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SPECIAL REPORT

Expanding Strategic Gas Partnership Between Jeniks Group And Qatar In Africa

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Princess Osifo

Following the expanding business partnership and expansion between Jeniks Energy Group and Qatar Gas conglomerate in several African nations, OBIOMA OGBONNAYA looks into the current agreement on gas aggregation investment in Africa that is being strengthened.

The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Act of 1995, which was amended in 2004, eliminated restrictions and limitations on foreign direct investment (FDI) and permitted foreign companies, both domestic and foreign, to hold 100% of the equity in all industries except those that are legally prohibited.  Nevertheless, in practice, a number of authorities require domestic equity before granting an operating licence to a foreign company. However, in Nigeria, foreign investors receive similar treatment as local investors, including tax breaks. The NIPC was entrusted with promoting and facilitating investment in Nigeria when it was established by the Act.

Within the One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC), a component of the NIPC, 27 governmental and parastatal organisations work together to expedite and simplify the administrative processes for new businesses and investment

Special incentives for large and/or significant investments may be negotiated by the NIPC.  Additionally, the Act shields citizens from expropriation and nationalisation. The NIPC periodically arranges meetings to address specific investor complaints between investors and relevant government agencies. It cannot compel compliance from other government agencies, so its effectiveness and role in these meetings are restricted to the convenor and moderator.

Unresolved investment and commercial issues have made it more difficult for the NIPC to draw in new capital. The investment arm of the Qatari government has struck a strategic agreement with Jeniks Energy to invest in the gas industry, with the goal of capitalising on Africa’s enormous, largely untapped gas reserves.  It is noteworthy that Jeniks Energy Group, with significant centres in Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seems to have chosen to collaborate with a global gas investment firm that possesses a strategic gas reserve and aggregation investment contract, as well as Qatari representation. However, having committed to a phased operation last year, the corporation will base the contract in Africa.  Jeniks, the company that signed the agreement with Qatar, has selected and begun working with 11 African nations, with Ghana serving as an anchor along with Kenya and Angola, to ensure that the multibillion-dollar project is properly coordinated.  In order to actualize this massive gas investment deal estimated to be worth $15 billion, Princes Osifo, the Chairperson of Jeniks Group, has been collaborating with a team of energy experts and consultants. The Qatar group has invested an initial $6 billion to kickstart the projects that are attracting the attention of the governments of Ghana, Kenya, and several other countries. These governments have already committed to the projects by agreeing to provide the enabling environments and other  Projects involving gas reserve acquisition, liquefied natural gas, and LPG have been given top priority by the Qatari government in a number of African nations, including Senegal, Gabon, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Republic of Congo, and Guinea Equatorial. The Jeniks Group Chairperson has also mentioned that Qataris are interested in the Brass LNG project in Brass Bayelsa State, which has been a project of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and its Joint Venture Partners, as well as the acquisition of LNG boats for Gas Cargo transport. Others plan to begin the first phase of the project in the first quarter of 2024.  Leading energy officials said that the choice of Jeniks Group is a major endorsement of the business’s corporate leadership and the gas and energy market in Africa as envisioned by the Qatari investor, who wants the projects to start with a private sector-led initiative.  In order to facilitate communication between the Qatar Group and several significant Middle Eastern regions, the Jeniks Group established its West Africa Headquarters in Accra, Ghana, and an additional investment office in the United Arab Emirates, effective from 2022.  Princess Osifo and the Jeniks Group are poised to revolutionise the energy sector in Nigeria, but despite this, the astute businesswoman has refrained from speaking about these crucial yet calculated financial investments that will increase Nigeria’s earnings and employment.  This occurs at the same time that Osifo, who is progressively becoming known as the Queen of Gas, has been making deliberate investments in the downstream oil and gas industry by purchasing vessels for the transportation of crude and refined products and by purchasing assets related to petroleum products.  Additionally, the company has made progress in its negotiations to buy a profitable oil well from a major oil corporation. The oil company is allowing local oil companies to take over by selling off a portion of its Nigerian holdings. As an international LNG investor, Qatar is subject to stringent global best practices and regulations regarding government participation.  Furthermore, despite the investors’ intention to reach a significant milestone by the end of this month, and following a series of meetings between Jeniks and the investors that began last week, this investment decision based in Africa was finalised during the First Quarter (Q1) of 2023.  In fact, industry participants believe that this initiative is timely given the importance of global energy investment in clean and renewable energy technologies. For this reason, Jeniks made the strategic decision to refocus its efforts on gas. In addition to the five billion dollars that the Middle Easterners pledged to invest in Nigeria in April of last year, the noteworthy commercial accomplishment is the result of a private initiative between a group of Qatari investors and Jeniks.  Officials reaffirmed Qatar’s commitment, stating that discussions had taken place regarding collaborating with their Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) on significant investments estimated to be worth $5 billion. Officials claim that Qatar is a strategically important Middle Eastern nation that could assist Nigeria and other African nations in revitalising their energy industries.  According to local players and Nigeria’s domestic gas utilisation agenda, the deal being started by the Jeniks and Qatar groups will open up new possibilities for the exploration, infrastructure, and development of gas reserves in Nigeria and other African countries. Moreover, increased investment in the power and gas-based industries will result from this deeper use of natural gas.  Nigeria is monetizing its approximately 203 trillion Standard Cubic Feet of confirmed gas reserves by enacting various policies and industry intervention programmes. The Nigeria National Petroleum Company will grow its gas operations and boost its export potential after the project is finished.  In order to take advantage of the large, largely untapped gas reserves in Africa, Qatar and Jeniks Energy Group are working together to realise a sizable gas aggregation investment in the area.  11 African nations are now part of the collaboration, which goes by the name Qatar-Jeniks Africa Gas Project. These nations include Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Sierra Leone, Morocco, Egypt, and the Benin Republic. The firms state that Rwanda, Zambia, and Mozambique are included in the first phase. Notably, advanced negotiations are under way to confirm Nigeria’s comprehensive plan for gas aggregation, making the country an important player in this agreement.

