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Nigeria Secures $1.5bn Loan From US to Boost Solar Power Infrastructure

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*Buhari: Initiatives would help  develop local capacity through technology transfer

Nigeria has secured a $1.5 billion loan from the US-EXIM Bank to boost solar power infrastructure in 10 different locations in the country. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SUN Africa LLC, USA, Adam Cortese, disclosed this yesterday while speaking with newsmen after a meeting of a delegation of the company with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

Cortese explained that the loan was a government-to-government facility on a concessional rate of over 20 years.
According to him, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) will own the assets, which he said would not only generate low cost electricity but also enable the company to pay back the loan.

Cortese stated, “Once again, this is government-to-government financing. It’s built upon the success that we’ve had in Angola recently, where we’ve delivered roughly $2.6 billion of solar PV storage and transmission capacity.
“I think the important point to note here is, yes, it’s a government-to-government loan, from the US-EXIM Bank to the government of Nigeria, but it’s being done on a concessional rate; over 20-year tenure, which is extremely attractive.

“What’s unique about this model is that NDPHC is going to own its own assets. So, it’s going to own its own generation base and our project will deliver a low levelised cost of electricity, which will not only allow them to pay back the loan from EXIM Bank, but generate a profit on top of it.”

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Speaking while receiving the delegation, Buhari declared that the rapid integration of solar power into the country’s energy mix would lead to an increase in electricity access to underserved and unserved communities.
He said his administration had embarked on several reforms aimed at revitalising Nigeria’s energy sector and improving energy access to communities across the country.

The president commended the interest of the US developer to invest in Nigeria’s power sector, pledging that the federal government would remain committed to collaborating with the private sector in improving energy access, creating jobs, and industrial development.
Highlighting some of the reforms embarked upon by his administration to address Nigeria’s energy need, the president listed the signing of the Nigeria Climate Change Bill in November 2021, implementation of the Power Sector Recovery Programme with the World Bank, and the Nigeria Electrification Programme aimed at enhancing energy access to remote communities.

He added that the Presidential Power Initiative with Siemens was aimed at achieving end-to-end alignment across the electricity value chain.
According to the president, “Initiatives like these will go a long way in developing local capacity through technology transfer and relieving transmission constraints through the generation and distribution of electricity in the local Distribution Companies Franchise Area, making off-take easier.
‘‘The Ministers of Finance and Power as well as other agencies of government will remain available at all times, to ensure the achievement of this significant project as part of our efforts towards achieving Net Zero Emission by 2050.

‘‘I am pleased to note the technology transfer content embedded in this initiative as well as the employment generation potentials.
“I thank you all for coming and look forward to receiving regular updates as you achieve significant milestones in developing your projects in Nigeria.”
Earlier in his remarks, Founder, Sun Africa LLC, USA, Mr Goran Rajsic, said the renewable infrastructure company hoped to deliver solar power in multiple locations across the country, just as it had done in Angola, with financing done through the US EXIM Bank. Rajsic pledged that his organisation, working with other leading energy companies, had the capacity to do what Nigeria required in the area of power.

“We will create something that will be of immediate need for Nigeria, and last for years to come,” Rajsic stated.
He described what Sun Africa LLC, USA had in mind as “a partnership for energy and infrastructure, which will revolutionise both the industrial and agricultural sectors.”

Speaking also at the occasion, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Chiedu Ugbo, said the company will utilise the loan facility to provide solar power at 10 sites, starting with five.

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JUST IN: Air Peace Suspends Flights To South Africa Over Aviation Fuel, Visa Delay

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Air Peace

Citing the increasing cost of aviation fuel and scarcity as well as the delay in the issuance of visa to intending passengers, Air Peace has suspended its flights to South Africa.

The suspension, which takes effects from August 22, is for a period of 60 days, the Airline said in a notice.

Daily Trust reports that domestic airlines had been forced to adjust their schedules over the recurring scarcity of Jet fuel as well as the skyrocketing price of the product.

But added to this, according to Air Peace, was delay by the South African authorities to issue visa to prospective passengers which was said to be affecting the load factor on Air Peace’s flight to Johannesburg.

