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Steps to changing Nigeria by Buhari Administration at 7

By Ismaila Chafe

The Presidency has again, reeled out 28-page of President Muhammadu Buhari’s strides in Oil and gas reforms, Digital economy, Mines and steel development, Agriculture, Education, Health, Creative Industry, Sports and infrastructural development; roads, bridges, rail, air and sea ports, housing, and many others.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president’s scorecard is coming ahead of the seven year anniversary of the Buhari-led administration on May 29, 2022.

President Buhari had in May 29, 2015, took the oath of office as President, promising to serve Nigeria faithfully in all spheres of national life.

The seven years milestone, according to the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, presents a major landmark and opportunity to review the service of the president to the country, and its people.

Adesina noted that the Buhari administration has so far delivered in its promises to Nigerians although revisionists would want to look at security challenges, which are being robustly tackled by the government.

A one-stop shop of the achievements of the Buhari administration at seven indicated that a lot has been done, and a lot more will still be done in the 12 months ahead.

Nigeria, under Buhari’s watch, has continued to witness the biggest and most ambitious federal infrastructure programme since Nigeria’s Independence.

Under the administration’s Energizing Education, Economies and Agriculture Programmes, the government had so far taken clean and reliable energy (Solar and Gas) to Federal Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Markets and Rural Areas across the country.

The four Universities completed and commissioned already are, Bayero University Kano ( BUK ), Kano, FUNAI (Ebonyi), ATBU (Bauchi) and FUPRE (Delta), Sabon-Gari Market in Kano, Ariaria Market in Aba, and Sura Shopping Complex in Lagos.

On National Mass Metering Programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria is providing N200 billion for this, and so far, more than one million meters have been rolled out, in the first phase.

This first phase generated more than 10,000 new jobs in meter installation and assembly as the nationwide rollout of electricity meters to all on-grid consumers, launched in August 2020.

The Solar Power Naija (SPN), Launched in April 2021 to deliver 5 million off-grid solar connections, would be impacting more than 20 million Nigerians, and financed through Central Bank of Nigeria loans, as well as through partnerships with NDPHC, NNPC and the NSIA.

The programme is expected to generate an additional N7 billion increase in tax revenues per annum and $10 million in annual import substitution.

”Under Solar Power Naija and NDPHC’s partnership, ASolar is rolling out 100,000 Solar Home Systems across the country, while the NSIA (partnering under SPN) has announced a N10 billion fund for developers, targeting more than 250,000 solar connections.”

In May 2021, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) announced the planned deployment of solar-powered grids to 200 Primary Health Centres (PHC) and 104 Unity Schools nationwide.

Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) is a $550 million programme being implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria in partnership with the World Bank and African Development Bank. NEP is a combination of subsidies, direct contracts and technical assistance to support Electrification across Nigeria.

NEP has so far deployed more than 20,000 Standalone Solar Systems (SHS), as well as Solar Hybrid Mini-grids in more than 250 locations across the country.

The Rural Electrification Fund (REF), created by the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act of 2005, was operationalized by the Buhari Administration in 2016.

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Since 2016, the REF under REA has executed more than N4 billion in projects, with more than N5 billions of Off-Grid (mainly Solar) projects slated to be executed across Nigeria in 2022.

On the special grid interventions, the Federal Government has many key grid initiatives with more than N125.2 billion budgeted between 2015 to 2021 for TCN, and Development Finance Funding through the likes of World Bank, AFDB, AFD, JICA and others of up to $1.7 billion.

The Central Bank of Nigeria is also funding $250 million for the rehabilitation of critical interfaces between Transmission and Distribution to increase and stabilize power delivery.

Additionally, through the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), aka Siemens Power Program, an additional $2.0 billion or more will be invested in the Transmission Grid.

PPI is a Government-to-Government initiative involving the Governments of Nigeria and Germany, and Siemens AG of Germany, to upgrade and modernize Nigeria’s electricity grid.

The Contract for the pre-engineering phase of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) was signed in Feb. 2021, following the 2020 approval for the payment of FGN’s counterpart funding for that phase, while the first set of equipment contract awards were made in Dec. 2021, comprising 10 Mobitra Transformers and 10 Substations.

In all the PPI will encompass as many as 127 individual Transmission and Distribution projects (Brownfield and Greenfield).

Other ongoing interventions include 330kV Quad Lines in Alaoji to Onitsha, Delta Power Station to Benin as well as the Kano to Katsina 330kV line (respectively).

The $200 million Lagos/Ogun Transmission Infrastructure Project, financed by JICA entails the construction of about 200 km of high-voltage transmission lines and a number of high voltage substations, benefiting several communities in the two States.

Also through a special CBN intervention for Transmission Distribution interfaces, contracts have been awarded for more than 30 Substation Rehabilitations and 1,570MVA transformer capacity upgrades, with 34 critical transformers to be installed or replaced.

On a Policy level, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has rolled out various policies ranging from a Tariff-Capping Regulation for un-metered customers, to the Eligible Customer Regulations, to the introduction of a Service-based Tariff Regime and CBN oversight of Disco Bank accounts (which has helped improve payment discipline by Discos).

The Buhari administration has equally recorded tremendous success in the housing sector through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.

The ministry has completed or is completing housing projects in 34 States of Nigeria, under the National Housing Programme, with the support of the State Governments, who provided the land.

So far more than 5,000 houses are at various stages of completion, and thousands more are planned.

