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Africa Attracts $4.9bn Investment Deals In 2021, As Nigeria Leads SA

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Naira

A new report shows that at least $4.9 billion was attracted by Africa as investment deals, and Nigeria accounted for the lion share compared to funds received by other countries on the continent.

According to African Investment Report 2021 by Briter Bridges, Nigeria topped South Africa, Kenya and Egypt in the boardroom deals, which was split into unannounced disclosed funding of $4.65 billion, and undisclosed deals of which accounted for $300 million.

The $4.9 billion was secured in more than 480 deals which was led by Nigeria on the country segment, and Financial Technology (Fintech) on the market category.

According to the report, Fintechs accounted for 62 percent of the total funding, while 8 percent and 7 percent were of the capital went to health & biotech and logistics respectively.

A further breakdown showed that investors concentrated their funds on payments, solar home kits, assets financing, Point of Sales (POS), banking, while most of the deals were recorded by payment, transfers, banking, medical delivery, B2B commerce, and professional skill development amongst others.

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Finance

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele risks arrest for short Naira Swap Extension

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Still on the Naira notes swap, The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee, Has rejected the 10 days extension granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the swap of old N200, N500, N1,000 bank notes. 

In a statement released on Sunday, January 29, the Chairman of the Committee and the Majority Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, said the lawmakers will proceed and sign an arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to appear before the committee. 

He said, The new naira redesign policy is capable of frustrating the forthcoming 2023 general elections. Recall that many Nigerians have complained about inability to access the newly redesigned notes.

The newly redesigned naira notes

The CBN had initially placed the deadline for the exchange of the old Naira notes for the new ones on January 31st . However, following the series of complains from Nigerians, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, in a statement released on Sunday, January 29, announced that the deadline had been extended to February 10. 

In its immediate reaction, the House of Representatives committee chaired by Doguwa rejected the extension, insisting that the CBN must comply with sections 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN Act. “The 10-day extension for the exchange of the old naira notes is not the solution: We as a legislative committee with a constitutional mandate of the house, would only accept clear compliance with section 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN act and nothing more.

Nigeria as a developing economy and a nascent democracy must respect the principle of the rule of law. And the House would go ahead to sign arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor to appear before the adhoc committee.”

Doguwa said under his chairmanship, the committee would continue its work until it gets the demands of Nigerians addressed in accordance with the laws of the land. 

He described the extension as a mere political gimmick to further deceive Nigerians and worsen their economic and social livelihood, insisting that the CBN governor must appear before or stand the risk of being arrested on the strength of legislative writs signed earlier by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Ademola Adeleke sacked as Governor of Osun state

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Energy

Steps to Achieve ‘The Decade of Gas’

Article By: Elvis Eromosele

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Decade of Gas Nigeria
Gas flaring (Image: DW)

Nigeria is a study in contradiction. It has the largest proven gas reserve in Africa yet faces a significant challenge in providing access to gas for a majority of its citizens and businesses.

On top of this, it occupies an unenviable position as one of the top seven gas-flaring countries in the world, according to the World Bank. The tale would be unbelievable if it was fiction. 

Sadly, the reality is grim. Oil-producing companies burn off millions of cubic litres of natural gas during oil production.

They use a fancy term, gas flaring, to describe it. It doesn’t however take remove from the fact that the action, gas flaring, is a glaring waste of a wasting resource. It also impacts negatively on the environment, human health and the cost of gas. It needs to be stopped. 

Over the last couple of years, governments have sought to curtail incidents of gas flaring, increase the use of gas and boost revenue from it, all with varying degrees of success. 

To highlight the commitment of the federal government to boost the domestic use of gas among Nigerians as the primary energy source President Muhammadu Buhari declared the ‘Decade of Gas’ (January 1, 2021, to 2030). An integral part of the process is the development of gas infrastructure, with the construction of the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline the number one starting point. 

The goal is simple, to increase the domestic utilisation of LPG and CNG, commercialise gas flares, develop industrial gas markets and increase gas-to-power. Related policies which are already in the works include the National Gas Expansion Programme and the Autogas policy. 

