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NDPHC, Eko Disco, address electricity supply shortfall in Lekki and Agbara

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In order to improve electricity supply around Ibeju-Lekki area in Lagos and Agbara Industrial area in Ogun State, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc (Eko Disco), have signed a bilateral agreement for the sale of up to 300MW of power from NDPHC’s power plants to customers in these areas within Eko Disco’s franchise areas.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who hosted the signing of the agreement for these projects at Lagos House, Marina recently, commended the initiative by NDPHC and Eko Disco, and stated that “he will monitor the implementation of the agreement.” The Governor expressed his confidence that the collaboration between NDPHC and Eko Disco will complement the current policies of the state government in economic and infrastructure development.

NDPHC and Eko Disco have committed to work together to deliver safe, reliable and steady supply of power to customers in the areas of collaboration. The project will be structured to remove the commercial and technical inefficiencies in the Nigerian electricity market and will mobilise significant capital investment in transmission/distribution infrastructure and metering technology.

In his remarks, the NDPHC Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo stated that the challenges in the industry inspired NDPHC to “source alternative means to sell and ensure dispatch of its stranded power generation capacity and explore innovative ways to unlock investment in infrastructure for improved supply to customers.”

In turn, the MD of Eko Disco, Engr. Adeoye Fadeyibi said that the partnership aligns with the efforts of the Eko Disco to bridge the metering gap and improve the quality of electricity supply to customers. He appreciated customers for their continued support for the Company in its quest to continue to empower the quality of lives of all stakeholders.

The agreement signed between NDPHC and Eko Disco is only the latest milestone in NDPHC’s innovative and ambitious programme to tackle the industry-wide challenges in the Nigerian power sector. These challenges have resulted in the inability of the operators in the industry to fulfil their investment and industry payment obligations, and a continuing low access to reliable power for industry, businesses and homes.

Despite a significant installed generation capacity – estimated to be more than 13,000 MW – access to electricity remains acutely low because much of this installed capacity is stranded and cannot be conveyed to customers because of inadequate transmission and distribution capacity. Operators insist that tariffs remain at a level that cannot guarantee returns for investors in the sector and as a result, an estimated $20 billion capital investment required to upgrade the transmission and generation infrastructure is not available. Insufficient investment in metering, collection and surveillance, among other factors, has also made collections by the distribution companies inefficient, thereby causing revenue loss across the value chain. A combination of these factors has led to severe liquidity shortfalls and a ballooning deficit in the market, and there simply is not enough collections from customers to cover the cost of power generation and delivery. The Federal Government has on several occasions intervened with financial bailouts to the sector, but this solution is only short term and is becoming an increasingly heavy burden on a cash-strapped government struggling with low oil prices and a struggling national economy.

The operators in the industry have had to innovate or go out of business. It is in this regard that NDPHC is blazing a trail in structuring deals that are solving many of the industry-wide challenges affecting its business. NDPHC, holds a portfolio of 10 power plants with aggregate installed capacity of more than 4,000MW and growing. To ensure that much of its capacity does not remain idle, NDPHC, with support from Electric Utilities Nigeria Limited, is now targeting to work with discos and other project developers to, in the first phase, sell more than 1,000MW from its power plants in manner that resolves the current commercial and technical inefficiencies in the market without a need for government funding intervention.

In addition to the agreement signed with Eko Disco, NDPHC has executed similar agreements with Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company Plc and Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc. In each case, the parties will mobilise investment in the expansion of the distribution network of the discos to enable increased offtake of power and in metering technology including smart meters in order to increase the collection rate of the discos.

For NDPHC, these collaborations will lead to greater offtake of power from its under-dispatched power plants, thereby increasing the company’s revenue. For the industry generally, these collaborations will attract the requisite investment in the industry and increase liquidity that enables higher payment receipts across the value chain. Now that NDPHC has executed the agreements with 5 discos and more in the pipeline, it is projected that the impact on the Nigerian power sector will be massive in improving electricity access, market payments and attracting more investments to the industry.

