ECOWAS says it is committed to enhancing access to electricity in the sub-region by 60 per cent in line with the set target of 2020.
This formed part of discussions at the meeting organised by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) on the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) in Accra. ROGEP aims to enhance electricity access in West Africa and the Sahel region, through standalone solar systems, including solar lanterns, solar home systems, solar water pumps, solar mills, among others.
The project sponsored by the World Bank has a budget of $200 million and aims to enhance electricity access in 19 countries. They are: the 15 ECOWAS member states, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, and Mauritania. Stakeholders reiterated that the project was pertinent to ensuring access to electricity by citizens, especially in rural areas, within the region who had no form of electricity connection.
Mr Sire Diallo, Coordinator of Private Sector Support Facility, ECREEE told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that multilevel cooperation among member states would facilitate the aims of ROGEP.
“The project is going to be a five-year project and we are looking at 2022, but the project came after the targets were set for the region by the Heads of State to achieve a 60 per cent electrification rate by 2020.
“In this project, we try to address such issues at many levels and some of these challenges are not linked to the entrepreneurs, just that the enabling environment does not exist.
“Those are related to policies, so we have to work with our public sector and governments to make sure that they put in place appropriate mechanisms so that our entrepreneurs in the sector can thrive.”
Diallo added that capacity building and provision of funds were necessary to the sustenance of such projects in the region. Another participant, Mrs Sakeena Twumasi, Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Business and Energy Systems Ltd, called for persistent sensitisation of all community citizens to ensure the realisation of electricity access by 2020.
Twumasi also said that quality in product delivery would also facilitate the success of the project.
“ECREEE, for example, has made all stakeholders aware of the project so when it is being rolled out, everybody knows, but if no one is aware they do not understand,this slows down implementation.
“What the client needs is what you have to give them that, is why there are smaller packages that are affordable and whatever we as solar companies are supplying has to have quality.
“If there is quality, more people come on board and we are focusing on the rural communities.
“We need to educate them and make sure that we do not politicise anything we are doing or we will not meet our targets.”
The two-day meeting had more than 150 participants drawn from public and private sectors and the international community. (NAN)
The Federal Government of Nigeria received N3.211 trillion as Petroleum Profits Tax (PPT) and Royalties from the third quarter of 2015 to third quarter of 2017, according to the Economic Report of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Breakdown of the revenue to the government showed that the country received N495.39 billion as PPT/royalties in third quarter of 2015; N388.66 billion, in fourth quarter of 2015; and N314.04 billion during first quarter of 2016.The revenue from PPT/royalties declined in second quarter of 2016 to N212.78 billion; later increased to N392.38 billion in third quarter of 2016; and decreased to N273.13 billion in fourth quarters of 2016.
There was a rebound of revenue to N325.38 billion in first quarter of 2017; N320.49 billion in second quarter and N489.41 billion during the third quarter of 2017. The CBN report for the third quarter of 2017 released recently, revealed that N103.46 billion was allocated to the 13 per cent Derivation Fund for distribution among the oil producing states.
analysing the report, CBN disclosed that oil receipt at N1.27 trillion during the quarter under review was lower than the proportionate quarterly budget estimate by 6.2 per cent, but was above the receipts in the preceding quarter by 59.7 per cent. According to the CBN, the decline in oil revenue relative to the proportionate quarterly budget estimate was due to the shortfall in receipts from crude oil/gas exports, owing to the decline in crude oil production, arising from leakages and shut-ins/shut-downs at some NNPC terminals.
It disclosed that Nigeria’s crude oil production, including condensates and natural gas liquids, averaged 1.83 million barrels per day (mbd) or 168.36 million barrels (mb) in the review quarter.This, it noted, represented an increase of 0.17 mbd or 10.2 per cent, compared with 1.66 mbd or 151.06 mb recorded in the preceding quarter. The development was due to sustained peace in the oil production region.CBN said that crude oil export stood at 1.38 mbd or 126.96 mb, representing 14.0 per cent increase over 1.21 mbd or 110.11 mb in the preceding quarter.
The development, it hinted, was due, mainly, to reduced activities of vandals in the Niger Delta region.Allocation of crude oil for domestic consumption was maintained at 0.45 mbd or 41.40 million barrels in the review quarter.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Malam Bello Rabiu, proposed some key amendments to the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Act to enable the Federal Government optimize the collection of royalties and other revenue in deep water oil production activities.He noted that it was imperative to effect increment in royalties across all categories to increase government take.
“It is our opinion that the proposal to increase the royalty rate for terrains beyond 1000 metres, from zero per cent to three per cent, is commendable but it is necessary to also make corresponding adjustments in other categories,’’ he said.He argued that in the alternative, the graduated royalty scale as provided in the Act should be removed while the Minister of Petroleum Resources should be empowered to intermittently set royalties payable for acreages located in deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contracts through regulations based on established economic parameters.
“It is our opinion that these incentives have outlived their usefulness and are now impediments to the Federal Government’s revenue collection efforts. The use of such incentives can be terminated by an amendment of section 4 of the Act,’’ the Corporation noted.He called on the National Assembly to seek relevant input from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, to resolve the divergent opinions regarding the methodology for the computation of the taxes which would arise as a result of the proposed royalty regime.
Source: The Guardian