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NSIA, IFC To Stake $500m Into Renewable Energy Development In Nigeria

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Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in partnership with the International Finance Corporation ( IFC) World Bank’s investment outlet is committing $500 million to renewable energy projects in Nigeria.

NSIA’s intervention in renewable energy is being carried out via its latest outlet – Renewables Investment Platform for Limitless Energy (RIPLE). Under RIPLE, the Authority in conjunction with IFC would be undertaking a pilot initiative located within the Tokarawa Industrial Hub in Kano State

It involves setting up a generation and distribution system to meet 70MW of unsuppressed energy demands of industrial activities, commercial enterprises, and residential customers in an area covering about 9,000 connections.

The project will be extended to other parts of the country in the course of time.

NSIA and IFC signed a formal agreement on renewable energy over the weekend in Abuja. The agreement entails NSIA committing $25 million as a seed investment to the project.

Speaking to reporters at the event sidelines, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of NSIA, Mr Aminu Umar – Sadiq described the moment watershed.

“I think this is a watershed moment for the renewable energy space in Nigeria. We are hoping that this fund we are targeting, about $500 million will focus on renewable energy space in general. The strategy is in three folds.

“The first is around diesel displacement, the second is around franchising in general, and then the third is around the backward integration towards PV manufacturing in Nigeria ”

“Naturally, we start with a proof of consent project with baby steps. However, as always the ambition of the NSIA and the IFC as it relates to this fund, is to scale up; to be able to go large.

“We are hopeful that in the course of time, we’ll begin to feel the impact of projects that we are co-developing as well as co-executing for the benefits of Nigeria and Nigerians”, explained NSIA MD.

Speaking about funds commitment, he said $25 million was pledged by the NSIA as committed capital. The IFC, he added was also co-developing transactions up north by a franchise project of 70 megawatts in Kano state. He estimated the project should be delivered within a space of three to four years.

” There are a number of important considerations within your control and there are also a number out of your control. Typically in executing a large-scale infrastructure project, you are talking about three to four years. We are hopeful we should be able to implement a couple of our initial projects within that time.

“Upon the conclusion, by the time we’ve basically gone very far in implementing our first couple of projects, and we have a proof of consent in terms of the portfolio of projects that we can show external investors, then we’ll embark upon that we looking at about two to two and a half years”, he said.

Sadiq was confident Nigeria will overcome her power challenge.

” We are investors but by the grace of God that is the ambition- to be able to meet our power deficit through the generation of sustainable, renewable energy in Nigeria”.

Speaking in an interview, Mr Dan Craft, IFC Regional Manager ( Africa)  underscored IFC’s interest on the renewable energy project in Nigeria.

“We are pretty much interested in everything you heard in that speech- access, efficiency, security, all on a climate-friendly basis. Our interest in the project is, working with credible partners who are committed to the long term to develop a project on a fully sustainable basis, delivering the most cost-effective power, as clean as possible. It’s all good. This is our interest in the project. We would love to find more partners like NSIA, but they don’t grow on trees”.

” At this early stage, what we’re working on is, development capital to seed the platform. But whenever we do this, it’s with a longer-term investment horizon. We’re not interested in just the upfront seed.

“In fact, if there is no long-term horizon, then we don’t do the first bit either. So what we’re looking at, is enough on a percentage share basis to get the thing moving. And then as more projects enter, the funding will follow.

Essentially, we don’t really have an upper limit for what we would like to finance in this space. Our problem is finding the opportunities to do so, which is why we’re so excited about this”, said IFC Regional Manager.

He said investment in renewable energy isn’t a new terrain as according to him, “We have done a number of renewable energy investments in solar and wind and hydro and transmission and distribution”.

“Like I said when I was speaking, it’s about finding the right way into the market. Bringing any of those solutions off the shelf doesn’t tend to work. This is the first step.

And as far as I know, certainly on the African continent, this is the first one of these we’ve done in terms of a platform”, he said.

 


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FIRS Rakes in N12.3 Trillion in 2023 – Adedeji

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Mr Zach Adedeji, chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has said  that the Service generated a total of N12.3 trillion in 2023.

FIRS Rakes in N12.3 Trillion in 2023 – Adedeji

Adedeji disclosed this while noting that FIRS recorded unprecedented progress in revenue collection in 2023.

He spoke on Friday at the FIRS special day at the ongoing 35th Enugu International Trade Fair where he was represented by Mrs Aisha Ribadu, a staff of the organisation.

According to him, the success was a testament to the dedication of FIRS to nurturing and empowering its workforce, and to ensuring they possessed the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to excel.

He expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Enugu State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) for its discerning choice of theme, “Promoting Made-in-Nigeria Products for Global Competitiveness”.

The FIRS boss added that the choice of theme reflected the collective aspiration to not only dominate the African market but to assert relevance on the global stage.

“Investing in human capital is the cornerstone of sustainable development, and nations that prioritise human development inevitably experience enduring growth and prosperity.

“The FIRS has spearheaded transformative reforms aimed at diversifying revenue sources and enhancing the overall taxpayer experience.

“One of such initiatives is the introduction of the Taxpromax Solutions, an innovative e-service platform designed to empower taxpayers to fulfill their obligations seamlessly from anywhere at any time,” Adedeji said.

He expressed gratitude to ECCIMA for affording the FIRS the invaluable opportunity to showcase its commitment to national development.

In a welcome address, Mr Odeiga Jideonwo, ECCIMA president, said that the essence of the special day was to bring the business community and the general public closer to the activities and operations of the FIRS.

Jideonwo, said that the FIRS should work in tandem with other agencies of government and stakeholders in the organised private sector.

He said that it would enable the FIRS to redefine and streamline tax administration and regime in the country.

” It will also bring about a society wherein the rich and poor will leverage each other in contributing to the development of the society in a fair and just manner, as it affects company tax by various businesses,” he said.

He commended the chief executive for its various innovations aimed at voluntary bringing into the FIRS database, companies in order to boost the tax base.

Jideonwo added that it would also boost revenue with the attendant grace offered in the process to those who had been evading tax payment.

 


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EU, Nigeria Ink €18m Agreement on Local Vaccine Production, Medical Technologies

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The European Union (EU) and Nigeria have signed a cooperation agreement on an €18 million EU support to enhance research and development capacities for implementing Nigeria’s national plan for the pharmaceutical industry and local production of vaccines and medical technologies.

EU, Nigeria Ink €18m Agreement on Local Vaccine Production, Medical Technologies

Ms Jutta Urpilainen, European commissioner for International Partnerships, and Ms Didi Esther Walson-Jack, permanent secretary of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education, jointly signed the agreement at the EU Global Gateway High-Level Event on Education held in Brussels on Thursday.

The new collaboration underlines the EU’s strong commitment to education and health equity.

Urpilainen said: “Economic growth is dependent on an educated, skilled workforce and healthy societies, and investing in strengthening education and health systems worldwide is an integral part of the European Union’s Global Gateway strategy. Our investments in quality education, research and training seek to empower future generations by equipping them with the knowledge, skills and competencies they need in a changing world to tackle global challenges and build prosperity.”

The European funding signed under the Team Europe Initiative on Manufacturing and Access to Vaccines, Medicines and Health Technologies in Africa (MAV+) will support the wider enabling environment around Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector, notably by promoting: skills development through education and training; research and development (e.g. research in artificial intelligence and nanotechnology); the digitalisation of essential dimensions of the ecosystem; a centralised system for forecasting, procurement and distribution of quality medical products; trade, investment and customs facilitation, intellectual property rights frameworks and conditions, and an enabling environment for preferential trade and investment.

Urpilainen also signed 15 Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme projects funded by the EU with €27 million under the flagship Youth Mobility for Africa.

