MORE than 75 percent of the population and households in Nigeria will be connected to the national grid for regular electricity supply by 2020. Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, expressed the optimism at the opening ceremony of the 7th annual conference of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics with the theme: ‘Energy Access for Economic Development: The Policy, Institutional Framework and Strategic Option.’
He said the federal government was getting ready to connect the populace to the national grid. According to him, “Government is investing a huge amount of resources to make sure that most communities in Nigeria that are not connected to the national grid eventually get connected. That is going to happen. By the grace of God, it will not be long. By 2020, more than 75 per cent of Nigeria’s population and households will be connected to the national grid. What the government of President Goodluck Jonathan has already put in place is dynamic with infrastructural development that is not only conceived, but also being implemented in extensive grid transmission, and will soon make a national grid that will make it possible. By the grace of God, we will be able to achieve that, and for those that are not connected to the national grid, we are making efforts to make sure that they have power upgrade that is sufficient for them to regard themselves also as first class Nigerians,” he said.
Nebo explained that the federal government was developing a robust renewable energy policy and also integrating energy efficiency and conservation in the policy. “We are going to segregate between pure renewable energy policy, energy efficiency and conservation policy. So, we are working now to make sure that very soon, that will be made something for all Nigerians, and that is why we are trying to make sure that we get all the stakeholders involved in the realisation of this policy so that nobody will say he is not consulted.”
The minister also stated that from the recent vandalism of the nation’s gas pipelines, the federal government had learnt not to depend on only one source of energy. According to him, the federal government has, in its energy policy, decided to go beyond a monolithic energy source to the development of an energy mix to complement gas. He said the federal government had already started a 700-megawatt hydroelectric project in Zungeru, Niger State.
NUPENG Warns Multinationals on Anti-Labour Policies
THE Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has urged the federal government to compel multi-national oil companies to respect Nigeria’s labour laws. Igwe Achese, NUPENG president, said the union had watched with great concern the activities of the multi-nationals and warned that NUPENG would embark on strike if their nefarious activities were not checked.
According to Achese, the new drive of the oil majors and multi-nationals amounts to sabotage and if not controlled, wouldl lead to an unhealthy atmosphere in the oil sector. The union, therefore, called on President Goodluck Jonathan, the minister of labour and the National Assembly to quickly intervene before the bubble bursts. The union noted the degree of impunity and non-conformity with best practices by the multi-nationals in their dealings with contract workers in the system. “These current actions are all efforts geared towards sabotaging the economy of the country and to impoverish its citizenry, particularly the contract workers in their system,” he said.
Achese said that anti-union policies and decisions still remained unresolved, despite the mediatory role played by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the federal ministry of labour and productivity and the federal ministry of petroleum resources. “It is sad to note that, 14 months after discussions, the issue of Chevron contract workers who transited into new contracting companies is yet to be resolved. We made several attempts at re-opening discussions on the outstanding transition issues but all to no avail. The union also has a running battle with Shell Petroleum Development Company and its contractors over unionisation of contract workers as well as putting in place a collective bargaining agreement.” Achese said that the union had placed its members nationwide on notice, to mobilise for a total shut-down of activities in the oil and gas industry.
Why Kerosene Price Is High
THE Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Oyo State chapter, has called on the federal government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to commence the pumping of kerosene to the Ibadan Depot to ensure availability and sale of the product at the regulated pump price of N50 per litre.
Joseph Oyewole, chairman of the chapter, said during an inspection of filling stations in Ibadan and other major cities in the state on Monday, February 17, that the call became necessary to ensure that the product was sold at N50 per litre and not hoarded by owners of filling stations. He said if the Ibadan depot in Apata could receive the product regularly, the people’s suffering in the city and its environs would be reduced.
“It will be easy for the marketers to sell at the NNPC/PPMC stipulated price if the NNPC can pump kerosene to Ibadan through Mosimi. Most of the marketers do purchase the product from independent depots in Lagos and Port Harcourt at about N100 per litre, and they will have to transport it and add other expenses to the cost. That is why they sell the product for between N120 and N130 per litre to the consumers. But if the marketers can be loading kerosene in Ibadan depot like they are loading PMS at the NNPC price of N40.90, it will be easy for them to sell at N50 per litre,” he said, adding that the size and population of the state deserved more of the product.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Mar. 3, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT