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FG sets aside $1.61bn for 24-hour power supply

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The Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Alhaji Usman Gur, on Sunday, revealed that the Federal Government in collaboration with international donor agencies have set aside over 1.61 billion dollars to ensure constant power supply in the country.

Gur, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the TCN, revealed this on Sunday in Kano while briefing newsmen at the Kumbotso power sub-station, NAN reports.

According to him, the project will be carried out under the Transmission Rehabilitation Expansion Programme.
“We are rehabilitating and expanding to degree 20, 000 Mega Watts by 2022 across the country,” he said.

He noted that, the federal government has already earmarked about N32 billion to compensate Nigerians whose lands, houses and farms could be affected by the Right-Of-Way to create Power Lines for the execution of the project.

“The total amount that we are going to pay for compensation across the country is about N32 billion. And the total project cost is 1.61 billion dollars. The project will be supported by various international donors.

“The compensation for right-of-way from Kumbotso sub-station to Rimi Zagara will cost about N3 billion. We have not completely validated it. The total cost for compensation across the country being provided by the Federal Government, ” he said.

Gur, who is also the chairman of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) Committee Executive Board stated that he led the TCN team Kano to validate and look at the route that ran from the Kumbotso Transmission sub-station to Rimi Zakara.

“You know we are going to connect Rimi Zakara to this sub-station (Kumbotso).

“Rimi Zakara is the place we are putting another 330 KV Sub-station, just like this one in Kumbotso.

“The mistake that happened in the past is that we normally award contract for line without doing the study. You know the study will establish who are the people under the right-of-way; and who are those people that are going to be affected by the lines.

“So, we are supposed to have come up with those people and pay them their compensation.

“Unfortunately, this contract was awarded many years, even before I came. It is not only this one, many of them are like that. They awarded the contracts without the payment of compensation.

“That is why now, we are trying to pay the compensation, we are validating it, but we also need to tell people that this takes time, because right now, we have over 1000 people who need to be compensated within Kano alone.

“That is why I am here, I will go through the routes and see exactly what are in the right-of-way. We are actually collaborating with Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje because some people who have land on the right-of-way are seeking for relocation.

“We are going to request to the governor to relocate them and give them land in some other places so that we can build the line,” he said.

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Border closure: Nigerian govt takes new action

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The Federal Government on Tuesday, inaugurated the executive officers of the National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN), to boost fish availability in view of the border closure.

Mr Edet Akpan, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, said the development was to encourage farmers and other stakeholders in its diversification programme.

“I am sure the national production of fish will not only increase, the quality and export value will also increase”, NAN quoted him as saying.

Akpan said the ministry had always being on the ground to support commodity associations and would not deviate from the norm.

“We also introduce them to different organisations like the Bank of Industry, and then SMEDAN is also helping them in many ways through education and organising them in such a way that they have become very formidable,” he said.

The President of NFAN, Dr Gabriel Ogunsanya, said following the inauguration, more than over five million members of the body were ready to storm the markets with different species of fish to meet both local and international demands.

On border closure, the president said it was a laudable development, saying the association was not resting on its oars in taking advantage of the closure to boost production.

“We will not allow illegal fishing. Some countries come to our coast to steal our fish. We will do all within our powers, work with law enforcement agencies to avoid illegal fishing”, he added.

A member of the Board of Trustees and former lawmaker, Sen. Maina Lawan, pointed out that there were several prospects in the fish subsector that would help improve Nigeria’s revenue generation.

“I know that the border closure is biting hard on many aspects of our daily lives, but there are also higher patriotic callings if you look at the overall price we are made to pay”, said Lawan, a former Borno governor.

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Buhari government orders NCC to reduce cost of data

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The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has told the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to work out modalities to reduce the price of data in the interest of Nigerians.

Dr Isa Ali Pantami, the Minister in charge of the ministry, stated this on Tuesday at a meeting with stakeholders in the industry in Abuja.

According to the minister, his office has been inundated with complaints from concerned Nigerians about the high cost of data by telecommunication companies in the country

The minister mandated the management of the NCC led by its Board Chairman, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye to, with immediate effect, resolve the issue.

According to him, ”I am urging the management of NCC to work towards reducing the price of data in Nigeria. It is too costly and people are complaining every day.

“If you go to other countries, even countries that are not as largely populated as Nigeria, data prices are not this high.

“I am also a victim of some of the infractions that are so common in the industry.

“You load your data, but you barely used 20 percent of it and the entire data is wiped off.”

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Stop sale of cooking gas in petrol stations – Group begs Reps

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The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers has urged the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) to avert looming danger by stopping the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, otherwise known as cooking gas in filling stations across the country.

The President of the association, Mr Nosa Ogieva-Okunbor, made the call while addressing the Deputy Chairman of the committee, Rep. Alex Egbona (PDP-Cross River) in his office on Thursday in Abuja.

Ogieva-Okunbor said that the association had approached the committee to help resolve some dangerous trends in the industry.

He said that as a result of the expansion in the industry following government efforts in 2007, some Nigerians were taking advantage of the industry in a way that posed danger to Nigerians.

He said that although the association wanted every Nigerian to use gas, it would not lose sight of the safety aspect of it.

Ogieva-Okunbor said that it was unsafe for filling stations that dispensed petrol for vehicles to be filling gas cylinders in the same location.

He said that selling of cooking gas in filling stations should be stopped because of the inherent dangers.

According to him, “terrorists could cash into that; the security risk is very is so enormous, there is nowhere in the world where gas cylinders are filled in petrol stations.”

He appealed to the committee not to let industry die, recommending that all stakeholders should be brought to the table to revive the industry.

He said if Nigeria could get a bigger vessel and smaller ones to supply Lagos and other deports of the country, gas importation could be stopped.

The Deputy Chairman the committee, Dr Alex Egbona (PDP-Cross River), said that the committee was aware of the challenges.

He noted that before the end of the present administration, most of the challenges would be addressed.

Egbona said that before the end of the year or early next year, all the stakeholders would be invited to discuss issues in the industry and how to resolve them.

He also said that the committee was passionate and want to see that every Nigerian used gas for cooking. (NAN)

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