The Family Homes Fund Limited (FHFL), incorporated by the Federal Government of Nigeria in Sept. 2016, is the implementing agency for the Buhari Administration’s National Social Housing scheme.

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The Fund has now completed more than 13,000 homes across nine States, with another 20,000 commencing building works in 2022. In the process these housing developments have created more than 64,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The administration has also achieved a lot in the area of digital economy and these include the extension of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) ‘Pioneer Status’ to e-Commerce and software development companies.

”Stipulation of N145 per linear meter cap on Highway Right of Way (RoW) for fibre optic cabling, to incentivize investment in rollout.

”Launch of new national 5G policy in 2021, and successful licensing of two private companies to rollout 5G nationally. Nigeria’s 5G rollout will commence in August 2022.

”Establishment of new National Data Protection Bureau, which is expected to develop “primary legislation for data protection and privacy.”

”Launch of new “National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy”, by President Buhari in 2019.

‘‘Drafting of the Nigeria Startup Bill (NSB), and submission of the draft Bill to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law.

– Establishment, in 2021, of a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).
”Ongoing implementation, starting 2021, of the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase 2 (NICTIB-2) Project.

”The goal of NICTIB is to rollout a nationwide fibre infrastructure network.

”Ongoing construction of a Tier-4 Data Center in Kano, to join existing infrastructure in Abuja (Tier-3 Data Center) and Enugu (A Disaster Recovery Site). The Kano Data Center is expected to be completed in 2022.”

The major achievements of the Buhari administration in the area of oil and gas include Buhari’s assent to the Petroleum Industry Act on Aug, 16, 2021.

This, broke a two-decades-old jinx and is setting the stage for the unprecedented transformation of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

Under the new Act, the NNPC has transformed into a Limited Liability Company which will be formally unveiled by the President in July 2022.

The regulatory framework for the sector has also changed, with the establishment of:

(a) the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and

(b) the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), which merged the hitherto-existing Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board(PEFMB), and the Midstream and Downstream Divisions of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

The historic Signing Ceremony, in May 2021, of the Execution of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 118 Agreements between NNPC Limited and its Contractor Partners: Shell, Exxon Mobil, TOTAL and NAOC.

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These Agreements settled long-standing disputes that stalled development, and will unlock more than $10 billion of new deep-water investment in Nigeria.

The Buhari administration has declared this decade the “Decade of Gas.”

The Federal Government has embarked on the construction of 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Project, the largest domestic gas project in the country.

Already, the government has secured US$45 million financing from the Islamic Development Bank, for the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Study for the Nigeria–Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) project.

The Agreement for the Pipeline project was signed by the two countries during President Buhari’s State Visit to Morocco in June 2018.

When completed it will be the longest offshore pipeline in the world, and the second longest pipeline in the world, running across 13 countries, 11 of them in West Africa.

It’s believed that the successful completion of Nigeria’s first Marginal Field Bid Round in almost 20 years, is expected to raise in excess of half a billion dollars, and open up a new vista of investment in oil and gas.

”Launch of National LPG Expansion Programme (including Removal of VAT from the domestic pricing of LPG).

”Financial close and signing of contract for NLNG Train 7, which will grow Nigeria’s LNG production capacity by 35 per cent.

”Nigeria and Morocco in 2021 signed an agreement to develop a US$1.4 billion multipurpose industrial platform (Ammonia and Di-Ammonium Phosphate production plants) that will utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and 1 million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.

”It will be located in Ikot-Abasi, Akwa-Ibom State.”

The nation also witnessed the inauguration, in Dec. 2020, of the new NPDC Integrated Gas Handling Facility in Edo, the largest onshore LPG plant in the country, with a processing capacity of 100 million standard cubic feet of gas daily, producing 330 tonnes of LPG, 345 tonnes of propane and 2,600 barrels of condensate, daily.

The government also established a $350m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, to finance manufacturing, contracts and assets in the oil and gas industry.

”The NNPC Limited’s National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) became, in 2022, the first Government organization in West and North Africa to receive the ISO 22301:2019 Certification for Business Continuity Management from RINA.”

On the financing and investment in the oil and gas, Afreximbank announced in Jan. 2022 that it will assist NNPC Limited to raise $5 billion financing to support investments in Nigeria’s upstream industry, and facilitate expanded energy supply.

Afrexim also disclosed plans to underwrite $1 billion of the total planned debt.

”Final Investment Decision in January 2021 on a 10,000 tonnes per day methanol plant and a 500 million standard cubic feet per day gas processing plant, being promoted by the NNPC Limited and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), in partnership with the private sector.

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”The plant is now under construction in Odeama, Brass, Bayelsa State.

On Policy, Regulatory and Funding Support for the establishment of Modular Refineries across the Niger Delta, the Buhari administration has issued licences for six additional brownfield and greenfield Modular Refinery Projects across the Niger Delta.

In 2020 President Buhari inaugurated the first phase of the Waltersmith Modular Refinery, in Imo State, and broke ground on Phase 2, which will add 20,000bpd processing capacity.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Dec. 21, 2021, handed over a symbolic cheque of N621.24 Billion for the rehabilitation of 21 critical roads (totalling 1,800km) across the country, through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme under the Executive Order 7 signed by President Buhari in 2019.

”Note that this does not mean that NNPC has gone into the business of constructing roads; instead it is financing the construction of roads, through its tax liabilities.”

It’s also hoped that the launch of the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimization Programme (NUCOP), would reduce operating expenses through process enhancement and industry collaboration as the overall target is to achieve a $10 or less per barrel production cost. (NAN)