Air Peace in the notice expressed optimism that the issues which warranted the suspension would have been addressed before October.

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It said, “We hereby inform the flying public that effective from August 22, 2022, our Johannesburg flight operations will be suspended till October 8, 2022.

“This development is regretted but has become inevitable due to the delayed issuance of South African visas to travellers, worsening forex crunch and the increasing cost of aviation fuel as well as its scarcity.

“However, having informed the South African High Commission in Lagos of the effects of the difficulty in getting SA visas by Nigerians, which consequence is the abysmally low passenger loads on our flights to and from Johannesburg, we believe that the situation will have improved within the next 60 days. Hence, our willingness to resume operations on the October 8, 2022.

“Passengers whose flights are affected have the option of rescheduling to fly before August 22, 2022 or from October 9, 2022. Passengers can also request a refund…

“We apologise for the inconveniences caused and will keep the public updated while we hope the situation improves.”

Daily Trust

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Davido, Tuface, Ned Nwoko, others on alert as Ferrari recalls nearly every car

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Super-rich Nigerians and celebrities who drive Ferrari will have to surrender their Italian luxury sports car to the manufacturer to fix a major problem.

Ferrari has discovered a big stopping problem, with 19 of its models dating back to 2005 reportedly at risk of a potential brake failure, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Some of those known to have the super luxury car in Nigeria are singer Davido; former Arsenal and Super Eagles sensational striker Kanu Nwankwo; rapper and billionaire daughter DJ Cuppy; Ned Nwoko with his Nollywood wife, Reginal Daniels, and another famous ex-Super Eagles player Obafemi Martins.

MotorTrend, an online auto journal, on Monday reported the NHTSA filing as indicating that the issue had to do with the brake fluid reservoir cap which “may not vent properly, creating a vacuum inside the brake fluid reservoir, and resulting in a brake fluid leak that may lead to a partial or total loss of brake function.”

According to the NHTSA recall report, a whopping 23,555 Ferraris are implicated and will need to be serviced.

Owners are expected to receive messages from Ferrari with instructions for proactive repairs before September 24, 2022.

Considering the average price of a Ferrari is at least hundreds of thousand dollars, some quick math proves billions of dollars worth of Ferraris are potentially defective.

The report said Ferrari would replace the brake fluid reservoir cap and update the software in the affected vehicles to provide for a different warning message if the vehicle should lose sufficient brake fluid.

In the meantime, if your Ferrari flashes a “low Brake Fluid” warning, NHTSA directs you to pull off of the road as soon as it is safe to do so and have the car immediately towed to a Ferrari service centre.

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Buhari overrules NNPC, approves Seplat’s acquisition of ExxonMobil’s $1.3bn assets

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved acquisition of ExxonMobil shares in the United States by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement on Monday said his Buhari granted the approved as Minister of Petroleum Resources, and in consonance with the country’s drive for Foreign Direct Investment in the energy sector.

He said Exxon Mobil had entered into a landmark Sale and Purchase Agreement with Seplat Energy to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from Exxon Mobil Corporation, Mobil Development Nigeria Inc, and Mobil Exploration Nigeria Inc, both registered in Delaware, USA.

There had been opposition from the NNPC Ltd, and the Akwa Ibom State Government which hosts most of the assets earlier on the transaction but the ministerial approval puts this to rest.

Adesina added that the President had given ministerial consent to the deal, considering the extensive benefits of the transaction to the Nigerian Energy sector and the larger economy.

He said the President, in commitment to investment drive in light of the Petroleum Industry Act, granted consent to the Share Sales Agreement, as requested by the parties to the transaction, and directed that the approval be conveyed to all the parties involved.

The presidential spokesman said Exxon Mobil/Seplat would carry out operatorship of all the oil mining licenses in the related shallow water assets towards production optimization to support Nigeria’s OPEC quota in the short term as well as ensure accelerated development and monetization of the gas resources in the assets for the Nigerian economy.

Adesina said President Buhari also directed that all environmental and abandonment liabilities be adequately mitigated by Exxon Mobil and Seplat.

The deal worth about $1.3bn will take a 40 per cent stake in four OMLs, including over 90 shallow-water and onshore platforms and 300 producing wells.

 

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