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Solving Nigeria’s Electricity Issues

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Electricity supply in Nigeria has always been on the low side ever since I became conscious as boy in my early years on earth.

The euphoric exclamation of “up NEPA” that used to rent the air, back then, any time electricity supply was restored after a long period of non-supply is what my little boy at home still shouts whenever electricity is restored, this time around, days after a long absence of electricity.

It is always of concern to me that in the over 100 years of the existence of Nigeria, 57 out of those years, as an independent state, we are still struggling to solve our electricity supply issues! The speaker of the House of Representatives recently lamented over our spending of over N2.74 trillion on electricity over the past years with no headway in solving our electricity problem. This is mind boggling , to say the least! Nigeria has been hovering between about 3,000 Megawatts and 4,600 Megawatts electricity generation for some time now and this often drops to below 2,000 Megawatts!

South Africa currently generates about 34,000 Megawatts and hopes to continue to improve on that going forward.

The long and short of this, is that Nigeria, with close to 200 million in population, has always fell far short of electricity supply to its populace and this carries a lot of negative consequences.

Some of the consequences of inadequate supply of electricity to the Nigerian population is the high cost of manufactured goods in the country due to the high volume and cost of diesel required to run the generators that power the machines in the production processes in the absence of electricity supply from the national grid.

There are even some machines that takes a whole day to heat up once power supply to them is disrupted, so, they rely solely on generators to power those machines due to the unreliable supply of electricity from the national grid.

We have heard, in some cases, of the relocation of manufacturing industries from Nigeria to neighboring countries such as Ghana where electricity seems to be more stable.

Many jobs that are electricity-related that would have been created and taken up by the teaming unemployed in the country cannot also be created because of lack of electricity.

Technology and its variants of innovations, of which electricity is a major one, has come to make our daily living much easier.

There is no doubt that the high unemployment rate we are presently facing in Nigeria can be drastically reduced with relatively stable supply of electricity.

Welding workshops, Barbing saloons, Hair dressing saloons, Internet Café, Fashion designers, Cold room operators, etc., will all thrive if they have access to stable electricity to run their businesses seamlessly. Importantly too, manufacturing will once again boom in Nigeria as factories will be able to run their machines at cheaper electricity rates compared to the exorbitant cost of running them presently on diesel generators. This means that there will be a reduction in the cost of production.

A reduction in the cost of production will also drive the prices of produced goods down, thus, making them affordable to the average Nigerian.

Further benefits of fixing the electricity issues in Nigeria is that our products will be able to compete for export, especially in our immediate African market due to low cost of production. This can, indeed, be the beginning of Nigeria earning serious foreign exchange from exports. Exports earnings can improve the strength of the Naira against stronger currencies like the Dollar and save us from the present foreign exchange imbroglio we find ourselves. Nigerians can then start to breathe a sigh of relieve.

The Disco’s increased electricity tariff sometime last year, not because there was any marked improvement in the supply of electricity to the populace, and with the support of NERC and the Ministry of Power.

About a year down the line, supply of electricity is still abysmally low, although the Minister of Power recently said we should expect a lot of improvement in power supply very soon. Interestingly, Meters have not been supplied to the majority of users, whether prepaid or otherwise, to record the actual cost of their electricity consumption, yet, estimated monthly bills, (sometimes, crazy bills), are sent to them.

The bills are sent whether the users had electricity supply during the month in question or not!

This area should be seriously looked into and checkmated for fair play, equity and justice to prevail in the sector.

One of the reasons adduced for the increase in tariff is that the Disco’s need to gather more funds to invest in new equipment so that there will be an improvement in the supply of electricity in the country.

The question is; have they bought those equipment and put thrm to use? I doubt this becsuse we are yet to see any improvement after one year of the increase in tariff. The truth is that no nation can be truly economically viable if its electricity sector is in the kind of crisis that ours is in Nigeria.

The issue of alternative sources of electricity should also be continued until everywhere is lighted up in Nigeria as I see that the government is already supplying solar electricity to some communities.

Technology has provided these other options and we should take advantage of them instead of relyi g only on hydro and thermal.

Earlier this month, the National Assembly organised a two-day stakeholders interactive dialogue on the power sector in Nigeria.

We can, therefore, expect to see positive changes very soon in the direction of improving the supply of electricity in Nigeria from the tesult of the deliberations.

Most importantly, prepaid meters should be provided to everyone connected to the Discos so that only electricity consumed will be paid for by the users. This will engender equity and fair play in the sector.

CFA is the Founder, www.CFAtech.ng & Co-producer/Presenter,Tech Trends on Channels Television

 


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FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

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Federal Government has included Emirates Airlines in the list of airlines not allowed to operate in Nigeria.

FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

This is part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Hadi Sirika, minister of Aviation, confirmed this via his Twitter handle on Friday.

According to Sirika, the decision was taken following a meeting between the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and European Unions (EU).

The ban would take effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.

“The PTF sub-committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban.

“The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed and they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st September 2020,” Sirika tweeted.


