The Director-General, Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Michael Ohiani says Nigeria is yet to upscale its infrastructure stock to the level that will drive the economy as expected.Ohiani said this while delivering a Keynote Address virtually at the 2022 WorldStage Economic Summit(WES) with the theme : ‘Nigeria’s Economy: Bridging the Infrastructural Gap” on Wednesday in Lagos.According to him, while the major problem facing the economy is the lack of adequate infrastructure, the government alone cannot afford to provide the funding necessary to achieve the infrastructure up to the level needed.Ohiani said the desired level would stimulate the much needed economic growth.“It is a known fact that infrastructure drives economic growth and development of any nation.“Our nation has over the years, produced several development plans, but unfortunately, we have not yet upscaled our infrastructure stock to the level which will drive the economy as expected,” he said.According to him, the Federal Government is totally committed to the development of infrastructure through Public Private Partnerships (PPP).Ohiani said this is evidenced by President Muhammadu Buhari’s continuous commitment, as provided in the 2021-2025 National Development plan (NDP) which seeks to encourage more private sector participation in National infrastructure development.He said: “The NDP has a projected N348.1 trillion, with the entire government of the federation programmed to provide about N49 trillion.“The remaining amount is programmed to be provided by the private sector.“This has been the trending truth over the years, that the revenue to our government cannot meet the needed infrastructure quantum and speed.”The acting director-general noted that the ICRC Act of 2005 came into existence to enable private sector participation in the development and operation of critical infrastructure, which was hitherto the obligation of the government to provide.Ohiani emphasised that the country needed to have more investments and innovative ideas on infrastructure development using already proven and trusted techniques from around the world.Ohiani also said that there was need for more commitment from the private sector towards the actualisation of those goals.He said that in the past 14 years, ICRC has gotten Federal Executive Council approval for more than 50 projects, amounting to more than N3 trillion in private sector funds and currently providing regulatory guidance on more than 200 projects.“As part of the ICRC mandate, we gazette and publish a list of PPP eligible projects annually, so that prospective investors will know when and what to invest in.“As at May 2022, there are 77 post-contract PPP projects under implementation at the ICRC Projects Disclosure Portal (www.ppp.icrc.gov.ng or www.icrc.gov.ng).“The portal is the first disclosure portal in the world, established in collaboration with the world bank.“As at May 2022, there are 197 pre-contract projects at Development and Procurement phases at the ICRC Website a between 2010 and 2021.“Also, under the regulatory guidance of the ICRC, the Nigerian government has approved PPP projects worth more than 8 billion dollars.“As at May 2022, the ICRC has issued 128 Outline Business Case Compliance Certificates, which show their bankability.“In the same period, the ICRC has issued 50 Full Business Case Compliance Certificates to date,” he said.According to him, the continuing success of PPP’s around the world and even in Africa shows us that government can share in the responsibility of providing infrastructure given the right guidelines, and within the regulatory framework provided by the ICRC establishment Act 2005.The acting director-general noted that government had laid the foundation in the ICRC act, saying, “It is now time for the private sector to take advantage of this huge opportunity to invest and develop critical infrastructure through private finance initiatives”.He said ICRC is opened to investors and could be reached for advice and guidance in the development of PPP projects.Ohiani commended WorldStage for organising such forum to brainstorm on the challenges causing infrastructural gap in the country and contributing in proferring solutions to it.In his welcome address, Mr Segun Adeleye, Executive Officer (CEO), WorldStage said that the country is currently facing huge infrastructural gap that has hindered the desire to exploit its rich natural and human resources to stimulate development.Adeleye stated that Nigeria was ranked number 116 competitive nation in the world out of 140 countries in the 2019 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, largely due to the poor state of its infrastructure.He noted that the money needed to attain the level of infrastructure desired will not come from the Federal budget ; hence, the approval for the creation of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari.The CEO said that the country is availed with huge potential in the PPP option by ICRC to address infrastructure deficit.A panel discussion led by Mr Dare Mayowa, Publisher, Global Financial Digest resolved that Nigerians must recruit the right leaders that will make various institutions work effectively and efficiently ; hence fill the infrastructural gap.Other discussants at the panel were Mr Soji Adeleye, CEO Alfecity Institution, Mrs Maureen Chigbo, Publisher, Realnews Managazine, Dr Joy Ogaji, CEO, Association of Power Generation Companies, Nigeria. 