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Ossiomo Power Project: Delayed Agreement Signing Due To Non-Agreement Of Oprational Processes-BEDC

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The Management of Benin Electricty Distribution Company (BEDC) PLC, yesterday, January 31, explained that the its delay in signing the bilateral agreement on Edo State owned Ossiomo Power project was due to Ossiomo’s non agreement to process of operations, maintenance and management of the line being constructed in line with licensing and safety standard in order to ensure safety of lives and property.

The Management, however, affirmed it ready to partner Edo State government on the project, stressing that this is evidenced in its constant efforts at ensuring that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) clearance letter is properly and safely implemented.

BEDC Chief Head, Edo State, Mr. Abel Enechaziam, while disclosing the company’s position to newsmen in Benin, said procurement process for the proposed new line, expected to be based on open & competitive procurement that is in line with prudency requirement by the regulators has not been agreed to by Ossiomo.

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Enechaziam, who addressed the press on behalf of the Managing Director of BEDC, Funke Osibodu, noted that when combined with proposal by Ossiomo, the valuation methodology for pricing of purchase in 10years time should be agreed to in future, stressing that these can lead to tariff costs that may not conform with regulatory approval.

As you are aware, we operate in a regulated sector andsector and would require the sign off of the relevant sector regulators such as NERC and NEMSA before executing the proposed agreement, in order to ensure that we remain within the permitted regulatory parameters”, he stressed further.

According to him, two grey areas that were in contention in the bilateral agreement on Ossiomo bordered on the need for valuation of the line being used for power evacuation through open, competitive and transparency tendering process to ensure that only prudent cost are passed to the customers.

READ ALSO: Idahagbon’s Assassination Attempt: Ize-Iyamu Condemns Act, Berates Edo Govt Silence

The other area of dispute he said was the company’s insistence that joint operation and maintenance of the Ossiomo line was not allowed and that a sub contactor could be appointed by Ossiomo to work under BEDC supervision for accountability and safety sake in its network.

He stated, “The recent electrocution of two persons occasioned by Ossiomo’s ongoing construction which interfaced with our distribution line thereby causing supply interruption to the community in the area as well as alleged death of one of the parties involved, indeed emphasizes the need for the project to be undertaken in line with applicable regulatory and safety standards.”

He further noted that in addition, there were also other unresolved matters such as valuation methodology for line construction, as well as the issue of procurement of 33KV line, and the operation and maintenance of the constructed distribution line.

READ ALSO: Man Bags 5years Jail For Land-Grabbing, Resale In Benin

The Management therefore requested for the release of the draft agreement for its review and clearance by the regulator; considerations for safety of the lives of people and public costs so that there is need for proper alignment of key stakeholders and regulatory sign off on the agreement before execution.

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MPC Nominees Promise To End Forex, Food Crises

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The Senate on Wednesday grilled nominees for membership of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee over the forex crisis and unending food crisis.

President Bola Tinubu had, last week, forwarded to the Senate for confirmation, the names of nominees for the committee of the CBN.

In giving the request expeditious consideration ahead of the MPC meeting slated for next Monday, February 26, the Senate, through its Committee on Banking, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions, grilled six out of the nominees with questions on required urgent solutions to forex volatility and food crisis.

READ ALSO: EFCC Grills Former Kwara Gov AbdulFatah Ahmed For Second Day Over ₦10bn

The first to be grilled was the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda, who informed the committee that his nomination into MPC would give the SEC the needed voice in monetary policy.

Yuguda lamented that the value of the Naira as it is today, is not real, having lost its intrinsic value but that the MPC, when inaugurated on Monday, would join other stakeholders to stabilise the national currency.

He said, “The value of any currency is measured by the goods and services that it can buy. The Naira, as it is today, does not possess that value sufficiently which is being critically looked into.”

READ ALSO: Nigerians Knock Seyi Tinubu For Preaching Endurance Over Economic Hardship

In his submission, the nominee from Lagos State, Dr. Mustapha Akinkunmi, said the way out now is to target the exchange rate and not inflation as currently being tackled which hasn’t yielded so much result.

He saod, “A more proactive way of addressing the Naira volatility problem at hand is for the CBN to target the exchange rate itself and not inflation.

“The inflation the country is facing now is largely that of food inflation, which is beyond CBN but for the entire country.

“Production and distribution of food commodities across the country would help to reduce the food inflation, while the aggressive target of the exchange rate, would help to stabilise the Naira with the required increase in productivity.”

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In a similar submission, the nominee from Imo State, Mrs Aku Odinkemelu, said productivity is the key to arresting the volatility of the Naira and food inflation.

Other nominees grilled at the session by the committee were Prof. Murtala Sagagi, Kano State; Bamidele Amoo, Kwara State; and Aloysius Ordu, who worked with the World Bank and the African Development Bank for 30 years at different times.