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Facebook to Open Office in Lagos

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As part of its continued commitment and on-going investment in Africa, Facebook announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.

Aimed at supporting the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region, the office is expected to become operational in H2 2021 and will be the first on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond.

Facebook’s office will be home to various teams servicing the continent from across the business, including Sales, Partnerships, Policy, Communications as well as Engineers.

Commenting, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Head of New Product Experimentation said: “The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world.

“All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.”

The investment of the new Facebook office follows the 2018 opening of NG_Hub, its first flagship community hub space in Africa in partnership with CcHub, and the 2019 opening of a Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance.

Providing outsourced support to all English-speaking advertisers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the SBG office supports Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) through its Advocacy, Community & Education (ACE) programme, as well as its Marketing Expert sales programmes – all aimed at enabling SMBs to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses.

“Our new office in Nigeria presents an important milestone which further reinforces our ongoing commitment to the region”, commented Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s Director of Public Policy, Africa. “Our mission in Africa is no different to elsewhere in the world – to build community and bring the world closer together, and I’m excited about the possibilities that this will create, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.”

Since the opening of its first office in 2015, Facebook has made a number of investments across the continent, aimed at supporting and growing the tech ecosystem, expanding and providing reliable connectivity infrastructures and helping businesses to grow locally, regionally and globally.

This includes the recent rollout of its SMB Grants programme in Nigeria and South Africa, aimed at supporting over 900 businesses by providing a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild from COVID.

The development of 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project that will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, as well as its ongoing training programmes across the continent which support various communities including students, SMBs, digital creatives, female entrepreneurs, start-up’s and developers.

Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing our new office in Nigeria. Five years on from opening our first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa, we’re continuing to invest in and support local talent, as well as the various communities that use our platforms.

“The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent.”


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Victor Osimhen Set Make His Debut For Napoli As Lampard Up Against Familiar Foes

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Football fans will enjoy another great weekend of football action as the new football season in Europe continues this weekend on DStv and GOtv.

The pick of Premier League matches this weekend is the meeting of Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 20 September, which will air live at 4:30pm on SS Premier League.

The Reds completed a league ‘double’ over the Blues last season, with the teams’ most recent meeting a 5-3 win for the Merseyside club in July.

Liverpool supporters have been concerned at their club’s relative lack of action in the transfer market (certainly compared to Chelsea, who have recruited heavily and brought in world-class talent such as Moroccan attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech, for example), but manager Jurgen Klopp insists he prefers working with a smaller group of players.

Lille’s Victor Osimhen in action during a UEFA Champions League soccer group stage match between Valencia CF and OSC Lille at Mestalla stadium on 05 November 2019. EPA/Kai Foersterling

Elsewhere, Manchester United will open their campaign with a clash at home to Crystal Palace in the early-evening kick-off on Saturday 19 September, on SS Premier League at 5:30pm.

It will be the first chance for new Red Devils signing Donny van de Beek to have a taste of competitive English football.

Also on Saturday, Everton will face West Bromwich Albion at 12:20pm while Leeds United will face Fulham at 3pm with the day closing off with Arsenal vs West Ham United at 8pm, all on SS Premier League.

The Premier League matches for the weekend will continue on Sunday 20 September with Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur at 12pm, Newcastle United vs Brighton & Hove Albion at 2pm and Leicester City vs Burnley at 7pm, all live on SS Premier League. On Monday 21 September, Aston Vila vs Sheffield United will air at 6pm and Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City at 8:15pm both live on SS Premier League.

This weekend’s La Liga sees the return to action for champions Real Madrid, who open the defence of their title with a match away to Real Sociedad at Sam Sebastian on the evening of Sunday 20 September showing live on SS La Liga, SS GOtv La Liga and SS GOtv Football at 8:00pm.

La Liga is packed this weekend with other exciting matches airing live on SS La Liga and SS GOtv La Liga. Getafe vs Osasuna will air at 8pm on Friday 18 September, while Villarreal v Eibar at 3pm and Celta Vigo vs Valencia at 8pm will both air on Saturday 19 September.

On Sunday 29 September, Huesca will clash with Cadiz at 3pm and Granada will face Deportivo Alaves at 5:30pm. GOtv will crown the weekend matches with Real Betis vs Real Valladolid at 8pm on Monday 21 September

Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma (left) and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

The headline match from Italy’s topflight this weekend sees champions Juventus open the defence of their title with a match at home to Sampdoria in the late kick-off on Sunday 20 September at 7:45pm on SS Football, SS Variety 3 and SS GOtv Select 1.

All eyes will be on new manager, Andrea Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri at the head of the Bianconeri in the off season.

Another key game this weekend will give Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen the chance to make his competitive debut for Napoli when they face Parma on Sunday afternoon, having joined the club for a huge fee from Lille a few weeks back. This will air at 11:30am live on SS Football, SS Variety 3, SS GOtv Select 1 and SS GOtv Football.

SuperSport remains the only platform to get English commentary from the legendary La Liga.

Don’t miss the 2020-21 football season on SuperSport on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstvafrica.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade and join in on the excitement. While you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.

 


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