Five things to know to start your Friday

FG to close energy gap through Rural Electrification Agency– Minister

Goddy Jedy-Agba, the Minister of State for Power, said on Thursday at the 2023 Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management and Board Retreat that the projects implemented through the REA will go a long way in closing the energy gap and enlivening unserved and underserved Nigerians.

At the retreat-themed “Institutional Strengthening for Sustainable Development,” Agba said that renewable energy was the quick solution to bridging the electricity gap in the nation, adding that that was why the Federal Government planned to continue to optimise it.

“While drawing in quality investments and private sector participation in the space, this administration’s efforts to improve energy access through on- and off-grid electrification solutions are commendable.”

“We must not lose sight of Vision 30:30:30, aimed at raising the generation capacity to 30,000 MW by 2030, of which 30 percent will be from renewable sources.”

“We can already see how important this agency is to this vision and the critical role it must continue to play in the global conversation about energy transition and off-grid electrification,” he said.

Read also: Buhari wants new finance ministry board to raise national asset to N100trn

NUPRC shortlists 139 firms for commercialised gas flare programme

Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), said at the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) bidders’ conference and investors’ forum held in Abuja on Thursday that a total of 139 companies were shortlisted from the 300 that applied for NGFCP.

The companies had applied to the gas buying and trading scheme to end gas flaring from 48 oil production sites in the country.

He said the forum was being organised to inform qualified applicants, partners, sponsors, and technology providers on the structure of the “Request for Proposal (RFP).”

Komolafe said it was also an opportunity to provide further guidance on the upcoming programme of activities while listening to and collating feedback from all participants towards optimising the RFP phase.

He said that the programme received about 300 applications during the Statement of Qualification (SOQ) phase of this bid process before the emergence of the 139 successful applicants in line with the RFQ’s published criteria.

2023: Obi in Zamfara, promises to tackle insecurity, poverty, unemployment

At the presidential campaign rally in Gusau, Zamfara State, on Thursday, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), promised the large crowd of supporters who came to see him that if elected president, he would tackle insecurity, poverty, hunger, and youth unemployment.

Obi also promised to open up the nation’s border so that economic activities could be boosted.

“I am appealing to the Zamfara electorate to vote for me and all LP candidates at all levels in the coming general elections in order to make our plans for the country a reality.

“We shall put adequate security in place first; we are going to promote peace and stability in our communities.

“Various policies and programmes are on the way to promote the socio-economic well-being of our people with a view to addressing poverty at the grassroots,” Obi said.

PVCs: Utomi seeks further extension of Feb. 5 collection deadline

Pat Utomi made a request for an extension of the February 5 deadline for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) when he led the Big Tent coalition of political parties and civil society groups on a protest to the Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Secretariat on Thursday.

The coalition also appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to engage the private sector in the distribution of the PVCs to registered voters.

Utomi alleged that Nigerians were currently going through challenging times just trying to meet the deadline and appealed to INEC to not only reconsider moving the deadline forward but do everything possible to ensure Nigerians are not disenfranchised by the value of their PVCs.

HSBC embarks on Saudi Arabia hiring spree amid deals boom

HSBC is hiring dealmakers as “fast as it can” in Saudi Arabia to capitalise on a wave of financing activity in the country, the global head of its investment bank told Reuters.

The lender aims to increase headcount in its global banking and markets business in Saudi Arabia by 10-15 percent this year, Greg Guyett, the division’s chief executive, told Reuters.

“There’s a huge pipeline of transactions, and we’re taking on all the experienced people we can get,” Guyett said, adding that other banks beefing up their presence in the region were also targeting HSBC staff, who would then need replacing. This is according to Reuters.


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