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CNN International learns about the energy sector in Nigeria

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On Marketplace Africa, CNN International travels to the largest power plant in Nigeria to see how the energy sector is adapting to meet the demands on the country. Presenter Eleni Giokos speaks to the co-founder and Executive Director of the Sahara Group, Temitope Shonubi, to learn more about the energy company’s plan for the future and Babatunde Fahola, Nigeria’s Minister for power, works and housing.

In Nigeria not enough energy is produced to meet demand which prevents the economy and jobs from growing which in turn limits the quality of life as explained by Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria’s Minister of power, works and housing: “Available capacity is 7000 megawatts but the actual distributed capacity that reaches the end user is hovering between 4000 – 5000 because of distribution inefficiency.”

Nigeria is moving towards privatisation which will double energy capacity in five years. Fifteen generation and distribution firms were sold to private investors but transmission remains in the Government’s hands. Fashola says to CNN: “When this administration took over we had all sorts of issues to deal with from regulatory to financial to infrastructure to governors to energy theft – the entire value chain just needed to be reformed… The generation side is doing well, the transmission side is doing well… we need the uptake on distribution as well.”

Electricity theft in Nigeria is a widespread problem due to poor infrastructure and illegal connections aren’t always easy to identify as explained by Kola Adesina, Chairman of the Sahara Group. Adesina believes his expansion plans can help solve the problem by providing sufficient energy for the country, he explains: “Well the vision we have from the outset when we made the investment was not only to double the capacity but equally to go beyond Nigeria and establish footprint across Africa — we still believe it can be done if the model behind electricity is made right.”

During the programme, Eleni Giokos also speaks to the co-founder and Executive Director of Sahara Group, Temitope Shonubi, about how the company has grown and its aims for the future. Shonubi tells Marketplace Africa: “In the past, it was about size. It was about finance. But today’s changed, it’s now more about your corporate social responsibility. It’s now about corporate governance. In Sahara, what we’re looking at is adding more volume. Putting more on the table being aware of the environment.”

Shonubi describes where the company saw success:  “The big turning point was when we realized that what we were selling actually had value, integrity, service, sustainability, and once we saw that it was a niche market. A lot of companies have come in and not delivered what they promised to deliver and for us once we could achieve this we realize, hang on.”

Technology has also helped Sahara Group grow as Shonubi says: “It has reduced costs. It has brought in efficiency, transparency, and it’s also ensured sustainability of a lot of things we do. We see technology mostly as that system that makes things better. Makes it easier, more customer focused, customer delivery efficiency, and obviously effectively.”

On the future goals of Sahara Group, Shonubi explains: “We’re working on refining, revamping certain refineries… We started to expand in terms of storage. We’re working on power. Alternative energy, clean energy. We’re working on environmental transactions, in terms of saving the environment. And what we see is where we can be a technology based company delivering energy efficiently.

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Election shift: I’m deeply disappointed with INEC —Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep disappointment over the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The President lamented that, despite giving all the necessary support to the electoral umpire, the exercise was postponed just hours to voting and after Nigerians had taken the pains to travel to vote.

“I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, the Independent National Electoral Commission postponed the presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement,” Buhari said in a statement he signed on Saturday morning in Daura, Katsina State.

However, he asked INEC to ensure the safety of election materials already distributed and appealed to Nigerians to remain law abiding.

Buhari also stated that he had decided to relocate to Abuja from Daura to ensure that the meeting INEC called to hold with stakeholders was successfully.

His statement reads further, “We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates.

“While I reaffirm my strong commitment to the independence, neutrality of the electoral umpire and the sanctity of the electoral process and ballot, I urge all political stakeholders and Nigerians to continue to rally round INEC at this trying national moment in our democratic journey.

“I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from all civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development.”

Source: Punch Newspaper

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President Buhari’s statement on postponement of elections by INEC

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STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT BUHARI ON THE POSTPONEMENT OF GENERAL ELECTIONS BY INEC

I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement.

Many Nigerians have traveled to various locations to exercise their right to vote, and international observers are gathered.

INEC themselves have given assurances, day after day and almost hour after hour that they are in complete readiness for the elections. We and all our citizens believed them.

This administration has ensured that we do not interfere in any way with the work of INEC except to ensure that all funds were released to the commission.

We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates.

While I reaffirm my strong commitment to the independence, neutrality of the electoral umpire and the sanctity of the electoral process and ballot, I urge all political stakeholders and Nigerians to continue to rally round INEC at this trying national moment in our democratic journey.

I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from all civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development.

I have decided to move back to Abuja to ensure that the 14.00 hrs meeting called by INEC with all stakeholders is successful.

Muhammadu Buhari

Daura, February 16, 2019

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Election postponement: I’m disappointed….Balarabe Musa

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Former Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa, on Saturday expressed disappointment over the postponement of the general elections, but declared that INEC was never prepared for the exercise in the first place.

INEC had announced the postponement a few hours to the kickoff of the February 16 presidential and National Assembly polls.

Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while announcing the postponement in Abuja, attributed the step to “overwhelming logistics and operational challenges.”

The Commission fixed February 23 and March 9 as new dates for the presidential and National Assembly elections; and the governorship and state Assembly polls respectively.

But Musa, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Saturday, said he was disappointed, but not surprised, at the development.

“I am not surprised because INEC was never ready for the exercise, given the level of its preparations.

“INEC had serious funding challenges; what was appropriated to the Commission by the National Assembly was not adequate and everyone knew it.

“We are not even sure if the approved amount was released to the electoral body by the Federal Government.

“The logistics and operational challenges are glaring. There are also serious security challenges that may affect the agency in the course of the elections.

“The security services are facing the same funding crises and most of them are living in fear.

“You can also see the serious challenges being faced by the Judiciary, who are supposed to play a major role in the election process,” Musa said.

“So, I must say that I am disappointed; but, again, as I said, I am not surprised. I hope that all the stakeholders will take the necessary measures to help INEC address the issues before February 23, the new date for the presidential polls, because the President can only hand over power to an elected person.”

Musa called on Nigerians to remain calm as they prepare towards the new dates for the polls.

(NAN)

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