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Nigerians ‘ll witness improved power supply soon – Adelabu

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Adebayo Adelabu

The Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, has promised Nigerians that they will witness improved power supply across the nation soon.

Adelabu made the promise on Friday in a chat with newsmen when he arrived at the Ladoke Akintola Airport, Alakia Ibadan.

The minister, who received a rousing welcome from his political associates, supporters, family and friends, noted that his ministry was the most criticised sector and so important to the economic emancipation of Nigerians.

According to him, the task ahead is huge because the nation has suffered so long as a result of the low performance of the ministry, in terms of power supply to Nigerians.

Adelabu, however, allayed the fear of Nigerians about the challenge, saying the turn-around they had been looking for in the power sector had come.

The Minister said he would do everything possible to make sure the Ministry, under his leadership, laid a good foundation for 24/7 power supply in Nigeria.

“We know it’s not something that is achievable overnight but we believe that once the foundation is laid, others can also build on it.

“I can tell you that between six months and one year, we will start seeing improvement in the power sector.

“Within the next six months, there would be major addition to the national grid, in terms of hydro power plant, that is the Zugeru 700mw in Niger state, that is about to be completed. This will be the biggest one in Sub-sahara Africa when completed.

“The Kanji dam that we all grew up to know supplies about 460mw, Sororo dam supplies about 520mw.

“I will do everything to ensure that Zugeru power plant is inaugurated and subsequently add 700mw to the national grid,” he stated.

The minister noted that it was a fact that some resources had been wasted in the sector and it had not really succeeded as expected by Nigerians.

He, however, reminded Nigerians that “this is a new era and I will use everything that God has given me to ensure that we have stable power supply in the country.”

Adelabu hinted that he and all relevant people in the sector would sit down, between two weeks and one month, to study what was on ground.

“The status of each of the stages in the power supply value chain, be it generation, distribution and transmission, to know where the challenges are.

“When we study all these, we will be able to put together a turn around master plan of the power sector and inform Nigerians of the master plan of the sector under my leadership.”

He expressed appreciation to President Bola Tinubu for counting him worthy for the position of minister, pledging to exceed the expectations of Nigerians in general.

NAN also reports that the minister and his entourage later observed Jumat service at Oja’Oba Central Mosque Mapo Ibadan, where Sheik Abdulganiyu Agbotomokekere charged him to use his new position to the service of humanity.

Agbotomokekere urged Adelabu to have the fear of his creator in his day to day activities while carrying out his statutory responsibility.

The minister, who also paid a courtesy visit to the Olubadan of Ibadan land, was encouraged to be a good ambassador of Ibadan land.

Speaking on behalf of Oba Olalekan Balogun, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Abiodun Daisi – a member of Olubadan in Council, congratulated Adelabu on the new appointment.

He described the minister as a humble and industrious son of Ibadanland, “who is an exceptional person because of his love for Ibadan land”.

“Adelabu’s passion for his home town, Ibadan, made him to establish many industries in Ibadan land where many people were employed to earn their living.

“I urge you, on behalf of Olubadan, to do your best in fixing the problem of electricity in Nigeria,” he said.

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Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

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AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

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CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism

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In a major development aimed at financial stability and strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to resume its weekly intervention in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market through the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

In 2021, the central bank, in a bid to achieve its mandate of safeguarding the value of the local currency, ensuring financial system stability, and shoring up external reserves, announced the immediate discontinuance of foreign currency sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country.

However, the resumed intervention, which would reportedly commence today for funding as well as Tuesday for collection, will see the apex bank inject FX into the subsector in a bid to rescue the naira from further depreciation against major currencies, particularly the US Dollar. The collection will be at designated CBN branches in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Awka, while details of the naira accounts to be credited for funding bidding will also be made available today.

CBN is also expected to publish the list of eligible BDCs to benefit from its funding using certain compliance criteria.National Executive Council of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) hinted on the latest developments through a memo to its members over the weekend.

The association also warned members that it will no longer be business as usual under the new supervisory regime of the central bank, as any infringement or infraction would result in outright revocation of license and prosecution.

ABCON said through the association’s various engagements with the central bank, in conjunction with ABCON’s strategic partners, CBN had agreed to its request, under the bank’s supervision, to inject liquidity into the market through a weekly intervention beginning today.

CBN assured ABCON that the new circular on the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines to BDCs, which was introduced over the weekend, was only a draft exposure that required the association’s inputs before the release of the final guidelines by the apex bank.

To that effect, the letters of the guidelines were not cast in stone, the association’s leadership told its members, who had been worried over the sweeping reforms in the document, which, among other things, prescribed N2 billion and N500 million minimum capital for national and state BDCs, respectively.

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