Power Sector And Other Related News Stories For Friday 14th October 2022
LCCI Calls for Privatisation of Power Transmission
Barely 24 hours after the federal government denied speculation that it was ready to privatise the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the government to commence the privatisation of the transmission component of country’s electricity supply chain.
The Minister of Power, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, had on Wednesday in Abuja, through his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Isa Sanusi said, “the federal government has no intention to sell or privatise TCN and no one in the federal government has made a statement of intent on selling TCN.”
Aliyu had clarified that, “currently, the federal government is investing and supporting efforts to make TCN a world-class transmission service provider.”
But the LCCI argued yesterday, during its quarterly press conference on the state of the economy, that there was no justification for the government to keep on holding unto the transmission segment of the power sector except to allow vested interests to keep feeding fat at the expense of the country’s development.
Labour Shuts Egbin Power Plant Over Precarious Working Condition
Organised Labour under the international workers organisation, IndustriAll in Nigeria, yesterday shut down operations of the Egbin power plant in Lagos alleging precarious working conditions of workers at the plant.
Nigeria unions, that are affiliates of IndustriAll include, the National Union of Textile , Garment and Tailoring Workers (NUTGTW), National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).
Speaking at the picketing exercise, the Vice President, IndustriALL Global Union representing the Sub-saharan Africa, Rose Omamo, said the global union has resolved to eradicate all forms of precarious work under any guise as well as intimidation of workers to belong to a trade union. The Vice President who was represented by the Regional President, John Adaji, who also is the President of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers in Nigeria, said, Egbin Power Plant which was unionized by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has become notorious for anti-union activities and promoting precarious work all in an attempt to intimidate the workers against belonging to the union.
The Proposed Sale of Power Plants
Controversy surrounding the proposed sale by the Federal Government of the five National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) assets should not be surprising, considering the obvious failure of the privatisation exercise of power distribution aspects of the sector, for which Nigerians are still suffering. The question that readily comes to mind is whether or not the latest proposal will not go the way of its predecessor. Will government observe due diligence? Will the exercise not succumb to corrupt influence? Are the intending buyers really qualified or are they digging for treasure? Will there be adequate protection of the public interest? While many more of these questions beg for answers, government will still need to assure the citizens that the proposed sale will not be tantamount to stripping of public assets.
Until these posers are resolved satisfactorily, the controversy will linger, and the proposal itself will appear to be wrongheaded; like a step in the wrong direction. It is indeed possible that those angling to sell or buy Nigeria’s cherished national assets don’t believe that there is a future for the country. The power plants are cherished national possessions, which should not be hurriedly handed to private concerns unless adequate precaution is taken to preserve the interest of the ordinary Nigerians, else the sale will be tantamount to selling Nigeria, which is unacceptable. The vehement opposition of consumer rights groups to the idea is to be understood from this perspective. There is need, therefore, for caution in going forward.
Geregu Power Becomes First Energy Company to List on NGX
Nigeria currently generates roughly 4,500MW peak despite having an installed power generation capacity of over 12,000MW.
Part of the challenge has been attributed to the state of the national grid which experiences periodic grid collapses, affecting the ability of power plants to generate more power.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has also sunk in over N300 billion to aid working capital and capital expenditure spending in the sector. However, a successful listing of a power company on the Exchange could pave the way for more companies in the sector to source additional capital to fund their balance sheets.
One of Nigeria’s leading Electricity Power Plant, Geregu Power Plc was admitted into the Main Board of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) by way of introduction. This is also the second listing on the Nigerian Exchange this year and is seen as a major achievement for the Exchange.
Geregu Power is also the first electricity company- generation, transmission, or distribution -that will be listed on the Exchange in Nigeria’s history. It is also the first successor company from Electricity companies privatized in late 2013 to be listed on the Exchange.
Agency Donates Relief Items, Provides Electricity to Idps
The Rural Electrification Fund says it has donated food and other relief items to victims in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Kogi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the relief items were distributed directly to victims in the IDP camps at Lokoja, Koton-Karfe, Ajaokuta and Ibaji local government areas of the state.
The agency also said that it provided electricity to the IDP camps and distributed life-saving kits to boat riders for the safety of their passengers in the affected local government areas.
Addressing newsmen at Adankolo camp in Lokoja on Thursday, Dr Sanusi Ohiare, Executive Director Rural Electrification Fund, said that the gesture was in response to the flood disaster that had claimed many lives and property in the state.
Ohiare, represented by Malam Kashim Maahi, the project coordinator of the organisation, said that the organisation was committed to providing relief items and other basic amenities to IDPs.
“Our mission is not only to provide food for the displaced persons but to also ensure their safety by providing electricity to light up their camps.
Mozambique Hopes to Become Southern African Energy Hub -by Kestér Kenn Klomegâh
Southern African countries individually hope they could make excess power from nuclear plants available for export to neighbouring countries under the Southern African Development Community Power Pool framework arrangement. The key hindrance is the cost of producing nuclear energy and how best to deal with nuclear waste so as to maintain safe environment, the risk that it poses from poor handling and management.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries have working together on strategies to find the best sustainable solution for their collective energy shortages and deficit in the region. What is currently available simply not enough for both domestic and industrial use. At least, the 16-member SADC group underscores the fact that the region lags behind in the industrialization process primarily due to lack of energy.
SADC members face one significant challenge, that is to ensure cooperation on regional energy schemes. While most of them are still scrambling to secure alternative funds for building nuclear plants proposed by Russia that might take several years to complete, Mozambique seeks to exploit its available resources to ultimately provide basic energy, improve the competitiveness of its economy and achieve universal access to electricity within the next few years.
Romania to Sell Moldova Cut-Price Electricity Amid War in Ukraine
Romania will start selling electricity to neighboring Moldova at a reduced price because of the difficulties created by the war in Ukraine, Bucharest announced on Thursday.
Romanian state producer Hidroelectrica has signed a contract for 100 megawatts with Moldova’s Energom and deliveries will start Thursday night, Romania’s Energy Minister Virgil Popescu wrote on Facebook.
The contract was signed after Romania changed its legislation to allow the export of power to Moldova on special terms.
The electricity will be sold at a price of 450 RON (91 euros) per megawatt hour, a fraction of what the average wholesale prices were in several European countries in August, according to data published on Statista.
Popescu added that the electricity sold to Moldova is exclusively destined for households.
Moldova, a small country of 2.6 million inhabitants nestled between Romania and Ukraine, used to import energy from Ukraine but the recent Russian attacks against Ukrainian infrastructure forced Kyiv to halt exports.