Travel News

France Again Evacuates Regional Airports on Attack Threats, Figaro Reports - BLOOMBERG

OCTOBER 19, 2023

BY  Valentine BaldassariBloomberg News

(Bloomberg) -- Several regional airports in France were evacuated after threats of attack on Thursday, a day after airports in France and Belgium were evacuated on the same grounds. 

There was an evacuation due to a bomb threat at the Montpellier airport, regional authorities said in a post on social media platform X. On the same platform, the Lille airport account said at 11 a.m. local time it was being evacuated after a bomb threat. It is now “progressively reopening.” 

The regional airports of Bordeaux, Nantes, Lille, and Montpellier were evacuated, the Figaro newspaper reported earlier. Beauvais airport, which is used by low cost carriers to serve the Paris region, and Tarbes-Lourdes airport in the southwestern Pyrenees region were also evacuated.

The national police said there had been threats at Lille, Nantes, Bordeaux and Nice airport but did not confirm whether they had been evacuated. Nice airport said in a post on X that there had been no evacuation. 

Paris airport operator ADP said the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports weren’t affected. 

Nigeria To Close Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos For Maintenance Repairs on Sunday - ARISE NEWS

OCTOBER 19, 2023

On Thursday, the Federal Government announced that the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos will be closed for repairs. The closure would take place from midnight on Saturday, October 21, until midnight on Sunday, October 22.

In a statement, Mrs. Olukorede Kesha, the Federal Controller of Works for Lagos State, stated that the government was prepared to commence extensive bridge restoration, beginning with crucial section repairs.

Kesha indicated that the Third Mainland Bridge would undergo extensive repairs, and that the Federal Government wanted the driving public to know that this was something they were actively working on.

In the statement, Kesha said, “However, in order to alleviate the pains currently being experienced on the bridge, the Ministry would be carrying out palliative works on the most critically failed sections along the Adeniji bound carriageway on Sunday, Oct. 22 preparatory to the comprehensive repair works.”

She urged drivers to assist traffic management personnel by following all instructions and respecting diversions to ensure smooth traffic flow, going on to say, “Motorists are encouraged to use alternative routes where possible during the period of the palliative works as the Adeniji bound of the bridge will be closed to traffic from Saturday, Oct. 21 to Sunday, 22nd 12.00 midnight.”

Many Nigerians have been bemoaning the bridge’s terrible condition lately, as large portions of its 11.8-kilometer length are filled with many potholes.

The government had, in September, postponed the repair works on the bridge due to heavy rain during that period.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

IATA Says Nigeria’s Aviation Needs Help, Laments Access to FX - NEW TELEGRAPH

OCTOBER 20, 2023

BY   Wole Shadare

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for urgent assistance for the country’s aviation industry, stressing that the entire sector needs help to stay afloat and be profitable. This was the view of IATA’s Area Manager, West and Central Africa, Dr. Samson Fatokun when the group presented the IATA certificate of membership to United Nigeria Airlines that has been showing promise since the carrier was set up on February 12, 2021.

The aviation industry in Nigeria, according to him, needs help, noting that the Federal Government needs to provide them with help. Fatokun noted that the dollar is the language of global aviation, stressing that a situation where the carriers find it extremely difficult to access the United States currency for their operations puts enormous constraints on their existence.

The aviation industry he said is suffering because of lack of access to foreign ex- change which he described as very acute at the moment. He further disclosed that IATA had been appealing to the Federal Government to come to the rescue of the carriers, adding that the issues associated with foreign exchange is not peculiar to international carriers but even to domestic carriers “Even though they are flying in this market; almost 90 percent of their revenue is in local currency and they have to attend to their costs which 90 percent are dominated by dollars.

How do you want them to maintain their aircraft without having access to foreign exchange? The dollar is the currency of civil aviation. You cannot change it. That is how it runs globally. “You don’t buy aircraft in naira, you don’t maintain aircraft in naira, and you don’t train your crew or do a simulation in naira. It is not possible.

The currency of the industry is the dollar and our government needs to understand that,” he said. He noted that if the government really wants to support the sector, there must be in place clear lines of foreign exchange supply, stressing: “You cannot have an industry supporting the whole econo- my that is a catalyst or the blood-nerve of the industry that makes it to exist is being denied.”

