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According to reports, acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, has flagged off the distribution of 20,000 solar powered lighting systems in rural communities in Nigeria,

He started the programme, yesterday, at Wuna village, a rural community in Gwagwalada, Abuja, with the distribution of 200 units to the villagers in the first phase.

Osinbajo noted that irrespective of the importance of power to national development, it was not feasible for every Nigerian to tap from the national grid.

The VP said this realisation, compelled government to start searching for alternative means of providing power to less fortunate Nigerians, especially at the grassroots, hence the solar powered systems.

The acting president also disclosed that a total of 20,000 solar system would be distributed in homes across rural communities in the course of the year.

The power system fell in line with government’s objective of increasing energy production from renewable energy sources from 13 per cent of total electricity generation in 2015 to 23 per cent in 2025 and 36 per cent in 2030,including the goal to increase the percentage contribution of solar energy in the total energy mix.

 

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Movie Producer and comedian AY shared an adorable photo not too long ago on instagram of himself and his daughter. He wished her happy birthday, with the most adorable message. Read what he wrote below:

"I had to catch a flight yesterday to make sure i am home for your special day my darling. Heaven knows that i am one of those parents that are busy in their everyday lives and forget to share with those they love how much they mean to them. 
But today is a wonderful day to come home and celebrate what you mean to daddy. This is very important for me as i watched you come out of an operation alive only a few weeks ago. Besides buying you gifts or throwing a big birthday party for you, this is  also a day of Thanksgiving. This a day to remind you how much you are loved by daddy. 
Just before you came into this world 9 years ago, i remember how broke i was as a proposed father who could not even take care of himself, not to talk of your mum who followed me into the journey with hopes and aspirations for a better tomorrow. Today, you have brought us goodluck.  you have been a well behaved and God fearing child. there is absolutely nothing in comparison to your brilliance. At your age you have resolved issues between daddy and mummy, you have also captured the culture of caring and giving to others who dont have.  you make me walk with my shoulders high everytime i see your results or attend any of your school functions. You have proven to me that a local Warri boy can also be the father of an 'Ajebutter'. Michelle Folashade Adeola Makun, You have brightened my world,  you are like the sunlight that reflects on the raindrops of me and your mum's lives to make beautiful rainbows.  you have been a blessing to us.  Happy Birthday to the sweetest daughter ever!"

 

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Toyota Motor Corp’s four-year run as the world’s top-selling automaker has ended as the Japanese company said on Monday its global sales for 2016 fell short of Volkswagen AG’s.

Toyota said global sales across its Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu minicar and Hino Motors Ltd truck brands rose 0.2 per cent to 10.18 million last year from 2015.

This was less than the 10.3 million sold by Volkswagen, which posted record high global sales despite its diesel emissions scandal.

Toyota’s overall global sales were supported by a 5.5 per cent rise in domestic sales for the Toyota brand following new launches for models including the Prius.

Meanwhile, overseas sales slipped 0.6 per cent as demand eased in North America, in and around the Middle East and Africa.

Toyota, which had been the world’s top-selling automaker on an annual basis since 2012, estimates global sales to increase to around 10.23 million vehicles in 2017.

 

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Hadi Sirika, the Minister of State for Aviation, yesterday presented 2017 Budget proposal of N22, 014,184,703.02 billion to senate, seeking for senate support on adequate funding of the sector.

He said the 2016 budget witnessed a lull in its implementation due to the recession in the economy. “ adding that the aviation sector of the ministry had a total Capital Allocation of N18, 085,012,092 billion.

Sirika disclosed this at the 2017 budget defence before the committee on aviation headed Sen. Bala N’Allah

“The 2016 budget has witnessed a lull in its implementation due to the recession in the economy. As you aware, the aviation sector of the ministry had a total Capital Allocation of N18, 085,012,092 billion in 2016.

“The ministry has worked tirelessly in the past years to uplift the standard of the Nigerian Aviation Industry,” he said.

However, Sirika called for more support from the Senate for the improvement of the Aviation sector.

“To do this, we must ensure that our airports and environs are not only safe and secure but must strive to meet the standard and recommended practices as outlined by various recognised aviation agencies including the International Civil Aviation Organization.

According to Sirika, in 2017, emphasis will be focused on sustaining the infrastructural renewal at the airports by driving the remodeling projects to a logical conclusion.

“The Bilaterl/Multilateral Airspace Services Agreement would be pursued with greater vigour in 2017 to enhance the internally generated revenue of the sector.”

The Minister also said that the Ministry would ensure the establishment of a National Carrier if they received “suitable funding options.”

                                                                                                

 

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The News Agency of Nigeria in Owerri on Thursday gathered information from citizens of Imo State on their Opinion on the new launched airline by their governor.

A civil servant, Marcel Onuekwe, has said the new Imo Airline would provide job opportunities for the many unemployed youths of the State.

He said the launch of an indigenous airline “is a step in the right direction as it would help in reversing the economic downturn”.

He added that if managed properly, the airline would generate good revenue for the state. This airline is the first of its kind and it will greatly improve the economy of the state if it is properly managed.”