Analysts state that Jeniks Energy Group, chaired by Princess Osifo, has made significant strides with Qatari partners in the last two years in organising the gas investment throughout the 11 chosen African nations, which include Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, and Angola. Princess Osifo has been diligently working to actualize this multibillion-dollar gas investment deal, according to Steve Ati, an expert in the oil and gas industry, and a team of experts and consultants in the gas and energy sector. The speaker stated that several African governments have expressed interest in the projects, as Qatar has committed an initial investment of $9 billion to kickstart them.

Leading energy officials see Jeniks Energy Group’s participation as a significant endorsement of the corporate leadership’s ability and potential in the African gas and energy market, as envisioned by Qatari investors looking to fund initiatives led by the private sector

As a global investor in the LNG market, Qatar’s government complies with strictly regulated international best practices and standards, according to another energy expert, Abdulraheem Salisu. “A major milestone is expected before the end of this month, marked by ongoing meetings between Jeniks and investors,” he stated. “The African-based investment decision is projected for completion in the first quarter of 2022.”The project is underway at a pivotal moment in the global energy landscape, when there is a great demand for clean energy and renewable energy investments. The move by Jeniks to redirect its focus and make strategic investments in gas is consistent with this worldwide movement.  In addition to the $5 billion Middle Eastern investment agreed upon for Nigeria in April of the previous year, this breakthrough is a private initiative between Jeniks and investors from Qatar. In line with Nigeria’s goal for domestic petrol usage, the investment seeks to revitalise the energy sector in that nation and other African nations. agenda.’’

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SPECIAL REPORT

Urging NERC To Inform Nigeria’s 11 DisCos That Irregular Power Supply Can Kill As Heat Waves Hit Households.

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Cooling the heat

By Isaac Asabor*

Mr. Kazeem Akintunde, in his column, aptly titled “Discourse,” and regularly published on New Dawn Nigeria, an online news platform, anchored his views on a salient topic with the aforementioned title.

He wrote, “There was an unusual type of protest in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, a few days ago. The protest was unusual because the protesters were young women in their prime who were fed up with their marital situation.

 

The women, primarily from Mile 2 and Mile 3 of the densely populated Diobu settlement, barricaded the office of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), near the popular Isaac Boro Park, lamenting that their husbands no longer have sex with them at night and blaming the PHED, which has not consistently supplied electricity to the area.

 

The brain-resetting heatwave that has enveloped major parts of the country in the last few days has only exacerbated their problems.”
At this point, allow this writer to confess that Akintunde’s views on heat wave are no doubt graphically portrayed as they are expressed from the perspective of a human angle narrative, and on that basis, it can be said that having read his views, it was expedient to embark on browsing online health journals and websites to gain a deep understanding of what heat wave is all about.

Besides the aforementioned reasons for embarking on the journey of browsing the internet in search of health or medical oriented journals in the bid to gain a deep understanding of what heat wave is all about, it is equally expedient to confess that the red flag that was earlier waved by the leadership of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), particularly as it announced on Wednesday last week that the excessive heat being currently experienced in the country would remain.

The situation has become increasingly concerning in recent days, particularly as the country’s already dire electricity supply situation has undoubtedly deteriorated due to gas supply shortages, primarily as a result of Generation Companies’ (Gencos) inability to pay their gas supplier bills.

Many Nigerians who are now sleeping outside, taking multiple baths per day, or suffering from severe heat rashes have recently taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the current situation, blaming the authorities for their plight.