Speaking on airlines’ trapped funds, the IATA chief said there were issues of legacy debts before the Bola Tinubu administration came into power while the over $700 million trapped funds had risen, saying that the I&E window that IATA and airlines have been directed to is ill-liquid because the banks cannot get money from the I & E window.

Fuel scarcity: NNPCL, marketers disagree over supply as queues spread - PUNCH

OCTOBER 20, 2023

By Okechukwu Nnodim

There was a disagreement between oil marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited on Thursday over the supply of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, as queues by motorists for the commodity in filling stations grew worse.

Dealers stated that the queues in various parts of the country for petrol might continue to linger because many independent oil marketers had not been able to access the PMS for over one month.

But this was countered by the NNPCL, as it argued that the company had 30-day PMS sufficiency, though the national oil firm admitted that it was aware of the fuel queues in Nigeria.

Many filling stations, particularly those operated by independent marketers were shut due to a lack of products to dispense in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger states.

The few outlets that dispensed products in these areas, mainly those of major dealers, were greeted with queues, for instance, the Conoil filling station in front of the Abuja headquarters of NNPCL had queues on Thursday.

The same scenario played out in Lagos, Port Harcourt, and many other locations, as confirmed by marketers and motorists in the various areas.

On Thursday, dealers under the aegis of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria stated that they had been finding it tough to access petrol from the NNPCL for more than one month.

IPMAN controls over 70 per cent of retail stations that dispense PMS nationwide. Currently, many outlets operated by IPMAN members are shut due to a lack of products to dispense.

They also told our correspondent that independent marketers had to resort to major tank farm owners for products, adding that the ex-depot price at these tank farms had been raised from about N578/litre to N605/litre.

The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, stated, “Many depots are dry. The NNPCL normally keeps products in its storage that are meant to be on the ground for some duration before fresh products come in. But as we speak, I think the stored products are exhausted.

“This is because for some time now, for the past month now, NNPCL has not been supplying petroleum products to independent marketers in the Port Refinery depot and some other depots across the country.

“In Warri and Lagos, marketers are finding it difficult to source products from the NNPCL. It is the few major marketers and tank farm owners that have products, which they now sell very exorbitantly.”

Asked to state the cost at which the tank farm owners sold the products to independent marketers, Ukadike replied, “They sell it exorbitantly at between N601 and N605/litre, which is against the approved price of NNPCL that is between N577 and N578/litre.

“So it is now becoming very difficult for independent marketers to be able to source products adequately from NNPCL, which is currently the sole importer of petroleum products in Nigeria. And this is because of the reintroduction of subsidy on petrol price.”

Ukadike pointed out that until Nigeria’s refineries were fixed, it would be difficult to fully deregulate the downstream oil sector, adding that the rush for dollars had further increased due to the ban that was lifted on the provision of forex for the imports of selected items.

“The government should take drastic actions to ensure that our refineries are back on track. A new modern refinery can be built with about $8bn, and modular refineries should be encouraged, as well by giving them crude oil.

“The crude swap programme and the recent payment of cash for petroleum imports have not helped matters, rather we keep on seeing galloping inflation. Our economy is going down the drain and this has to stop,” the IPMAN official stated.

Another oil marketer corroborated the position of the IPMAN PRO, as he stated that forex was currently controlling not only the downstream oil sector but the Nigerian economy at large.

“The reason for the queues is not far from what we’ve been saying. It is forex that controls our economy right now. So whatever happens in the global market affects us,” the Secretary, IPMAN, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, stated.

He added, “But the most unfortunate aspect of it is that being an oil-producing nation, we cannot refine the oil because of mismanagement. NNPCL is not importing enough. And right now, which individual has the financial strength to import the product?

“In fact, it is as if the government is even confused about the whole situation. However, if they provide us with forex, we will import it. But until then, the queues are going to persist, because the only importer is not meeting the required demand.”

Shuaibu kicked against any official increase in petrol price, stressing that this would be resisted by the masses, but noted that “they (government) should make forex or PMS available.

“The essence of governance is to remove or reduce the suffering of the people and not to inflict or increase people’s sufferings. It is an unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in right now and it requires some form of expertise on the part of the government to tackle.”

The President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, had earlier confirmed that there was a limited supply of products by NNPCL, stressing that this was why queues had continued to persist.

NNPCL supply

Also, another dealer with the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria stated that marketers had stopped importing petrol, adding that this had also contributed to the scarcity witnessed across the country.