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UBA Continues to Innovate as RED Radio’s Podcast Now Live 24/7

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The United bank for Africa (UBA) is leading again through innovation as it launches a podcast, RED Radio, which is available 24/7. The dynamic and creative online radio channel, RED Radio now provides round the clock informative and entertaining content, bringing out the best of Africa.

RED Radio www.itsredradio.com  was berthed as part of the communication suite of UBA to provide real time content to listeners across the African continent and globally.

UBA’s Group Head Corporate Communications, Bola Atta, explained that the platform is an affirmation of the leading role that UBA is playing in the innovative space on the African continent as the bank keeps seeking more ways to reach out to and galvanise people.

She said, “RED Radio can be described as a meeting place. It is an avenue to discuss all kinds of issues that affect the youths on the continent, whether it be business related, health, relationships, sports, lifestyles.. anything. As we bring people together, we also entertain them with music from across the continent.’ ‘it’s such a cool and diverse platform with shows in different languages to appeal to a wide section of listeners.  I leave it on quietly on my ipad constantly, catching up with anything I have missed’ she added.

Some of the flagship shows on RED Radio include the Barbershop Chronicles – a talk show featuring Shody, Sess, Alhaji Popping and Femisoro who discuss life matters from the perspective of men; Diary of an Africana follows the journey of a young African woman as she manoeuvres through various obstacles whilst she explores her true self; The Red Pill which brings you exciting news and music from the Congo and so much more.

The shows are recorded in video format and are also available on REDTV.

You can access the podcasts via www.itsredradio.com

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WE’LL DELIVER SIX-LANE IBEJU-LEKKI-EPE HIGHWAY PROJECT FIRST QUARTER 2022 – SANWO-OLU

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Barring unanticipated event, the construction of 18.7-kilometre six-lane rigid pavement carriageway from Eleko Junction in Ibeju Lekki to Epe T-Junction in Lagos State will be completed and commissioned. This was the assurance from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu when he and members of the State Executive Council went on an on-the-spot assessment of the project, on Monday.

Sanwo-Olu was excited by the pace of work on the road, persuading the contractor handling the project to increase its momentum in order to push the progress to an encouraging level before the end of the year.

The Governor flagged off the first phase of the expansion on the Lekki-Epe Expressway last November, kick-starting the rehabilitation of the 40-year-old infrastructure. The second phase of the project, which will start later this year, stretches 26.7Km from Eleko Junction to Abraham Adesanya Junction in Eti-Osa axis.

At the time of the Governor’s inspection, the contractor had completed a stretch of 3km on the lane from Eleko Junction inward Epe, while the right-of-way for the entire project has been fully cleared.

After communicating the work progress to the Governor, representatives of the contractor led Sanwo-Olu and cabinet members on legwork for assessment of features on the completed stretch, including drainage channels, kerb and segregated lane for heavy-duty vehicles.

The Governor was optimistic the project would be delivered on record time, charging the contractor to scale up the pace of work.

He said: “This exercise is an on-the-spot assessment to view the status of the 18.7Km six-lane rigid pavement road construction we are doing from Eleko Junction to Epe. The contractor has been active on site in the last six months, and they have touched every part of the entire stretch. We are currently assessing the project from the 3km lane already completed. On either side are three lanes. Two lanes are for cars, while the last lane is for heavy-duty vehicles. There will be 1.5km pedestrian walkway on both sides.

“We are happy with the progress of the project, because the contractor works day and night. I believe the work is on track. Residents on this corridor are also happy with the level of work done. They are waiting on us to hand over this important infrastructure to them in earnest.

“The beauty of the work is that it has reduced the journey time, even as the road is still being constructed. There is no hindrance on the road; motorists have the right-of-way for free movement. Not until when we finish the entire construction, we would have the full benefit of this investment. We are happy with what we have seen and we believe that the contractor should be rounding off the work by end this year or first quarter next year.”

