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FG Partners NASENI on Solar Panel Production

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Prof. Chinedu Nebo, minister of Power

The Federal Government has expressed readiness to support the National Agency for Science Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in the production of solar panels for renewable energy.

Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power, made this known when he inspected the NASENI solar panel manufacturing plant in Karshi, in Abuja.

Nebo said, “with the low level of electricity generation in the country which is mainly through gas fired turbines, the Federal Government is now focusing on solar to compliment it.

“We want to grow renewable energy resources utilization and deployment in Nigeria. With the low level of electricity generation and transmission in the country the only way to reach the rural communities is through renewable technology. This is one of the technologies that are far away from the national grid,’’ he said.

He said that with the launch of the Operation Light-up Rural Nigeria (OLRN), using renewable energy, it had become imperative to develop Nigerian solar manufacturing plants.

The minister said the Federal Government was ready to patronize products from the agency, especially for the OLRN.

“Patronising them will give them more encouragement to go into mass production and sales of the solar panels across the country. Solar is the only thing you can deploy to every part of Nigeria and get electricity. We have challenges with wind because the onshore wind velocity is not quite amenable with wind turbines and only select part of the country will use that,” he said.

He said that partnering with NASENI was part of government effort to ensure local content development in the power sector and the creation of jobs for Nigerian youths.

“I will say this is a learning visit and step to forge a relationship with NASENI solar company. It is also to ensure that we even train most of the technical people that will be going out there to deploy this technology in our rural communities. That is why the Ministry of Power will like to collaborate with NASENI in the deployment of solar power technology in the country,” he said.

The minister commended the professional and diligent methodology of quality control of the panels.

He stressed the need for NASENI to improve on its marketing and to always comply with international standard.

“We will be promoting NASENI; we will tell our partners that we prefer NASENI solar panels because Mr President is so concerned when it comes to local content development. Once the solar panels continue to be of international and best standard why go outside. We will patronise NASENI no doubt about that,’’ he said.

Earlier, Mr. Mohammed Haruna, NASENI executive vice chairman, said the 7.5mw pilot plant was already producing high quality solar panels that could be found in the market.

“The solar factory as you have seen is a demonstration plant and it was started as part of our research and development and we want to prove that it can work in Nigeria.

“So, it is a 7.5mw pilot plant and it is producing solar panels of high quality standard and the products are available in the market,’’ he said.

He said that the project started in May 2012 and became a Limited Liability Company in 2013 after surmounting so many challenges.

Nebo also visited a small hydropower installation at Gada village near Akwanga, Nasarawa State.

The small hydropower was built by NASENI engineers tapping into the River Mada.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Nigeria, Others Listed in ISA $5Bn Deal

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International Solar Alliance (ISA) has signed letters of intent for $5 billion worth of financing and the initiation of development of nine solar projects across five countries.

 

The ISA signed the financing commitment by Yes Bank, India’s fifth largest private sector bank and leader in renewable energy financing, recently.

 

It also announced the signing of nine solar projects across five ISA member countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, India and Spain.

 

The eight companies involved in the deals include, Vyonarc Development, Waree Engineers, Gensol Group, Solarig, Shakti Pump, Refex Energy, Amplus Solar and Zodiac Energy.

 

In another development, Masdar announced the outcomes from its Renewable Energy Desalination Pilot Programme in Ghantoot, which shows that solar energy powered desalination is commercially viable in Abu Dhabi. Masdar commissioned five pilot projects during the programme to explore the feasibility of using renewable energy to power seawater desalination.

 

The outcomes of the pilot projects revealed that solar energy-driven seawater desalination using reverse osmosis technologies offers a commercially attractive, low-cost and sustainable long-term solution for seawater desalination in the Gulf.

 

The report also revealed that energy efficiency improvements of up to 75 per cent were achieved through the programme compared with existing technologies employed in the UAE.

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Allianz Risk Barometer Says Corruption, Burden on Nigerian Businesses

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The Allianz Risk Barometer 2018 report has revealed that theft, fraud and corruption as the top risk in Nigeria with 38% of responses, up from #4 in 2017.

Market developments remains unchanged at #2 at 36% of responses and changes in legislation & regulation also remains unmoved at #3 with 33% of responses.

Fire, explosion and power blackouts (both #7 with 16% of responses) emerged as two new risks in the top 10.

Cyber incidents remains at #5 at 29%, political risks and violence is unmoved at #6 with 24%, macroeconomic developments is #4 at 31% of responses down from #1 in 2017, business interruption moves down slightly from #8 to #9 with 16% responses and new technologies maintains the 10th position at 11%. The report is published annually by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), and is based on the insight of a record 1,911 risk experts from 80 countries.

Studies show that corruption is a significant obstacle to business in Nigeria. Companies are very likely to encounter bribery and other corrupt practices.

Corruption also features as a top 10 risk in West African countries, Togo and Ivory Coast, which participated in the survey for the first time.

To provide financial protection for managers against the consequences of actual or alleged “wrongful acts” when acting in the scope of their managerial duties, companies may consider taking up Director & Officers (D&O) insurance.

The D&O policy will pay for defense costs and financial losses. In addition, extensions to many D&O policies also cover costs for managers generated by administrative and criminal proceedings or in the course of investigations by regulators or criminal prosecutors.

The market and economic conditions are improving. “Recently, Nigeria resolved a six-quarter recession and an exchange rate crisis. A better business environment, as well as the recovery of oil prices should help accelerate growth in 2018 to over 2.5% from 0.8% in 2017. However, the inflation persistence to around 12.9% in 2018 may well trigger another depreciation pressure on the Naira,” said Stéphane Colliac, Senior Economist from AGCS sister company, Euler Hermes.