The dealer, who requested to be anonymous, stated that the last private dealer, PETROCAM, that imported petrol into Nigeria recently, could not sell it due to the introduction of subsidy on PMS and the insistence of NNPCL not to raise its pump price.

“The depots are dried up. That’s a statement of fact. For more than a month now no other importer has brought in product except NNPC.

The National President of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, Benneth Korie, had earlier confirmed that a lot of depots were presently dried up or out of stock.

When asked if other marketers were actually bringing in products alongside NNPCL in the past few months, the source (not Korie) replied, “Of course, yes. Emadeb started it.

“Nipco brought in products. About six to seven marketers brought in products. PETROCAM also brought products. So it wasn’t only NNPC. But these other marketers have stopped importing and we can see the effects.”

On whether NNPC has enough products since marketers have stopped PMS imports, the source replied, “NNPC also has its challenges too

“The NNPC you have now is different from the one before. If it was before, even if they bring in 10 million litres, they can give close to seven million litres to other marketers and use the rest.

“But now, even some of their retail outlets don’t have products because they are so much currently. So you cannot bring in products and be supplying third parties, leaving your own.”

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Retail Limited, on Thursday, said it was aware of the appearance of fuel queues in some parts of Lagos and other locations across the country.

“This is due to reduced depot load-out in Apapa, Lagos over a few days, and the root cause has since been addressed.

“We assure all Nigerians that there is ample supply with the sufficiency of at least 30 days. Motorists are advised to desist from panic buying as distribution will normalise over the next couple of days,” the company stated in a post on its X (formerly Twitter) handle.

No respite for Nigerians as petrol scarcity bites harder in Abuja, Lagos, others - THE GUARDIAN

OCTOBER 21, 2023

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja and Waliat Musa, Lagos

. Long queues at stations as price soars above N1000/litre at black market . Operators lament lack of forex to run businesses, mismanagement of subsidy removal

The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popular known as petrol, which again, resurfaced in some parts of the country, noticeably Abuja and Lagos, yesterday, may have further compounded the woes of Nigerians, who are currently battling lack of healthy diet due to rising inflation, forex challenges to do business, poor electricity supply amidst rising insecurity across Nigeria.

Indeed, yesterday in Abuja, Lagos, Benin, Osogbo, Ibadan and other cities, as monitored by The Guardian, the situation is fast becoming worse amidst the current administration’s poorly planned subsidy removal as most fuel stations were shut.

Fuel stations that managed to open were greeted with long queues in some of the cities. Black marketers dispensed fuel for as much as N1000 per litre, largely in the Federal Capital Territory.

This current scarcity is coming after a series of outcry by fuel marketers, who had insisted that fuel subsidy had returned on PMS as the government uses the NNPCL to manage and monopolise the market.

At the headquarters of NNPC in the Central Area of Abuja, black marketers were dispensing at about N1000 per litre, while a few private outlets sold for N649 per litre. At that, it will take at least 30 minutes before patient motorists can access the pump.

The queues at NNPC Retail stations take about an hour as motorists jostled to buy the product at N614 per litre.

Petrol marketers had raised concerns about the downturn of deregulation of the downstream sector on the country’s oil and gas industry, insisting there is a need for the Federal Government to make foreign exchange available at a subsidised rate.

The marketers admitted that the current pump price of PMS does not reflect market realities, adding that the NNPCL maintained a dominant role due to lack of forex, which marketers are unable to access at the I & E window.

With the high price of diesel, the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) at a meeting, also demanded for an increase in freight as the haulage firms noted that the state of roads in the country has gone from bad to worse.

The marketers have also asked the government to end dollarisation of local activities, especially by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

In Lagos, most stations were shut, while motorists remained on queue for the major productive hours of their days even as fuel stations increased the pump price to N620 per litre.

NNPCL retail outlets at Falomo, Ikoyi and Ikeja in Lagos were shut while the one at Okota sold at N605. Jezco petrol station on Okota road sold for N615 while Majok fuel station dispensed at N618.

Some fuel stations in Osogbo, Osun State sold at the rate of N615, N620, while Bovas in Osogbo sold at the rate of N590.

The Guardian learnt that the situation was better in some parts of Oyo, Osun and in Ogun State as fuel stations sold at the rate of N585.