It should be noted in this context that the leadership of EKo Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EKEDP), one of the country’s 11 electricity distribution companies, was not unaware of its failures, like other DisCos, in terms of providing quality service to its customers, as it apologised to them on Wednesday last week, blaming gas supply glitches, which it claimed had hampered producers’ ability to make the product available.

In a statement, the DisCo pleaded: “Dear valued customer, the current limited supply you are experiencing is due to low grid allocation caused by gas shortages to generating companies.

“We are working with our partners to find a resolution as soon as possible, and we will keep you updated as the situation progresses. Please bear with us.

In a similar vein, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) stated that the poor power supply currently experienced in the South-east was beyond its control, blaming the situation on low energy generation, which has resulted in a decrease in power supply availability.

Mr. Emeka Ezeh, the company’s Head of Corporate Communications, has pleaded with its customers, who are primarily residents of the country’s south-east region, to bear with the company as the quality of service has declined.

“We understand the inconvenience this situation has caused our valued customers and ask for their understanding because it is beyond our control. “We can only distribute what has been allocated to us,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), Nigeria’s official source for weather and climate news, has warned that the country’s current heat wave will last for some time.

On its official X handle, the agency stated that temperatures have now reached 41°C in the north and 39°C in the south, and that the changing conditions have serious health implications.

“Air temperatures reached 41°C over the North and 39°C over the South, with model projections indicating that temperatures will remain high in the coming days,” it stated.

NiMET stated that the following weather conditions could cause dehydration and fainting: chicken pox disease, measles, heat rash, weakness of the body, mild fever, and dry lips.

It warned that it could also cause other heat-related illnesses, respiratory problems, and increased vulnerability to chronic conditions, and advised Nigerians to drink plenty of fluids, seek shade, use fans, and dress in light, breathable clothing to limit their exposure to high temperatures.

They also advised residents to avoid strenuous physical activity during peak heat hours and to spend as much time indoors as possible between 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm.
To add to the aforementioned warnings, Tanimola Akande, a professor of Public Health at the University of Ilorin in Kwara state, recently told Punch Newspaper, specifically in its February 16, 2024 online edition in a feature article titled, “Heatwave: Nigerians risk death, other hazards amid worsening outage,” that excessive heat could lead to death if severe dehydration occurs and proper precautions are not taken.

“Hot weather frequently leads to dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat rash, and heat cramps. Prof Akande stated that it can worsen the health of people with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

According to him, everyone is at risk of being exposed to high temperatures, but this is especially true for people who work outside or have heavy manual physical workloads.

Given the foreboding atmosphere that literarily hovers around the prevailing heat wave across the country, which has undoubtedly been exacerbated by the 11 DisCos’ inability to deliver quality services to their customers across the country, it would be remiss not to applaud the federal government for recently vowing to impose a 50% sanction on electricity distribution companies for frequent outages and poor service delivery to consumers. The reason for applauding the government for issuing the warning is not farfetched, as not a few medics and health workers have demonstrated that an irregular power supply during a heat wave can be fatal.

It should be noted that the government’s position was recently stated by Musiliu Useni, vice chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in a statement on the Commission’s X account.

The statement reads, “NERC will evaluate performance on a case-by-case basis. Sanctions and actions will not be identical. Ensure that you increase your efficiency. If your efficiency is as expected, you will receive your full OPEX. If you do not perform, you will only receive 50% of your admin OPEX.

At this point, it is pragmatic to urge NERC leadership that, in addition to threatening the 11 DisCos with a 50% sanction, it would be prudent for it to inform the power distribution companies that irregular power supply can kill as heat waves hit households across the country.

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SPECIAL REPORT

Empowering Africa’s Youth: Celebrating the First Anniversary of the African Youth Congress

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Today, on February 11, 2024, the African Youth Congress (AYC), the largest youth movement on the African continent with chapters spanning across all African countries, marks its first anniversary. A beacon of hope for Africans, the AYC stands as an independent organization founded by passionate African youths committed to restoring the dignity of the black race. The mission of the AYC is to promote positive behavior, normative conduct, and racial equality across the continent.

In acknowledgment of Africa’s prolonged struggle, characterized by chaos and influenced by historical subjugation, the AYC pledges to address issues perpetuated by leaders colluding with external forces. These issues include fostering ethnic discord, tribalism, religious fanaticism, racism, xenophobia, and economic disarray.

During an extended meeting held on Wednesday, comprising continental, chapter, and coordinator executives, AYC members reaffirmed their commitment to taking extraordinary measures to eliminate hostilities and reclaim what rightfully belongs to Africa.

“Our emergence aims to instigate substantive change, diversify policies, and positively impact educational programs and services,” stated Arthur Wisdom, Continental Leader and President of the African Youth Congress, during an interview via WhatsApp Video call.