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Dr Oluseye Ajuwon, a lecturer of Economics at the University of Lagos, has charged the Federal Government to maintain good governance that ensures public infrastructures are well protected, managed, and maintained.Ajuwon gave the advice at the 2022 WorldStage Economic Summit (WES) with the theme: “Nigeria’s Economy: Bridging The Infrastructural Gap” on Wednesday in Lagos.According to him, true patriotic leadership is most needed in ensuring sustainable infrastructure development.Ajuwon said that infrastructure which include buildings, roads, power, transportation, communication, healthcare, education, water supply, sanitation, among others remain the basic physical and organisational structures and facilities.These, he explained were needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.Ajuwon, also a researcher, said that infrastructure remains the underlying foundation or basic framework upon which the economy of a country is built.According to him, infrastructure is key to economic development, particularly as it relates to the construction, management, and regulation of infrastructure projects.The lecturer said that the underdevelopment of physical infrastructures had been the major constraints confronting the Nigeria economic and social development over the years.Ajuwon said those critical infrastructure gradually decayed over time due to neglect.“The poor performance and inefficiency in the operation of the nation’s infrastructure has been described as major constraints to industrial performance and productivity growth.“As a result, the average growth rate of the national economy has stagnated and stunted around five per cent for many years because the state of our infrastructure does not encourage investment, ” he said.According to him, government, investors, lenders, and all stakeholders in project development must commit to providing pragmatic and sustainable infrastructure that meet international best standards.Ajuwon advised that on-going and future developments in the country should be closely monitored while ensuring that the projects are awarded on merits, and practical timelines are given to contractors and strictly followed for completion.The researcher urged the government to continue its fight against corruption, address excessive spending in governance and direct saved resources to providing infrastructures for the overall growth of the economy.He maintained that government facilities should be appropriately managed and put into effective and efficient use while abandoned projects should be resuscitated, and less impactful projects, where necessary, should be curtailed.“It is expected that Public Private Partnership (PPP) could be a viable avenue for securing the private partnership in the management of these projects.“Credit facilities for infrastructural projects should be made easily accessible with minimum interest rates, as this will serve as a boost to investment and PPP in infrastructural projects. “The government could also consider giving tax incentives, developing residential housing estates around the project locations, amongst other things.“This will drive human traffic to those project areas and make the project more viable, practicable, feasible, and appealing to the private sectors,” he said.In his welcome address, Mr Segun Adeleye, Executive Officer (CEO), WorldStage, said that the country is currently facing huge infrastructural gap that had hindered the desire to exploit its rich natural and human resources to stimulate development.Adeleye said that Nigeria was ranked number 116 competitive nation in the world out of 140 countries in the 2019 Edition of the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, largely due to the poor state of its infrastructure.He noted that the money needed to attain the level of infrastructure desired would not come from the Federal budget; hence the approval for the creation of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari.According to Adeleye, the country is being availed with huge potential in the PPP option by ICRC to address infrastructure deficit.“Unlike government funding, private financing sources portend an uncapped and near-limitless pool of funding for investments in infrastructure through banks, bonds, among others.“The focus of the WES 2022 is to examine the infrastructural gap challenges and proffer solutions that would significantly help at improving prospects of achieving the nation’s economic potential,” he said.A panel discussion led by Mr Dare Mayowa, Publisher, Global Financial Digest, resolved that Nigerians must recruit the right leaders that would make various institutions work effectively and efficiently.This, he noted would fill the infrastructural gap in the country.Other discussants at the panel were; Mr Soji Adeleye, CEO Alfecity Institution, Mrs Maureen Chigbo, Publisher, Realnews Managazine, Dr Joy Ogaji, CEO, Association of Power Generation Companies, Nigeria.
The Electric Power Generation Companies (GenCos) have called on stakeholders in the electricity sector to come together to solve the current erratic supply instead of the blame game.
Ms. Joy Ogaji, Executive Secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), said this at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday.
Ogaji said that to ensure the sustainability of electricity in the country, stakeholders in the sector must address the root causes of the current erratic power supply and not the symptoms.
“Let's fix the electricity sector, instead of the blame game. We want to sit down with the government and analyze the problems and find solutions that will improve the supply of electricity.
“As a matter of urgency, we want to sit down with the government, if we want the sustainability of power in the market.
“We are also calling on the various agencies in the electricity sector to call the GenCos to a room, we are tired of crying on the pages of the newspapers before they listen to us,” he said.
According to Ogaji, the current state of the national grid must be addressed to stop denying Nigerians their legitimate expectation of a reliable and unimpeded electricity supply.
It also revealed that poor network management had affected the performance of the GenCos and damaged some units of its infrastructure.
Specifically, he said they hired an expert the year before to investigate the problem, and the expert found that the machines were not performing optimally.
Ogaji said that GenCos could generate 8,000 megawatts – 9,000 megawatts of electricity if the energy sector could get it right.
The Executive Secretary also revealed that cargo rejection had been a major issue affecting his performance.
“As we are currently generating an average of 4,000MW and more, we hope to generate more,” he said.