The projects will provide learning mobility opportunities for students, trainees and staff across the continent to boost high-level green and digital skills.

Nigeria will benefit from six projects: CB4EE – Capacity Building for Engineering Education Practice and Research (€1.8 million of EU funding in total, with the participation of the University of Lagos-Unilag); CREATE-Green Africa – Climate Research and Education to Advancing Green Development in Africa (€1.8 million of EU funding in total, with the participation of the University of Port Harcourt); GENES II – Mobility for Plant Genomics Scholars to Accelerate Climate-Smart Adaptation Options and Food Security in Africa II (€1.8 million of EU funding in total, coordinated by the Ebonyi State University); GREEN STEM – Green, Resilient and Entrepreneurial Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Africa (€1.8 million of EU funding in total, with the participation of the University of Lagos-Unilag); HCE Solutions – Promoting Inclusive Homegrown Clean Energy Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Africa (€1.8 million of EU funding in total, coordinated by the Federal University of Technology and with the participation of the University of Nigeria); ORPHAN – Mobility for High Skilled Scientists and Entrepreneurs on Orphan Crops in Higher Education for Accelerated Climate Change Solutions in Africa (€1.8 million of EU funding in total, with the participation of the Ebonyi State University).

Urpilainen also launched a key initiative of the Youth Action Plan in EU external relations, the Africa-Europe Youth Academy, which will provide opportunities for formal and informal learning and exchanges to young people looking to improve their leadership skills and create networks between Africa and Europe.

According to a statement, Nigeria can also benefit from the regional Team Europe Initiative on Opportunity-driven Skills and Vocational Education and Training in Africa, launched, which will orient country-level vocational training initiatives towards concrete employment opportunities created by Global Gateway investments.

The Team Europe Initiative on Manufacturing and Access to Vaccines, Medicines and Health Technologies in Africa (MAV+) works with African partners to strengthen their pharmaceutical systems and manufacturing capacity to improve access to quality, safe, effective and affordable health products.

It offers a 360-degree approach through the supply side, the demand side, and the enabling environment, and six work streams: industrial development, supply chains and private sector; market shaping, demand and trade facilitation; regulatory strengthening; technology transfer and intellectual property management; access to finance; R&D, higher education and skills.

The statement emphasized that education is a powerful mechanism to address inequality and poverty, boosting human potential, opening doors for girls, youth and marginalised groups, and providing a springboard for human connections, debate and democratic values.

It also creates an enabling environment for investments in digital and green transformations to succeed, and forms an integral part of the EU’s Global Gateway offer to partner countries.

The EU remains the leading investor in education worldwide. The EU institutions and member states provide more than 50% of all official development aid to education worldwide.

The EU is committed to dedicating at least 10% of its international partnerships budget for the period 2021–2027 to education, and in the period 2021–2023, its commitments have amounted to around €3 billion, approximately 13% of the budget.


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Court Grants Emefiele, Ex CBN Governor N50m Bail

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court presided over by Justice Rahman Oshodi  has granted  Godwin Emefiele, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor N50m bail.

Court Grants Emefiele, Ex CBN Governor N50m Bail

Godwin Emefiele, Ex. Gov,, CBN

This is in the suit where he is slammed with a  26-count charge having to do with  alleged abuse of office and fraud worth $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion.

Justice Oshodi granted Emefiele to N50 million bail with two sureties in like sum.

The judge held that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must have  paid tax for at least three years to the Lagos State Government.

Justice Oshodi maintained that the sureties must have proper identification and be registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.

The judge ruled that Henry Isioma-Omoil, Emefiele’s co-defendant, should be released under the bail sum of N1 million already granted him in the case he had  Justice Olufunke Sule-Hamzat   of the Lagos High Court, Yaba.

He however, ruled that the bail documents must be transferred to special offences court and registered in the Lagos State Bail Management


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