In his closing remarks, the committee’s chairman, Senator Tokunbo Abiru (APC, Lagos East), told the nominees that their screening was done ahead of the MPC meeting slated for next Monday by the CBN.

Abiru said what Nigerians expect to come after the meeting are solutions to the rising inflation rate, worsening Naira volatility in the forex market and the general rejuvenation of the economy.

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MTN, Dangote Cement, Others Drag Equity Market To N1.8tn Loss

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The equity market opened in the reds on Monday as investors lost about N1.82tn.

Substantial depreciations were observed in bellwether stocks, fuelled by strong sell interest in the market. Specifically, securities such as Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria, NGX Group, NEM Insurance, and Tantalizer dipped by 10 percent, 10 percent, -9.76 percent, -9.74 percent, and -9.52 percent, respectively.

Both the All-Share Index and the market capitalisation of the local bourse depreciated by 3.15 percent to close at 102,393.23 points and N56.03tn due to waning market sentiment. Hence, the year-to-date return of the index dipped to 36.94 percent from 41.39 percent in the previous trading session.

Trading activities remained subdued into the new week with notable decreases in the total traded volume and value by 17.60 percent and 5.59 percent to 273.85 million units and N7.44bn, respectively. However, the total deals for the day bucked the trend, advancing by 17.60 percent to 9,688 trades.

In eight months of Tinubu administration, Nigeria’s stock market leads the world
Despite the market sentiments, buy pressure was observed in Juli Plc, Daar Communications, Sunu Assurances, ABC Transport, and NAHCO, as their share prices rose by 9.52 percent, 8.64 percent, 6.74 percent, 6.67 percent, and 5.86 percent.

READ ALSO: NAFDAC, PCN Raid, Seal 1,321 Patent Medicine Outlets In Kano

On the sectoral front, tracked sub-sector indices closed in red territory. The Industrial Goods sector topped the chart for the most losers with a massive 6.02 percent decline, primarily driven by sell-pressure in Dangote Cement. This was followed by the Insurance sector with a loss of 2.49 percent, attributable majorly, to share price declines in NEM Insurance, Linkage Assurance, and VeritasKap.

Sectors such as Banking, Consumer Goods, and Oil/Gas declined by 0.24 percent, 0.77 percent, and 0.28 percent, respectively.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc was the most traded security by volume with 28.85 million units, while Geregu led in value at N1.74bn.

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Obaseki Looks To Lithium Mining, EV Battery Production As New FOREX Earner

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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is intensifying efforts to diversify the State’s economy with the exploitation of its solid minerals deposit, especially lithium as a new Foreign Exchange (FX) earner.

This was disclosed when the State welcomed international investors representing Renera Rosatom Energy Corporation hosted by the Edo State Ministry of Mining and Energy (Oil, Gas and Power)

Lithium, which is also known as white gold, is a mineral found in large deposits in some states in Nigeria such as Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara, Ekiti, Cross-Rivers and Edo.

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In a presentation at the conference meeting, the Director of Mining, Edo State, Mr. Omoruyi Ihianle, disclosed efforts by the Governor Obaseki-led administration towards exploiting its lithium deposit for the production of lithium batteries used in Electric Vehicles.

The state government, after looking at the sector, thought it wise to come forward with what we call the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), and with this SPV, the state government aims to ensure that the mining sector gives value to the government and the investors,” Omoruyi said.

“We have the registration number of the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) Associates Mining and Investment Company Limited. It was incorporated last year and it has already started running.”

Now the mandate as regards the Ministry of Mining & Energy and also the SPV is to ensure that the state is positioned in a way to assist miners and also to be a major player in the mining industry,” he added.

READ ALSO: Edo PDP Crisis: Obaseki Faults Makinde As APC, Legacy Coalition Predict Collapse

While outlining the objectives of the Edo State Mining and Investment Company Ltd. (ESMIC), the Director of Mining, Edo State, noted that the commission aims to provide support for mining companies operating in the state, providing services along the mineral market value chain in line with international best practice with environmentally friendly business methods and ensuring that their partners get the value for their investment.

He further guaranteed that the commission is geared towards ensuring a smooth synergy between investors, the companies, and the miners while creating jobs for indigenes of the communities in the State.

The Edo State Commissioner for Mining and Energy, Hon. Ojiefoh Enaholo expressed the readiness of the State Government in positioning Edo as an enabler and a major player in the mining sector.

Speaking on behalf of the international investors, the Vice President of Uranium One, Mr. Andrey Mineev, expressed his gratitude on the warm reception, expressing the group’s readiness to embark on the partnership with the Edo State Government, as they are trying to find new corporations.

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