The six-year electricity deal between the FG and Germany-based Siemens AG on 22 July this year will require more than ₦1.15 trillion to execute, according to the Technical and Commercial Proposal. Both parties signed a Letter of Agreement on the Nigeria Electrification Roadmap which resulted from the meeting between President Buhari and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on 31 August 2018. The Technical and Commercial Proposal dated 7 May 2019 showed that the phase 1 of the project seeks to increase the power delivered by an additional 2,000MW, significantly reduce Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection losses and achieve improved grid stability and reliability. The scope of work for the first phase entails transmission assets upgrade, distribution assets upgrade, grid automation, national metering infrastructure, power system simulation and general technical training. The budgetary price for the transmission assets upgrade, which includes 11 containerised substations and 10 mobile substations, was put at €330 million (about ₦113.42 billion). The cost of the distribution assets upgrade, which includes products and systems for 14 stations and upgrade of 26 substations was estimated at €250 million (₦85.92 billion). The document also showed that the power system simulation would entail new software licences for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (€192,000); software M&S for TCN (€182,000); training and technical services support for TCN (€1.35 million); new software licences for 11 distribution companies (€1.41 million); software M&S for Discos (€848,000) and training and technical services support for Discos (€1.81 million). The cost of system development studies for 25,000MW transmission, sub-transmission and distribution grid capacity was put at €1 million.
FBN Holdings has written off one of its largest non-performing loans belonging to Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts. According to Urum Kalu Eke, FBN’s boss, the development contributed to the reduction of the entity’s NPL ratio from the 25.9 percent it stood in December 2018 to 14.5 percent as at June 2019. The CEO of First Bank and Subsidiaries, Adesola Adeduntan, noted that the move creates significant headroom for increased business opportunities and enhanced earnings especially in the oil & gas sector of the economy. First Bank and another lender provided a credit facility to Atlantic Energy, a $289 million term loan and working capital facilities to make payment of the entry fee to the NPDC for OML 26, 30, 34, and 42 and fund cash calls for OPEX and CAPEX on the OMLs. Atlantic Energy is promoted by the duo of Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore, both who are believed to be close allies of Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum.
The FG has said the delay in implementation of the “Consequential Adjustment” of the ₦30,000 new minimum wages is as a result of the unrealistic demands of labour unions. The Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Richard Egbule, said that the current demand of the labour unions would raise the total wage bill too high, which is why the government could not accept their proposed salary adjustments. The unions are demanding the consequential adjustment and the FG had made budgetary provision for an adjustment of ₦10,000 across the board for those already earning above ₦30,000 per month. The unions have refused the offer, saying that because of the increase in the minimum wage from ₦18,000 to ₦30,000 was 66%, therefore they want 66% increment across board. The computation based on the percentage which the government had given to the unions, was 9.5% from level 7 to 14, including level 1-6 of those salary structures that did not benefit from the minimum wage and then five per cent from level 15 to 17. He said the unions countered the offer and proposed a 30% increase for level 7 to 14 and 25% for level 15 to 17.
President Buhari has ordered the CBN to stop providing foreign exchange for food importation to ensure the steady improvement in agricultural production and attainment of full food security. According to Buhari, the foreign reserve will be conserved and used for the diversification of the economy, and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign food import bills. Some states like Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano had already taken advantage of the FG’s policy on agriculture with huge returns in rice farming, Buhari said, imploring more states to plug into the ongoing revolution in the sector. The CBN had last month announced plans to add milk and other dairy products on the forex restriction list with the aim to boost investments in local ranches.