Speaking with The Guardian, a motorist, Azeez Akanni, decried how the scarcity has affected his business due to time wasting and loss of income.

“Passengers think we are being cruel, yesterday, where we normally charge N200 was N400 because of the time wasted at the fuel station and I had to buy black market which, was sold for N650 per litre.” he said

He charged the government to find a lasting solution to the crisis as he suggested the return of subsidy on PMS.

To a motorcycle rider, Aliyu Ahmed, who expressed anger and frustration, said he was yet to meet his income target as he wasted almost all day at the fuel station.

“I am tired, it’s as if I’m giving a free ride to people because it’s what they pay me to use in buying fuel. I bought N620 when I didn’t even have N1000 yet, ” he said.

A resident and business woman, Adeola Adeoye told The Guardian that the situation has left many Nigerians in great discomfort as they struggle to meet their daily needs.

She added that business has not been booming, with the hope that it won’t come to a halt, as she needs the fuel for her business being a frozen foods trader.

“Electricity is not reliable; the only thing that keeps my business moving is by fueling the generator to ice my goods but with the scarcity, I’m scared, the government should find a solution to it or return us back to the subsidy era, that time was convenient for us,” she said.

Emmanuel Chukwujekwu, a resident of Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos, told The Guardian that scarcity returned immediately as the dollar-to-naira climbed to N1100.

Chukwujekwu expressed his dissatisfaction over the scarcity, noting that the best solution is for Nigeria to have a working refinery.

He charged the government to ensure the refineries in the country are working to ease the burden and cushion the effect of FX rate on fuel on Nigerians.

Ibom Air Begins Flight To Accra - DAILY TRUST

OCTOBER 21, 2023

By Iniabasi Umo

Ibom Air has started its regional flight with operations from Lagos, Nigeria to Accra in Ghana.

The Akwa Ibom State-owned airline said the first regional flight is in line with its vision “to be a world-class African regional airline” by offering passengers an industry-leading travel experience that encompasses schedule reliability, on-time departures, and excellent service.

The flight departed Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria at 7. 45am on Tuesday.

General Manager, Marketing and Communication, Ibom Air, Mrs Aniekan Essienette, said the Managing Director, Ghana Airports Company Limited, Mrs. Pamela Djamson-Tettey, received the airline when it touched down in Accra.

Djamson-Tettey who was represented by Mr Kwame Baffour Awuah said the move is a demonstration of the confidence reposed in the Ghana aviation industry.

Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air, Mr George Uriesi, said, “This is a significant step for Ibom Air as we expand our network out of Nigeria and into the African continent. With this new route, we aim to enhance connectivity between Nigeria and Ghana, fostering tourism, trade, and tighter economic and cultural ties.

“Ibom Air remains committed to delivering exceptional services to our passengers, and we invite travellers between Nigeria and Ghana to choose Ibom Air and experience the best of our service offering”.

Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Charles Udoh said the inaugural flight marks a significant milestone in the history of Akwa Ibom, owners of the airline.

Diesel Cars Moved From London to the North After Ulez Expansion - BLOOMBERG

OCTOBER 22, 2023

BY  Jamie NimmoBloomberg News

A ULEZ sign at the emission zone boundary in Bexleyheath, London.  Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A ULEZ sign at the emission zone boundary in Bexleyheath, London.  Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg , Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Diesel cars are being moved out of London and into the north of England and Scotland after a crackdown on emissions in the city.

Vertu Motors, one of the UK’s largest car dealers, is responding to London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s expansion of the ultra-low emission zone by shifting diesel vehicles to areas outside the UK capital, according to Chief Executive Officer Robert Forrester.

The expanded ULEZ is also hitting the value of diesel cars that just miss out on being exempt from charges, according to data from Auto Trader, a listing site for used vehicles. Under the new system, aimed at improving London’s air quality, motorists whose cars do not meet emissions standards, including most diesel automobiles registered before 2015, have to pay a daily charge of £12.50 ($15.18) just to leave their driveway.

Diesel cars remain popular elsewhere in the UK because they tend to be cheaper to run over longer distances and because there are no ULEZ-style restrictions, Forrester said.

“We are moving cars from the south to the north,” said the CEO of Vertu, whose brands include Bristol Street Motors. “Normally you make money going the other way because you can get more money for cars in the southeast of England than you can for cars in Scotland. So we tend to ship cars south if you want more money, but there definitely has to be a shift of cars from south to north now, because who the hell wants one in the south of England?”

