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Reps Probe N3.45bn Abandoned Solar Power Project

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled plans to investigate the N3.45 billion approved for Solar Powered Grid Project in the six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2013.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Honourable Aniekan Umanah who called for the intervention of the House.

In his lead debate, Umanah stressed the need for Federal Ministry of Power to account for the roll out an Off Grid Renewable Solar Energy Project code named Operation Light up Rural Nigeria (OLRN) with a budget of N3.446 billion for four years, from 2013 to 2016.

According to him, the project was targeted at four communities of Durumi-Mpape, Waru, Shape in the FCT as pilot scheme with plans to expand the scope later to other states of the federation.

“The House observes that with the coming of the present administration in 2015, the solar power project was rechristened Renewable Energy (Solar) Micro Utility (REMU) by the then Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and was expanded to provide additional 18 mini grids with three in each geopolitical zone.

“The House is aware that the sum of N1.4 billion was released in 2014 to fund the pilot projects, where N40.6 billion was earmarked for periodic maintenance in 2015, and another N40.1 billion for maintenance of each of the 18 grids.

“The House is also aware that Messrs Schneider Electric Nigeria Ltd was awarded the Durumi grid in the sum of N228.4 million in 2014; Mesers Lordzetech got Waru grid for N228.4 million and also won Shape grid, all in the FCT for N218.9 million, according to records at the Bureau of Public Enterprises.

“The House is further aware that the sum of N382.6 million was fully released in 2015 to fund the 18 mini grids, while another N305.3 million meant to construct a grid in Pakau, Kaduna State was also fully released.

“The House is worried that the sum of N625.5 million has been expended on OLRN alone, while N687.9 million has also gone into funding REMU as at 2017 according to budget records.

EFCC re-arraigns ex-Lagos speaker, Ikuforiji for allegedly laundering…
“The House is also concerned that despite the huge investments on the projects, most of them were found, shortly after their commissioning in 2014 not to have been properly implemented while others were outrightly abandoned till date with some of the equipment already vandalised.

“The House is further concerned that the overall intention of government to power up the rural areas in order to create jobs and assist in the springing up of small businesses for the local populace, thereby bringing development closer to the people and checkmating rural-urban migration has been defeated by the inefficient handling of the projects since inception,” he noted.

To this end, the House mandated its Committee on Power to investigate the abandonment of the projects by the Federal Ministry of Power since 2018 despite the huge amounts of money expended and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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Petroleum: DPR Promise To Sustain Uninterrupted Product Supply 

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The Bauchi office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it will continue to ensure the availability of petroleum products across the 500 existing filling stations in the state.Malam Abdullahi Isyaku, the Operation’s Controller of the agency made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi on Monday.

Isyaku said the department would continue to closely monitor filling stations, especially on the implementation of safety measures by retail outlets.

He added that it would constantly ensure that outlets adhere to the official pump price of the commodity.

“We are determined and committed to sanctioning erring outlets found to be shortchanging consumers,’’ he said.

Isyaku said that the regulatory agency was fully committed to assisting interested marketers who want to venture into dealing with Liquefied Gas LPG in accordance with the Federal Government policy on Domestic Gas Utilisation.

According to him, the department has intensified efforts on routine surveillance of all existing retail outlets.

This is with a view to ensuring compliance with operational guidelines.

“We will not compromise standards,’’ He said.

The controller called on all registered marketers to key into the newly introduced operational monitoring tool called ‘Down Stream Remote Monitoring System’ (DRMS).

NAN reports that DRMS was recently launched by the national office of the department.

According to Isyaku, the device will assist DPR in online routine monitoring of stock positions of the products at both depots and retail outlets.

It will also help marketers to monitor activities in their filling stations.

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Leadway Assurance Charges Nigerians To Embrace Cyber Insurance

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Leadway Assurance Company Limited has charged corporate entities, institutions, religious organisations and individuals to embrace cyber insurance to protect their database and computer networks from attacks by hackers.

