners.

“We have collected the phone numbers of sick pensioners and their contacts; and our staff will do mobile verification for them by going to where they are to capture them electronically,’’ she said.

Sharing his experience, one of the pensioners, Mr Emeka Offor said that it only took him less than 10 minutes for his name and vital information; his picture and thumb-print captured and scanning of his document to be captured.

“I must commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his care for pensioners and equipping PTAD with modern gadgets to function optimally,’’ he said.

PTAD is verifying 22,000 pensioners of NITEL and MTEL in seven centres across the nationwide and at each of the centre, it will take eight days to conduct the exercise.

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