ULEZ Expansion

Plans for ULEZ were first proposed by former Mayor Boris Johnson in 2015, but it was his successor Khan who introduced the initial restrictions in central London in April 2019. The zone was expanded in October 2021, but the latest extension, which took effect in August and covers the whole of Greater London, has proved the most controversial.

Critics have said it penalizes suburban residents who are more reliant on cars to get around because the public transport infrastructure is not as good as in central London. Khan has described ULEZ as the “best-ever two-for-one offer you will ever receive,” because he says it tackles both air pollution and climate change.

Second-hand diesel cars registered just before the 2015 cut-off to comply with London’s low-emissions regulations have lost more value than the average diesel car since Khan unveiled his expansion plans last November, data from Auto Trader shows.

The average price of the 10 most viewed models of diesel cars that narrowly miss the 2015 cut-off fell by 9.5% in the year to August. By comparison, the average price of a diesel car actually rose by 3.1% in that period.

The biggest drop was a 14.1% fall in the average price of a 2012 Audi A3 diesel model, which fell from £7,084 in August 2022 to £6,085 in August this year – a £999 decline. The average price of a 2014 Range Rover Sport diesel decreased by 13.8% to £24,973.

Market Distortions

The ULEZ expansion has caused “some distortions” in a generally buoyant secondhand car market, according to Ian Plummer, commercial director of Auto Trader.

“Since Sadiq Khan announced the extension at the end of November last year, some models have fallen by 10% or more – almost £3,000 in some cases,” he said.

The fall in the price of some cars is in stark contrast to the secondhand market during the pandemic, when prices soared as supply-chain issues caused a shortage of brand new cars.

Many people like to browse sites such as Auto Trader to search for their dream car without any intention of actually buying it, meaning the 10 most viewed models are not necessarily the ones most frequently bought.

Petrol pump price hits N630/litre as more filling stations shut down - NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

OCTOBER 23, 2023

by Adetola Bademosi


Amid the ongoing crisis regarding the availability of fuel across the country, the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) now stands at approximately N625 to N630 per litre.

Oil marketers continue to voice concerns about the mass shutdown of filling stations and the inability to transport petroleum tankers due to the skyrocketing costs associated with importation, lifting, transportation, and distribution of petroleum products.

Due to a lack of foreign exchange, marketers are struggling to import petroleum products, compounded by their inability to access products from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), leading to the current scarcity.

Stakeholders back Petrol Pump Price downward review

Investigations reveal that most filling stations within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are either not dispensing products or are selling them in the N625-N630 per litre range.

In response, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), the sole importer of fuel, has insisted that there is an ample supply of the product, with a 30-day sufficiency.

Commenting on the situation, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, the Spokesperson of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), commended the government’s decision to maintain the current PMS price, considering the various crises afflicting the sector. However, he cautioned that if the current rate persists, petrol prices should be between N900 and N1,000 per litre, potentially creating a dire situation for Nigerians.

Ukadike explained, “The Federal Government has shifted away from deregulation and is now subsidizing petroleum products due to importers’ inability to source dollars from the parallel market, where the dollar rate is nearly N1,300. The government’s intervention, through its subsidiary NNPCL, has emerged as the country’s sole fuel importer, thus ensuring continued subsidy for Nigerians.”

He highlighted other factors contributing to the price increase, stating, “In Abuja, marketers are selling at N630 per litre because they are buying from Lagos, and the transportation cost from Lagos is now approximately N2.3 million, depending on the truck’s capacity, compared to the previous N400,000.”

Billy Gillis Harry, President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), noted that as of Friday, the PMS price from the depot was N605 per litre, justifying the noticeable adjustment in the retail price. He advised consumers that if they find PMS at N640 or N650, they should consider it a fair deal due to the challenges faced by retailers in sourcing and distributing the product.

More Canadians struggling with monthly mortgage payment: Angus Reid survey THE CANADIAN PRESS

OCTOBER 23, 2023

TORONTO — A new study says the number of Canadians struggling with their monthly mortgage payment is on the rise, along with worries of potentially higher payments when it comes time to renew with their bank.

Data released Monday by the Angus Reid Institute shows 15 per cent of mortgage holders say they find the financial aspect of their mortgage "very difficult," up from eight per cent in March and 11 per cent in June.