With increased online and internet connectivity becoming part of our day to day business, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, there is need for protection against cyber attacks, Mr. Uzodinma Ibe of the Casualty & Liability Underwriting, General Insurance, said.

He spoke at a virtual training workshop on “Understanding Cyber Insurance” organised by Leadway Assurance for insurance journalists recently.

Ibe said a comprehensive report by a United Kingdom (UK) cybersecurity company, confirmed that there was high traffic when it comes to information, transactions and data emanating from Nigeria into digital space, adding that the survey noted that 36 percent of Nigerian organisations suffered cyber attacks in the last 12 months.

He also stated that 64 percent of cyber attacks in Nigeria exploited misconfigurations on the organisation servers, pointing out that Nigeria has the highest data leakage in the world.

On business activities, social networking and governmental activities, he said the report has also identified where Nigeria as a digital hub is and to what extent are their cyber exposures.

In order to avoid cyber attacks on our computer networks, which sometimes resulted into data and financial losses, there is a need for enterprises, individuals, corporate organisations, to see it as a serious business and take up some form of cyber mitigating efforts in this regard.

According to him, “Here in Leadway, through our research, we have been able to identify a particular area of cyber exposure where corporate entities can find themselves and see how we can do proper risk management and provide specific insurance product that can help them mitigate such exposures through Cyber Risk Management Insurance which in some quarters called Cyber Liability Insurance and in some, Cyber Risk Management Insurance.

“We have been able to highlight that technology, social media and transactions over the internet (cyber platforms) play a key role in how most organisations conduct business and reach out to prospective customers today. These vehicles have gateways – platforms, integrations that cyber attackers often use.

From Leadway point of view, our Cyber Enterprise Risk Management Insurance Policies try to help any organisation mitigate risk exposure for a certain cost expenses involve with recovery after a cyber-related security breach or similar event.

On who is being indemnified or who is being provided cover, he explained that Leadway Cyber Insurance provides first-party coverage and third-party liability risk covers against cyber-attacks for organisations.

“First party which is the policyholder, the individual or that corporate entity that buys the insurance, such policy caters for private investigation expenses where there is some form of data compromise or breach to reach out to different customers to inform them of the breach.

“Third-party liability coverage indemnify companies for losses to others caused, for example, by errors and omissions, failure to safeguard data, or defamation; and other benefits including regular security-audit, post-incident public relations and investigative expenses, and criminal reward funds.

“Risks of this nature are typically excluded from traditional commercial general liability policies or at least are not specifically defined in traditional insurance products. Most people believe that only large-scale industries, such as banks only need cyber security insurance. However, any electronic information such as your name, email, contact number, financial records, medical records, payment information, government documentation, etc., stored in your personal devices can be easily and quickly hacked by a genius hacker,” he explained.

“Cyber-insurance is a specialty lines insurance product intended to protect businesses, and individuals providing services for such businesses, from Internet-based risks, and more generally from risks relating to information technology infrastructure, information privacy, information governance liability, and activities related thereto,” he pointed out.

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PENGASSAN Suspends Strike Over Chevron’s Agbami Oilfield Dispute

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Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, General-Secretary of PENGASSAN made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Yenagoa.

Okugbawa told NAN that the strike had been put on hold following a truce with company’s management on April 15. According to him, the leadership of PENGASSAN and management of CNL reached an agreement over the matter, making the proposed strike unnecessary.

Okugbawa said that the mediatory meeting by Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum with the leadership of the union scheduled for April 15 could not also hold because a truce had reached.

PENGASSAN had threatened to down tools and shutdown Agbami Offshore Oilfield over moves by Chevron to cut its workforce by 25 per cent.

The plan to lay off 600 workers was announced, in a statement, on Oct. 2, 2020 by Mr Esimaje Brikinn, CNL’s General Manager Policy, Government and Public Affairs.

Brikinn said the job cut was to reposition the oil firm for greater efficiency and competitiveness.

Agbami field, which has the capacity to produce 250,000 barrels per day (bpd), currently produces about 140,000 bpd according to industry data.

NAN

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