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Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line: Amaechi, a Personification of Service – Eze

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Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) and Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has joined the lengthy roll of Nigerians and Nigerians in the diaspora, aliens and diplomats alike, who have felicitated with the President Mohammadu Buhari/APC-led Federal Government for the giant strides it has continued to record in critical areas of governance especially, the revival of the nation’s moribund rail infrastructure, covering a country mile and traversing the nook and cranny of the Nigerian territory and choreography.

Recall that President Buhari, Thursday, June 10, 2021, inaugurated the commercial operations of Lagos-Ibadan railway project at the Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, Eze said the efforts of the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, in driving the Buhari administration’s policy on infrastructural development is selfless, worth commending and cannot be overemphasized.

He said Amaechi’s display of rare dexterity in public administration has continued to break new grounds and discover and open up opportunities for Nigerians to sustain their livelihoods in the face of the harsh economic realities of the times, and called on those on whom the responsibility of leadership is saddled especially, in the public sector, to brace up and take a clue from the Minister.

The party Chief said aside priding itself as the first double-track standard gauge rail in West Africa, the 156km Lagos-Ibadan rail project is renowned for its peculiar status as the first Nigerian railway line to be started and completed by the same administration, since 1960.

With a holding capacity of over 6,000 passengers, Eze said the Ebute Metta Station, known as the Mobolaji Johnson railway Station, is the largest in the West African region.

Describing the feat as another milestone in the drive of his administration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight, Buhari pledged his administration’s commitment in ensuring that priority is given to modern railway system as a transportation backbone that can transform industrial and economic activity in the country.

Reeling out the benefits of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor as well as other on-going railway projects across the country, President Buhari said the project establishes what he described as an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country.

Lamenting the challenges posed to the nation’s economic growth by absence of strong and effective infrastructure, the President said in addition to other other ongoing railway projects, his administration has embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan – Kano.

He emphasized that the Lagos – Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano – Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in Niger Republic will be achieved.

‘‘The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic”

The project, Buhari said, would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.

Expressing delight that his directive to the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance on reaching financial agreements with appropriate co-financiers to partner with the Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan – Kano railway was yielding results, President Buhari noted that Ibadan-Kano project would have a connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West – East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.

‘‘From the beginning of this administration, railway infrastructure development has been given the priority it deserves and various milestones have been reached, right from when the Abuja – Kaduna railway was flagged-off for commercial operation in 2016 to this Lagos – Ibadan railway project being commissioned today for full commercial operation,’’ he said.

Commending the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his drive and tenacity in achieving the milestone recorded today, the President praised the ‘‘wonderful team in the Ministry’’ for a job well done.

“It is noteworthy to state that work commenced on the project in March 2017 and test-run commenced around December 2020 and today, what seemed a dream has come to full materialization under Buhari and Amaechi”, Eze said.

Similarly, Chief Eze hailed Buhari and Amaechi over the official launch of assists under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also known as Deep Blue Project in Lagos.

The project which is the first integrated maritime security strategy in West and Central Africa is aimed at tackling the incidences of piracy, sea robbery, and other crimes at sea. With three categories of platforms to tackle maritime security on land, sea, and air, the deep blue project was jointly initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Federal Ministry of Defence, and being implemented by NIMASA the to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea.

The land assets include the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection; 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and 600 specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit comprising personnel from the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, and Department of State Services. The sea assets include two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats. The air assets comprise two Special Mission Aircraft for surveillance of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue operations; and four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Eze said Amaechi has manifestly justified the confidence reposed in him by  President Mohammadu Buhari and Nigerians and called on Nigerians to continue to support the Amaechi as more dividends are set to be delivered.

Emphasizing the need for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of protecting public infrastructure, the party Chief said it is grossly subnormal for countrymen, who should be proud patriots to engage in acts of vandalism, destroying critical assets and frustrating the efforts of government in putting the country on the right track.

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