Businesses’ perception of the threat posed by political risks and violence remains relatively unchanged year-on-year. However, respondents are more worried about terrorism. Businesses do not have to be the direct victim to feel the effects. If an attack occurs nearby, the surrounding area may be closed, impacting operations. Globally, a general trend of increased political activism can be anticipated, causing further disruption.

Business interruption (BI) can have a tremendous effect on a company’s revenues. Yet its impact is one of the hardest risks to measure. “No business is too small to be impacted,” says AGCS Africa CEO Thusang Mahlangu, “A severe interruption can even have a terminal impact, particularly for smaller companies. But as many businesses transition from being rich in physical assets to deriving more value from intangibles and services, increasingly, BI is being triggered by non-traditional risk exposures which don’t cause physical damage but result in lost income – so-called nondamage business interruption (NDBI).”

Fire, explosion, which is a major source of BI, is a serious concern for Nigerian businesses, especially considering the many incidents that occurred in 2017. As one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, the country is highly susceptible to accidental fires that may interrupt power supplies. It is a known fact that power blackouts are prominent in the region. In fact, in a recent outage across the country, the ministry of power blamed it on a fire at a gas pipeline system that interrupted gas supply and affected the national transmission grid. Local businesses should ensure they have a sufficient backup or risk management plan for the production halt.

Cyber incidents through events such as WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks brought significant financial losses to a large number of businesses. Cyber threats also vary according to company size or industry. “Small companies are likely to be crippled if hit with a ransomware attack, while larger firms are targets of a greater range of threats, such as the DDoS attacks which can overwhelm systems,” says AGCS Cyber Insurance Expert Nobuhle Nkosi.

New technologies rank as the second top risk for the long-term future after cyber incidents globally, with which it is closely interlinked. Vulnerability of automated or even autonomous or self-learning machines to failure or malicious cyber acts, such as extortion or espionage, will increase in future and could have a significant impact if critical infrastructure, such as IT networks or power supply, are involved.

“Although there may be fewer smaller losses due to automation and monitoring minimizing the human error factor, this may be replaced by the potential for large-scale losses, once an incident happens,” explains Michael Bruch, Head of Emerging Trends, AGCS. “Businesses also have to prepare for new risks and liabilities as responsibilities shift from human to machine, and therefore to the manufacturer or software supplier. Assignment and coverage of liability will become much more challenging in future.”

 

 

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Group Tackles Mobil over $600m Oil Bloc

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A non-governmental organisation, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), has requested for clarification on the renewal of some oil mining leases in possession of Mobil Producing Nigeria.

 

In a Freedom of Information (FOI) request issued to the Managing Director, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, dated. 2nd January, 2018 and signed by HEDA’s chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the organisation said it is seeking inquiry for the Forensic Audit report regarding the renewal of three Oil Mining Leases (OMLs 67, 68 and 70) for Mobil Producing Nigeria for $600 million.

 

According to HEDA, the renewal of three Oil Mining Leases (OMLs 67, 68 & 70) for Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) by the Federal Government was widely reported in the newspapers in Nigeria and abroad. The organisation, however, said the details of the terms of the renewed leases were not disclosed to the press, thereby causing so much controversies as to the circumstances surrounding the payment and the amount paid.

 

It would be recalled that based on the valuation conducted by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, MPN and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as equity holders, were required to pay $6.375 billion as 100% of the reserve fee. Mobil’s 40% share in the lease was fixed at $2.55 billion, of which there would be a commitment to invest the sum of $1.2 billion in a refinery and gas infrastructure for the domestic market.

 

According to HEDA, “Reports in the public domain and some documents sighted by this organisation, Mobil rejected the said terms and allegedly paid $600 million for the renewal of the three oil blocks which have a combined output of 580,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Curiously, the payment was accepted by the then Minister of State in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, who purportedly signed the deal.

 

“However, the predecessor of the erstwhile Minister of Petroleum Resources had refused to endorse this transaction, accusing MPN of undervaluing the oil block. The said leases were however, renewed for 20 years by the erstwhile Minister of Petroleum Resources on behalf of the Government of the Federation.

 

“You will recall the successor of Mr. Ajumogobia in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, rejected the terms for the renewal of this licenses, resulting in a fresh negotiation leading to additional payment by your company for the block.”

 

HEDA said in the light of the foregoing, and in view of the demand of the Nigerian people for the transparent management of the oil and gas industry, “We would appreciate your company furnishing us with details of the renewal and the total amount paid by Exxon Mobil for these licenses. More so, when a Chinese company had offered to pay the difference of $3.75 billion for 40% equity interest in the NNPC-Mobil Joint Venture or $18.75 billion for 100% equity interest in oil and gas reserves at the time of this renewal.

 

“HEDA Resource Centre is hereby requesting, in accordance with Section 1(1) of the FoI Act 2011, for information on the payments and conditions attached to the renewal.

 

“Section 1(1) ‘Notwithstanding anything contained in any other Act, law or regulation, the right of any person to access or request information, whether or not contained in any written form, which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution however described, is established’.

 

“Section 2(7) ‘Public institutions are all authorities whether executive, legislative or judicial agencies, ministries, and extra-ministerial departments of the government, together with all corporations established by law and ALL COMPANIES IN WHICH GOVERNMENT HAS A CONTROLLING INTEREST and PRIVATE COMPANIES UTILIZING PUBLIC FUNDS, PROVIDING PUBLIC SERVICES OR PERFORMING PUBLIC FUNCTIONS’.

 

“Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited operates a Joint Venture with the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The Federal Government has controlling 60 percent share, with the remaining 40 percent being MPN.

 

“As an internationally reputed firm with integrity in standard and discipline, we shall look forward to receiving this report promptly, and in any event, within 7(seven) days after this application is received, as provided for in Section 4 and 4a of the FoI Act 2011,” HEDA said.

 

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