Ogaji said that GenCos had consistently demonstrated its commitment to Nigeria, Nigerians and the energy sector.
“We have continued to make enormous sacrifices and endure inestimable losses in our quest to create a virile and prosperous energy sector that will benefit one and all.
“We reaffirm our commitment to work with all stakeholders to fix the electricity sector. If we do the Nigerian electricity supply industry right, we will do the Nigerian economy right,'' he said.
The Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) has appointed Mr Omatseyin Ayida as its new Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT).
The development followed the retirement of Mr Emmanuel Nnorom from the board, having completed his four-year tenure.
Mrs Joy Ogaji, the Executive Secretary, APGC, in a statement in Abuja on Friday said the appointment and retirement of Ayida and Nnorom was in line with the association’s governance charter.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the change of baton was reached at the association’s 3rd Annual General Meeting, which held on Wednesday, June 17.
Ayida is a member of the Board of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL), concessionaire of Kainji and Jebba Hydro Power Plants.
He was nominated to represent MESL as a member of the BOT of the APGC in 2018.
He has a wealth of experience at Board and Management levels in Energy, Financial Markets, Strategy and Risk Management.
Ogaji revealed that Ayida is currently the Managing Director of Saken Capital Partners Limited, having served as the Managing Director of Ruyat Oil Limited previously.
According to her, Nnorom, who represent Transcorp Power Limited on the BOT, also stepped down as a member of the board.
She said that he has been replaced by the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), Mrs Owen Omogiafo.
Nnorom, in his remarks, thanked the APGC for the confidence reposed on him as Chairman BOT, while noting the issue of liquidity arising from the debts owed Generation Companies (GENCOs) for power already generated, transmitted and consumed by Nigerians.
He said, as an association, there are immediate challenges the APGC must tackle.
“‘For instance, we appreciate the recent improvement in payment by Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) of money owed the DisCos.
“While other outstanding legacy debt equally owed our members be paid to enable them meet funding obligations critical to their ability to stay operational,” he said.
On his part, Ayida appreciated the board’s confidence in choosing him to lead the association after the exemplary work done by Nnorom.
He thanked Nnorom for his leadership, vision and tenacity as his appointment showcases the strong corporate governance culture we have as an association.
“I will build on his successes and maintain our members’ commitment to supporting Nigeria’s development by generating much-needed power for the country.
“The appropriate authorities/stakeholders should ensure improvements in the transmission and distribution infrastructure in the country,
“So as to enhance increased dispatch and evacuation of power generated, which will bring about improved supply to Nigerians,” Ayida said.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Mrs Joy Ogaji, Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies of Nigeria (APGC), made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
Ogaji said that such coordinated effort would realistically and sustainably address issues of the power sector so that Nigerians could have access to reliable electricity supply.
She noted that such collaboration would: “Ensure Effectiveness of all market agreements, firm monitoring and enforcement of the rules by the regulator on all market participants.
“Ensure that the monitoring and enforcement agencies in the sector procure and improve data quality to enable efficiency and improved future planning and projection.”
According to her, the National Assembly (NASS), and the Presidency also have a monitoring role in the power sector by reviewing the quarterly reports from Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission and its activities.
Speaking on the recent call by the senate to reverse the privatisation of the power sector, she said that the GenCos empathised with Nigerians on the current abysmal situation of electricity supply.
“We also understand that this might have led to the frustration expressed by the senate in calling for an outright cancellation of the privatisation of the power sector.
“It is very pertinent to state that the reversal of the privatisation exercise of 2013 is not the solution to resolving the current abysmal state of the sector.
“As responsible corporate citizens we are going to use this medium to provide additional insight into the challenges plaguing the sector and proffer a pragmatic approach toward increasing and sustaining electricity supply to Nigerians,” she said.
Ogaji noted that the current situation in the sector was adversely affecting operations of the GenCos thereby jeopardising their investments.
She said the situation had a very high potential to negatively impact the inflow of Foreign Direct Investments to the country.
She said that GENCOs had made large scale investments and taken business risks in the power sector.
“Consequently, they fulfilled their own part of the obligations as stated in the stipulated terms and guidelines at the inception in November 2013.
“The GENCOs as responsible and patriotic operators continue to demonstrate absolute commitment by operating at their maximum available capacities even in the face of national grid constraints.”
She gave “outstanding debts owed by the federal government and failure of government agencies and other operators in the power value chain to honour their commitments” as constraints.
She said such were “as per stipulated terms and guidelines for an effective and efficient power supply system in Nigeria”.
Ogaji reiterated the GenCos commitment to a vibrant and efficient NESI and their willingness to continue to be part of creating workable and sustainable solutions to the challenges of the sector.