Experts argue, however, that despite the government’s best efforts to increase the distribution of liquified petroleum gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas, a large number of Nigerians still rely on firewood and charcoal for cooking with the attendant damage to the environment and impact on the climate.

Now one of the main reasons for this is the lack of infrastructure and distribution networks for LPG. Many areas in the country do not have access to gas pipelines, making it difficult for residents to obtain cooking gas.

We’ll require a study to explore the risk associated with the current gas tank retail marketing method. Additionally, the cost of LPG is prohibitively high for low-income households, who make up the bulk of the population.

Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show how deep the poverty is – 63 per cent of persons living in Nigeria (133 million people) are multidimensionally poor. It’s a grim picture. 

GlobalData reports that by flaring, rather than utilising gas for power generation or other domestic needs, Nigeria and other nations involved in such acts, could lose up to $82 billion a year globally. Other countries in this unholy group include Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, the US and Venezuela. They accounted for over 87 per cent of all flared gas in 2020. 

Independent sources reveal that Nigeria flared an average of 11.1m3/bbl of gas in 2021. The issue here is that the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), which seeks to curb the act, has loopholes along with low and weakly enforced penalties. It needs to be tightened and strengthened to make it more effective. 

Nigeria had 208.62 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas reserve as of January 2022, according to the Commission Chief Executive (CCE) of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, an engineer. However, the development of gas, especially for domestic use, is still relatively low.

The price is still in the skies for many potential users. Right now, the concern is that with the rising cost of cooking gas, the domestic utilisation of LPG may decline. It remains to be seen how this will impact the achievement of the ‘Decade of Gas’ objectives.  

There are several steps that the government can take to increase access to cooking gas for Nigerians. As a concerned citizen and cooking gas user, here are my thoughts on five things that the government can do to improve access to natural gas:

Firstly, the government must invest in building pipelines and distribution networks to reach residential and business areas and improve access to LPG.

Secondly, while the country has significant natural gas reserves a lack of investment in the sector has led to low production of LPG. It is time for the government to encourage investment in the sector to increase domestic production and thus curb the importation of LPG.

In addition, to demonstrate the resolve to improve the use of gas among citizens, the government can look at providing subsidies for LPG to make it more affordable for low-income households. This will make it more accessible to those who currently are unable to afford it.

Furthermore, since reports indicate that Nigerians are unaware of the benefits of using LPG as a cooking fuel, the government can launch a campaign to educate citizens on the benefits of LPG and how to safely use it.

Finally, the government must create an enabling environment to encourage private sector participation and investment in the LPG industry. This will increase the availability of LPG and possibly help drive down prices.

With the implementation of these measures, Nigeria can truly increase access to cooking gas for a majority of its citizens and reduce the country’s dependence on firewood and charcoal. This will not only improve the quality of life for citizens, but it will also help the environment by reducing deforestation and air pollution caused by the burning of firewood.

Eromosele, a Corporate Communication professional and public affairs analyst lives in Lagos.

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Transport

Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Warns against crossing rail tracks from 2023

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LAMATA Warns Against Crossing Rail Tracks From 2023

The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Has warned against crossing the rail tracks from 2023.

In a video issued on the matter by the government, They revealed thus “Unlike the train system, driven with diesel engine which most Nigerians are conversant with. The Blue line will be powered by electricity, thus crossing the track will no longer be an option.

“The blue line will use the power known as the third rail electrification system. The third rail works by directly attaching a current carrying conductor to the rail tracks, which means the entire length of the track will be electrified. That means the train will be propelled by the electricity passing through the road tracks which is about 750 volts; an amount of power three times more than electricity been utilised for domestic use.

“Crossing the track when the rail track is in operation early 2023 will mean instant death. We appeal that you make use of the pedestrian bridges which have been provided to cross the ten-lane Lagos-Badagry Expressway. The pedestrian bridge has the ability to take commuters into the train station, the bus station as well as to cross the expressway. Please, avoid going close to the tracks, your safety is important to us.”

READ ALSO: Provide Details How Refunded 13% Derivation Fund was Spent, NDC to Governors

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