Industrial intervention: FG raises hopes in key sectors

The meeting of the Consultative Council on Industrial Policy and Competitiveness of Nigeria, which was held recently in the conference room of Vice President Emi Osinbaggio, again raised hopes for key sectors of the economy.

V.P. Osinbajo

There was hope for an increase in broadband penetration, an increase in energy supply through the use of unused capacity, as well as the development of skills and employment in the sugar industry.

This was in accordance with the main goal of the Council, which the Vice-Chairman of the Council, Dr. Okechukva Enelam says, is the decision of critical intervention at the highest level. He is also the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.

He explained that “the Council should assist the government in developing policies and strategies that will increase the efficiency of the industrial sector in promoting the country's industrialization programs through a platform for partnership with the private sector and other interests to work together.”

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The partnership between the public and private sectors includes: V.P. Amy Osinbajo (Chairman); Enelama (Vice Chair, Public Sector)

Mrs. Aisha Abubakar (Deputy Vice-Chair, Public Sector), Alhaji Aliko Dangote (Vice-Chair, Private Sector), Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment; and Atedo Petersida (Vice-Chair, Private Sector).

There are 15 other members from the public sector and 22 members from the private sector. Some of the members are in the technical committee.

At the inauguration of the Council last year, Vice-President Osinbajo said that the council’s duty was not only patriotic, but also one, to allow Nigerians to create livelihoods for themselves.

“This is not just a patriotic duty, but I believe that it will save and save our country and give our country a real chance to be competitive in global business and trade.

"And to give our people a fair chance to create their own means of subsistence, work and everything that will make the people happy and contented."

According to him, if the council did not understand this, then the country is unlikely to ever be able to get it right. ”

Among the high-level Council intervention projects discussed at the last meeting were:

National broadband penetration

Nigeria’s current broadband penetration is 22 percent, compared with 4% in 2012. To further improve broadband penetration, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) developed a licensing framework program and developed a subsidy scheme that allowed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to introduce fiber in all areas of the country.

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In particular, the project, one of the key high-level events of the Consultative Council on Industrial Policy and Competitiveness of Nigeria, is to increase broadband penetration in all geopolitical zones of the country, with the result that at the end of the four-year intervention all 774 LGA will be equipped with fiber communication.

Dangote

This implies the deployment of at least one optical access point (PoA) with a capacity of 10 Gb / s in each LGA throughout the country.

According to Edirin Akemu, Executive Secretary of the Council, the impossibility of using a single Infraco to achieve the desired broadband penetration due to the enormous size of the country, topographical problems and socio-economic factors required the use of a larger number of companies.

"To solve the above difficulties and the rapid penetration of broadband communications, the National Communications Commission, which implements the project, developed a structure for licensing 6 InfraCos for geopolitical zones and another for Lagos because of its features," she explained.

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In the presentation of the NCC at the last meeting of the Council, he attracted the National Economic Council and the Forum of Nigerian Governors

its broadband initiatives, and also reviewed the submission of six licensed InfraCos-related capital expenditures (Capex) to the project for four years, requirements for subsidies and network design.

Based on the results of the review, they were invited to submit revised financial results, a network design plan and a deployment plan based on one PDA to LGA only for further review.

At the end of the exercise, interest-rate negotiations should be considered for the respective zones. According to Dr. Enelam, “based on the re-submission rate received from the relevant InfraCos and the conclusion of the grant agreement, it is expected that the project will begin before the end of 2018.

Introduction of under utilized energy assets

In order to ensure optimal use of resources, the federal government has begun to deploy under-utilized energy assets to provide additional capacity for industrial centers and low-income communities in the country.

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Thanks to the coordination of the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Board, the government is seeking to create an additional 4.2 gigawatts of power for the national grid in the next 12-18 months.

To this end, a total of 8 energy projects were selected for critical intervention. This is the Aba Integrated Energy Project; Rehabilitation and expansion of Kainji; energy transfer; unclaimed energy projects for industry; Rehabilitation of Afam IV; Rehabilitation Afam V; Seplat gas installation; and Alaoji power plants.

Dr. Enelamah said that work continues at the Alaoji power plant to provide about 360 MW of unused capacity to industrial centers and people in the Southeast Onitsha, Aba, Nnevi and Ichiala axes.

He explained that only 120 MW of the 480 MW of electricity produced by the plant are regularly used, so 360 MW of power is available for those who want and ready-made centers.

“The beauty of this project, which is a pilot, is the optimization of resources, as well as the fact that learning from it is intended to unlock up to 2 GW from underused NDPHC power plants,” said Dr. Enelam.

The partners implementing the project are the Federal Government (through the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the Nigerian Company Delta Power Holding), GE Power and Enugu Disco.

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