The survey says that despite expectations the Bank of Canada will hold its key interest rate steady at five per cent when it announces its next decision Wednesday, the current level has 79 per cent of respondents worried or very worried they will face higher payments when it comes time to renew their mortgage.

Those with variable-rate mortgages were less likely than respondents on fixed-rate mortgages to find their monthly payments easy to handle at the moment, but those with variable-rate loans were also less likely to be "very worried" about what their next mortgage renewal might bring compared to those on fixed-rate mortgages.

Canada's central bank held its key interest rate steady last month but left the door open to more rate hikes, citing concerns about the persistence of underlying price pressures.

The September consumer price index report helped ease some concerns about the inflation rate, which fell back to 3.8 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press

Revamping and revitalising Nigeria’s railway network - MINING REVIEW

OCTOBER 23, 2023

…Africa Energy Bank targets cross border infrastructure

By Obas Esiedesa

THE Federal Government Monday admitted that Nigeria was ill-prepared to take advantage of the significant increase in the demand for natural gas by European countries following the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war last year.

Following the outbreak of the war and imposition of sanctions, Russia cut gas supply to European countries leading to a huge energy crisis and increased demand for alternative sources of gas.

With over 200trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserve and regarded as one of the leading gas resource countries in the world, Nigeria failed to reap from the huge rise in demand due to poor investments and lack of foresight.

Speaking at the 3rd Biennial International Conference on Hydrocarbon Science & Technology, ICHST 2003, organized by the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, in Abuja, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo observed that Nigeria’s vast natural gas reserves remain largely under tapped for export and domestic markets.

The conference has the theme: The future of the oil and gas industry: Opportunities, challenges and development.

Mr. Ekpo noted that the country needs to do more to improve investment that would lead to increased gas production that would guarantee sustainable energy supply to its people and generate revenues for the government.   

According to him, “Recent world events like the Russian-Ukraine conflict accentuated the fragile nature of the dynamics of energy demand. With a particular reference to gas, Nigeria was inadequately prepared and did not seize the opportunities created by the increase in the demand for gas supply to Europe and other parts of the world.

“On our home front, there is the need to boost the domestic market for gas. Nigeria is known to be a gas-rich country rather than oil with a proven reserve of over 200tcf of gas. Local issues include inadequate infrastructure, unfair regulatory environment for gas, sabotage of pipelines and the inability to optimize value from abundant gas reserves”, he added.

On his part, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri tasked industry operators, experts and technologists to come up with solutions that would tackle challenges peculiar to the Nigerian environment including oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

In his keynote address, the Secretary General, Africa Petroleum Producers Organisation, APPO, Dr Farouq Ibrahim noted that given the huge energy shortfall in the continent, the planned Africa Energy Bank would focus mainly on providing finances for cross border energy infrastructures.

Dr. Ibrahim warned that it would be a huge mistake for African countries to abandon their hydrocarbon resources due to energy transition, adding that Africa must seek to make better use of its resources for economic development.

“While the world is committed to a speedy energy transition, Africa owes its people a duty to utilize its abundant oil and gas resources to provide them energy, which is the most potent catalyst for socio-economic development. In other words Africa must create a future for the oil and gas industry”.

He observed that “We have been made to believe that we are too poor to buy energy. So over 70 percent of the oil we produce daily is exported to those who are rich to buy it. Over 40 percent of the gas we produce is also exported outside Africa. Yet, our continent has the largest proportion of its people living in energy poverty, with over 600 million of its population living without access to electricity and 0ver 900 million without access to any form of modern energy for cooking or other domestic use.

“What we have failed to realize is that until we are able to energize the hundreds of millions living without energy, our quest for poverty alleviation shall remain a mirage. Energy is the biggest catalyst for economic transformation. Empower the people to access energy, not just to light their homes but also to create cottage industries and you will be shocked at the multiplier effect.

“Towards this end, Africa Energy Bank, shall aim to support the development of energy infrastructure, particularly the development of cross border energy infrastructure”.

Earlier, the Principal/CEO, PTI, Dr Henry Adimula explained that energy democratization “stands as a paramount concept. It entails the democratization of energy resources and technology, ensuring that clean and sustainable energy sources are accessible to all, regardless of their location or economic status”.


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