Advocating for a UNITED STATE OF AFRICA, the AYC envisions a cohesive continent in economics, social welfare, and decision-making. “Our focus is on constructive growth, emphasizing the dignity of labor and positive African development,” remarked Alex Mfolomo, African Youth Congress Continental Mobilizer.

Diligently striving for a divine government in Africa, the AYC rejects the cosmic joke narrative, urging collective efforts for lasting change. “We refuse to watch the continuous manipulations of Africa. AYC embraces the responsibility of working towards a better Africa for present and future generations,” asserted Bassey Nton Nton, African Youth Congress Continental Media Team Manager.

In the 21st century, the AYC recognizes the pivotal role of African youths in democratic governance. “Their active participation is not just necessary for power balance but essential for Africa’s holistic growth. We call upon leaders to refrain from exploiting Africa, threatening peace, unity, and progress,” emphasized Sunganani Ngwira, AYC International Chief Executive Officer.

AYC’s Mission and Vision

Mastery Media uncovers that the African Youth Congress is not a political group but a pressure group seeking and promoting the liberation of Africans. Addressing African youth inequality among their counterparts, the AYC advocates for the healthy utilization of African natural resources and emphasizes African independence from reliance on the Western world.

Rejecting bribery, corruption, and the embezzlement of African resources, the AYC stands against bad leadership and disunity promoted by self-serving politicians. Its primary objective is to unite Africa and break free from perfidious leaders and external influences destabilizing the continent.

AYC’s Three Vital Steps for Freedom

Engage in campaigns, activism, and social media activities to mobilize African youths into the AYC movement.
Participate in political activities to challenge and reform the current government in Africa.
Establish tutorial classes in real and virtual communities for interaction, information sharing, idea exchange, and implementing lasting solutions for challenges in Africa.
AYC’s Mission Statement:

The mission of the African Youth Congress is to unite and empower people of African descent worldwide, fostering solidarity, cultural preservation, and socioeconomic progress. We strive for the eradication of systemic injustices, the promotion of Pan-African unity, and the realization of a prosperous and equitable future for all African diaspora communities.

AYC’s Vision Statement:

The African Youth Congress envisions a world where people of African descent, irrespective of their geographical location, stand united and proud of their heritage. We aspire to eliminate racial discrimination, poverty, and inequality through Pan-Africanism, creating a prosperous, inclusive, and harmonious community that honors African culture, history, and contributions.

Motto:
Africa, We Build.

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Mustapha Habib Ahmed’s Transformational Leadership At NEMA

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By Manzo Ezekiel and Abdulkadir Ibrahim*

Mustapha Habib Ahmed’s tenure as Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been marked by several commendable accomplishments that demonstrate his leadership, dedication, and strategic vision in managing emergency response and disaster management in Nigeria.

Upon assuming office, Ahmed swiftly implemented reforms to enhance NEMA’s operational efficiency. Under his leadership, the agency has significantly improved its coordination with various stakeholders, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and international partners. This collaborative approach has strengthened Nigeria’s overall disaster response capabilities.

One notable accomplishment during Ahmed’s tenure was the implementation of a more robust early warning system. Recognizing the importance of timely information in disaster management, he championed the development and implementation of advanced technology solutions to monitor and forecast potential hazards. This has proven instrumental in managing the Impact of flood in 2023 minimizing the impact of disasters and ensuring swift response to emerging crises.

Additionally, Mustapha Habib Ahmed has been proactive in enhancing NEMA’s capacity for disaster preparedness and response. He has prioritized training and equipping emergency response teams, ensuring they are well-prepared to handle a wide range of emergencies. This focus on capacity building has not only increased the effectiveness of NEMA but has also contributed to building a more resilient nation.

Under Ahmed’s leadership, NEMA has strengthened its partnerships with international organizations and donor agencies. This has facilitated the mobilisation of resources and technical expertise to improve Nigeria’s disaster management capabilities. The increased collaboration on a global scale reflects Ahmed’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria can effectively respond to disasters with the support of the international community.

Furthermore, Ahmed has played a pivotal role in raising public awareness about disaster preparedness and mitigation. Through various campaigns and outreach programs, he has educated communities on the importance of being proactive in the face of potential disasters. This grassroots engagement has contributed to building a culture of resilience at the community level.

Mustapha Habib Ahmed’s tenure as the Director General of NEMA has been characterized by a results-driven approach. His strategic leadership, coupled with a commitment to innovation and collaboration, has positioned NEMA as a key player in disaster management not only within Nigeria but on the global stage. As the nation continues to face diverse challenges, Ahmed’s achievements stand as a testament to his dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of the Nigerian people.

*Manzo Ezekiel and
Abdulkadir Ibrahim wrote in from the information and press unit at NEMA Headquarters. 

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