20 private refineries’ licences expire over inactivity

Twenty of the 43 licences granted by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to set up private refineries in Nigeria have expired without going beyond the initial level of Licence to Establish (LTE), The Guardian reports.

Another seven of these licences will expire between July and August, bringing the total to 28, which had been idle for three years, while their validity is two years. This was contained in a report by DPR on Licensed Refineries in Nigeria as at 31st January 2018 released recently. However, the 5,000 barrels per day (BPD) capacity Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, located in Ibigwe, Imo State, has gone beyond LTE to approval to construct (ATC).

Clairgold Oil and Gas Engineering Limited, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, and Dee Jones, have also advanced to the level of construction. The report revealed that the 500,000 bpd Dangote Oil Refinery Company located in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos, has been granted Detailed Engineering Design Approval by the industry regulator. Similarly, the 24,000bpd Kaiji Resources Limited refinery in Oguta, Imo State has also been granted Front End Engineering Design Approval.


Eight power plants incapacitated following operational constraints

Data from the Power Generation Report by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, has shown that at least eight out of the 27 power plants in Nigeria were shut down on April 9, due to gas, line and frequency management constraints, The Guardian reports.

The Trans Amadi Gas Turbine (GT) 1 and 2 were out due to line constraints while GT 3 was due to a fault. GT 4 tripped on generator differential lockout. Also, ASCO Power plant GT1, was shut down due to leakage in the furnace, while Ihovbor Nigerian National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) GT 1 was out due to gas constraint. GT2 was also out due to a malfunctioning gas regulating valve. Alaoji NIPP Gas Turbine 1, 2, and 4 tripped due to low gas pressure, while GT3 was shutdown due to generator air inlet filter trouble.

Afam IV and V Gas Power Plant GT13-16 were out on blade failure. GT17 tripped on loss of excitation. GT18 was out on inspection and maintenance, while GT19 and 20 are awaiting major overhaul. Sapele Steam’s ST1 tripped on low drum level, ST2 was shut down for maintenance, ST3 was out on stator winding problem, ST4 and 5 are awaiting major overhaul while ST6 tripped on gas control valve not following reference point.

Nigerians paid less for petrol, kerosene, diesel in March – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that the average price paid by consumers for petrol, diesel, and kerosene decreased in March compared to February, Premium Times reports.

The bureau released separate reports on Wednesday on each of the fuel products. The average price for petrol, per litre, decreased by 5.3 per cent from N172.5 in February to N163.4 in March. The average price recorded for March 2018, however, increased by 9.6 per cent when compared to the N149.4 in March 2017. Although the official price for the sale of petrol in Nigeria is N145, the report shows that petrol is sold at higher prices in almost all Nigeria’s 36 states and Abuja.

For diesel, the average price decreased by 1.65 per cent from N209.9 in February to N206.4 in March. The average price also decreased by 12 per cent when compared to the N234.5 recorded as the average price of diesel for March 2017. For kerosene, the average price per litre across states was N268.9. The average price was a 6.8 per cent decrease from the N288.6 recorded for February 2018 and a 13.6 per cent decrease from the N311.6 recorded for March 2017.

NYSC Camp: Things To Take To Camp

Where are the Men in the Family Planning Discourse? – #NaijaMen4FP


From inception, family planning interventions and responsibility for the uptake of family planning commodities has pre-dominantly been targeted at women. This seems logical, as women are the end users of most family planning commodities. Yet, men are often the primary decision makers that have an influence on when (or whether) women access family planning services or commodities. So, what would happen if family planning interventions and discussions targeted men just as much as they did women?  How would this affect uptake of family planning services and commodities? More importantly, how would it help Nigeria reach a modern contraceptive rate of 27% among all women by 2020, as the government has pledged?

