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Exclusion of Local Manufacturers Sparks Concern over World Bank-Funded Meters

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has raised alarm regarding the potential displacement of local meter manufacturers and assemblers in the downstream segment of the power sector. This displacement is expected to occur during the government’s implementation of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) Phase II, which is funded by the World Bank and aims to supply 1.2 million smart energy meters.

I use  a statement released by MAN, they expressed apprehension over the advertised financial requirements and technical specifications set by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). These requirements appeared to be biased against local manufacturers, as they were unreasonably strict and contradicted the guidelines established by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the NMMP’s implementation.

Manufacturers have invested significantly in expanding their production capacities and have trained and promoted a skilled workforce to align with the Federal Government’s backward integration policy and the NMMP intervention. These efforts were aimed at meeting the power sector’s demands as envisioned in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.

The statement from MAN highlighted the potential dangers this exclusion poses to the power sector, drawing attention to the unfortunate scenario that occurred in 2012. At that time, local manufacturers were sidelined in the meter supply, leading to the installation of substandard meters provided by foreign companies that were awarded the contract but later removed from the network.

MAN warned that the TCN’s emphasis on providing employment opportunities through the installation process would pale in comparison to the job creation potential if local manufacturers were included in the scheme. They estimated that including local manufacturers could result in a ratio of 1 job to every 10 jobs created.

Furthermore, MAN emphasized that the deliberate disregard for local manufacturers failed to acknowledge their commendable performance in deploying and installing a total of 611,231 energy meters across the country from January 2019 to January 31, 2021.

It is crucial to address these concerns raised by MAN to ensure a fair and inclusive approach to the implementation of the NMMP Phase II. By favoring local manufacturers and considering their contributions and capabilities, the power sector can benefit from high-quality meters, promote domestic industry growth, and generate more employment opportunities.

The government, in collaboration with the World Bank and the TCN, should reassess the financial requirements and technical specifications to create a level playing field for local manufacturers. This will not only support the country’s backward integration policy but also safeguard the power sector from potential setbacks caused by the supply of substandard meters.

Incorporating local manufacturers into the scheme will not only bolster the economy but also enhance the overall reliability and efficiency of the power sector. By harnessing the expertise and experience of local manufacturers, the NMMP Phase II can achieve its goals effectively while stimulating economic growth and job creation in Nigeria.

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Police Probe US Businessman’s Sudden Demise in Lagos Hotel

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– US-based businessman Onyejekwe Izuchukwu found dead in Lagos hotel
– Police investigation underway to determine cause of death
– Autopsy to be performed to reveal more details

The Lagos State Police Command has launched an investigation into the sudden death of Onyejekwe Izuchukwu, a 62-year-old US-based businessman. Izuchukwu’s body was discovered in his hotel room in Ikoyi on June 9, 2024.

According to a source, Izuchukwu had been staying at the hotel since June 6, engaging in business activities. Tragically, his lifeless body was found by a cleaner on the floor of his room.

The hotel’s management reported the incident to the police, who have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Izuchukwu’s death. A doctor was called to the scene and confirmed the businessman’s demise.

Izuchukwu was a prominent figure in the oil and gas industry, having served as President of Bits and Drilling Tools, a division of Schlumberger. His death has sent shockwaves through the industry.

“The command has commenced an investigation into the case,” said Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin. “Izuchukwu’s corpse has been deposited in a morgue in Ikeja for autopsy.”

 

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Lagos Govt Opens Emergency Center To Curb Cholera Outbreak

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– Lagos activates emergency centre to combat cholera outbreak
– UNICEF urges provision of clean water and sanitation facilities
– 350 suspected cases reported with 17 confirmed and 15 deaths

Lagos State Government has activated its Public Health Emergency Operations Centre to tackle the cholera outbreak. The centre will coordinate responses to the increasing number of severe gastroenteritis cases across the state.

According to Prof. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health, the laboratory investigation has confirmed Cholera sub-type O-1, associated with more severe disease. He urged residents to adhere strictly to precautionary measures to prevent further spread.

Meanwhile, UNICEF has called on the state government to provide high-standard water and sanitation facilities to communities. Celine Lafoucrier, Chief of UNICEF Lagos Field Office, emphasized the need for strengthened healthcare systems to respond to outbreaks.

Lafoucrier stated, “Addressing cholera outbreaks requires a deliberate focus on providing high-standard water and sanitation facilities.” She also stressed the importance of community engagement strategies to halt transmission.

The state government has confirmed 350 suspected cases of cholera in 29 wards across multiple LGAs, with 17 confirmed cases and 15 deaths. However, the number of new cases is subsiding in previously affected areas due to interventions and surveillance efforts.

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