At the just concluded 2nd THISDAY Healthcare Policy Dialogue, the Nigeria Health Watch press team spoke with Dr. Joe Abah, Country Director, DAI Global. Speaking on the role of men in family planning, he said,

“We live in a patriarchal society where all advice is targeted at women, and men take no responsibility… Men have a vital role in family planning because they have the responsibility to care about the health of their spouses… Men need to first see it as their responsibility… The fact that one party is the one bearing the physical responsibility doesn’t take away the responsibility from the other party to make sure she is in a fit state.”

The first Nigeria Health Watch Forum for 2018 is themed, “The Elephant in the Room – Men as Change Agents in the Family Planning Discourse”. The Forum, a town hall style breakfast meeting, will have four speakers address the role of men in helping Nigeria meet its FP2020 Commitments from their different perspectives.

This will be followed by two panel discussions focusing on the following critical questions:

  • How do we accelerate action to meet Nigeria’s FP 2020 Commitments?
  • How do we engage men to support their partners in seeking FP Services?
  • How do we get men to take responsibility for FP without depending on women?

The speakers and panelists come from a wide range of health care services and specialties, from general practice to community practice. Their work spans from clinical practice, teaching, policy making to management of health services.

Dr. Diene Keita, the UNFPA Country Representative brings a wide breadth of experience having worked across many countries on family planning initiatives. Effiom Nyong Effiom, Country Director for Marie Stopes International Organization Nigeria (MSION), has over 20 years of experience in commercial and social enterprise and expertise in using private sector business models to deliver social benefits.

Dr. Ejike Oji, Chairman, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, is an experienced doctor with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. He has experience in the areas of Non-profit Organizations, Life Coaching, Epidemiology, and Program Evaluation. Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, Director of Family Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, is currently responsible for initiating policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of health policies on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health as well as Elderly care, Nutrition and Health Promotion.

The panellists are: Dr. Laz Ude Eze, Family Planning Advocate, National Champion for Health; Sa’adatu Hashim, Amira, FOMWAN Kano State Branch; Florida Uzoaru, Founder, Slide Safe; and Rev. Isaac G. Gbaero, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Sabongari, Zaria, Vice-Chairman, Zaria Interfaith for Safe Motherhood/NURHI.

The Health Watch Forum will be moderated by Dr Ifeanyi Nsofor, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Nigeria Health Watch, and CEO, EpiAfric.

Our objective is simple; “To ignite change in the family planning sector by inspiring action through advocacy and innovation”.  We need to ask the tough questions because it is no longer sufficient for the Nigerian government to make declarations, they need to be held to account for outcomes.

For those who have registered to attend the event, we at Nigeria Health Watch would like you to keep three things in mind as you attend: Please download your ticket, ensure that you come early, and come with your questions, ready to learn and network with others working to make the health sector better.

There will be robust conversations both during the health forum and online throughout the day. If you are unable to attend the event, you can watch the event via livestream on our Facebook Page. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter, follow the hashtag #NaijaMen4FP. If you don’t yet, follow Nigeria Health Watch on Twitter @nighealthwatch, as we will live tweet the event.

Join us on April 18th as we explore the critical role that men play in igniting change in Nigeria’s family planning arena. Come hear the voices of #NaijaMen4FP.

FAO approves ‘climate-friendly’ solar irrigation pumps for agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has approved solar powered irrigation system as new way to develop agriculture.


The organisation made the disclosure in its news report made available on Sunday, April 15, 2018 in Abuja. It stated that the system was affordable and climate-friendly for both small-scale and large-scale farmers in developing countries.

FAO, however, warned on how to make the most of innovation and guard against water waste that the system needed to be adequately managed and regulated to avoid the risk of unsustainable water use.

It noted that the innovation had become imperative because the sharp and ongoing drops in price of photovoltaic panels gave new impetus to renewable energy source as a way to enhance irrigation capacity.

The report quoted Helena Semedo, the FAO Deputy Director-General, as saying: “A further price reduction could power a revolution in places such as sub-Saharan Africa, where only three per cent of cultivated area was irrigated, seven times less than global average.”

She added that the rapid expansion of more affordable solar-powered irrigation offered viable solutions that span the water-energy-food nexus, providing great opportunity for small-holders to improve their livelihoods, economic prosperity and food security.

She stated that “about 20 per cent of cultivated land across the globe is irrigated, contributing to about 40 per cent of total food output.

“Irrigation boosts agricultural productivity in various ways, as well as allows more and varied crops per year.

“Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America have relatively low deployment of irrigation on croplands, indicating sizeable potential gains there.”

Eduardo Mansur, the Director of FAO’s Land and Water Division, also said that apart from solar energy offering cheaper services, it increased the urgency of making sure that appropriate water management and governance systems were in place.

He urged leaders in sub-Saharan Africa to think strategically about how the technology could be used to encourage sustainable use of groundwater resources to avoid risks such as wasteful water-use and over-abstraction of groundwater.

Mansur said solar powered irrigation systems indicated the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy used for water pumping by more than 95 per cent compared to alternatives fuelled by diesel or fossil-fuel driven electricity grids.

The director urged governments to review their incentive schemes to favour “Green subsidies” over fossil fuels.

Mansur said solar irrigation pumps could also cause unsustainable groundwater extraction, as farmers expand planted areas or switch to more water-intensive crops.

He said that irrigation policy decisions should be taken after proper water accounting over larger territorial areas, as rainfall, surface water, groundwater, soil moisture and evaporation processes linked to different land uses are all part of the same hydrological cycle.

The FAO report stated that a survey of technical experts from 25 countries suggested that in three-fourths of nations’ government programmes and policies to promote small-scale irrigation, fewer than half had specific regulations limiting groundwater abstraction for such purposes.

It revealed that solar panels produced energy even at times when no irrigation was needed, opening up significant opportunities to run rice huskers, mills, water purifiers and cold storage units, all contributing to rural development and incomes.

It noted that in some cases, solar power could become “remunerative crop” if farmers were encouraged to reduce over-pumping water by opting to pool and sell their surplus energy to electricity grid.

2019 elections: statistician predicts high inflation


By Cecilia Ologunagba

A statistician, Dr Olatunji Arowolo, says the country may experience high inflation rate due to demand and spending pattern as it prepares for the 2019 elections.

Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices of goods and services is rising, and consequently the rate at which the purchasing power of currency is falling.

Arowolo, a lecturer at the Statistics Department, Lagos State Polytechnic, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, that demand pattern would likely cause changes in prices of goods and services.

He said people would envisage scarcity of some goods, and thereby, tend to produce in large quantities ahead of the elections and hoard them.

“This causes artificial scarcity and demand will be higher than supply, thereby causing general rise in the prices of these goods in particular and other goods and services in general.

“’Example is petrol. If there is hike in the price of petrol, it can lead to rise in other goods and services.’’

Arowolo, also a National Secretary of the Nigerian Statistical Association, said that the situation would cause chain effects as well.

He said farmers would spend more to transport the goods to the market which would cause the market women to add more money to the prices of goods.

“This is because market women pay for education service for their children and teachers in turn would demand higher pay and the cycle continues.’’

In addition, he said people tend to buy more and store them to reduce the risk of going to the market during election period, saying “this mentality is common to many, thereby, making goods to be scarce at that point.’’

Arowolo, however, said that the present inflation figures did not reflect a better standard of living for Nigerians.

Nigeria’s inflation rate measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped from 14.33 in February to 13.34 per cent in March year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The bureau stated that the figure showed 14 consecutive reductions in inflation rate since January 2017.

According to the bureau, the figure is 0.99 per cent points less than the 14. 33 per cent recorded in February.

Arowolo said the figure did not reflect a better standard of living because the prices of goods and services in reality did not decrease as reported by the CPI.

“CPI of 13.34 per cent year-on-year means that there is general rise in the prices of goods and services by 13.34 per cent from one year to another from the period under review.

“This means that on the average, the prices of goods and services reduced 0.99 per cent on monthly basis from January 2017 to February 2018,’’ he said. (NAN)

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