A retired teacher, Benson Nwakuche, said the governor should have redirected the funds used to procure the aircraft towards offsetting pension arrears.

Nwakuche added that the news of the airline would have been better received if the salaries and pension arrears had been cleared.

He said: “This would have been very welcome if the governor had paid off pension arrears before embarking on such a capital intensive project.

“To own and maintain an airline is no mean feat and if the state can handle it then it should be able to pay off our pensions without resorting to tricks.”

Hyacinth Iwuagwu, a farmer, said the government should have invested more in boosting agriculture in the state.

Iwuagwu said this would have improved the agriculture sector as well as provide more employment opportunities in the state.

He said: “If the government had invested instead in agriculture, not only would the economy of the state improve, but more jobs would have also been created.

“Some states have grown so much in the agric sector that they’re even exploring dry season farming, but nothing is being done to encourage farming in the state in spite of its many benefits.

SOURCE:NAN

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Dr. Bafred Enjugu, the managing director of Port Harcourt Refining company says the refinery can meet its target of making a profit of N1.3 trillion yearly.

Enjugu, made the remark during a media workshop organised by the company in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Wednesday, said the factors militating against achieving such a feat at present were equipment and security.

He said in spite of the challenges, the doggedness of the staff of the refinery had contributed to the achievements of the company so far.

Enjugu said the refinery made N12.6 billion operating margin in spite of “very low supply” of crude in 2014.

He attributed the feat to the crash in the price of crude oil at the time, adding that a total volume of 188.9 billion barrels of petroleum product was produced.

The figure, he said, was arrived at after netting out the cost of crude, processing, processing chemicals, energy as well as staff salaries and benefits.

Enjugu said that the company ran aground in 2015 due to the absence of crude supply until July 15 when it received approval to process, but was cut off by equipment problem.

He said that the company incurred a loss of N2.25 billion due to the challenges, adding that about N13 billion was made in 2016.

He said: “Now at the end of 2016, which was a better year for us, we made something in the region of about N12 to N13 billion.

“We are yet to complete those figures.

“We made N2.95 billion in December, only after netting out the overhead cost.”

Enguju, however, said the company would meet up with the projected N1.3 trillion profit for the nation once it started operating at 100 per cent capacity.

He said: “We have to take up the challenge to keep the skills.

“We will make sure we deliver on that.

“We have to get all of the N1.3 trillion and beyond.

“We are looking at N1.5 trillion, but we have to upgrade facilities at the PHRC.”

Enjugu commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Company for signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Eni SPA, an Italian company, for the upgrade of the refinery’s equipment.

He said that he had confidence that Eni would assist the refinery to achieve 100 per cent of its target and surpass other competitors.

According him, the modular refineries and Dangote’s refinery posed a serious challenge to the nation’s refineries.

He, however, said the nation has high capacity to meet the consumers’ demand.

Enjugu also said the refinery had entered into partnership with some governments for the production of fuel from agricultural products.

He further said that the company had concluded plans to commence the production of aviation kerosene.

SOURCE:TODAY.NG

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According to the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babtunde Fashola the Federal government has blamed declining electricity supply in the country on liquidity problems, pipeline vandalism and sabotage of oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta.

He briefed newsmen after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) ‎meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, however, disclosed that the government was working hard to address the challenge.‎

According to Fashola, “You heard that there was liquidity problems. Gas suppliers have not been fully paid; generating companies (GENCOs) have also not been fully paid. You heard this ‘back and forth’ between distribution companies (DISCOs) and GENCOs. So, those are some of the issues.”

He explained: ‎”Apart from sabotage that we have had from the Western axis of the Niger Delta, the Escravos Lagos pipeline is not operational, the Forcados export terminal too has been out of operation. If you cannot produce oil you cannot take the gas. And gas is the fuel that the power plants need. You have seen what we have been doing in increasing the capacity in firing transmission but we don’t have gas to fire the plants. That is the reason.”

He said: “We have been meeting with the gas suppliers, trying to see how we can pay off some of these debts, while we fix other problems. As I continue to say, it is not technical, but financial.”

The minister, however, maintained that vandalism of pipelines is not technical. People were destroying, they were angry.

“Also, until we resolve some behavioural issues: people collect money and have not been remitting in a manner that is fair,” Fashola stated.

The Federal Government also pledged to commit additional ‎N3.5 billion for the completion of the Odogunyan transmission sub-station in Ikorodu, Lagos State, to improve power generation.

This, the government said would provide additional transformer capacity at the sub-station as well as 260mva transformers and transmission lines of 132 kva to complete the works in that area generally known within the power industry as Ayobo West.

 

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Currency retailers and experts have said the naira will trade slightly below 500 per United States dollar this week despite the commencement of the sale of foreign exchange to Bureau De Change operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria last week.

The CBN had through the International Money Transfer Organisations resumed the sale of dollars to BDCs on Thursday, after stopping it for almost a month due to the Yuletide holiday.

Travelex, one of the IMTOs in the country, sold about $20m to 2,500 BDCs with each getting $8,000, the President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said.

According to a Reuters report, the naira is seen unchanged on the parallel and official forex markets in the coming days even as the IMTOs continue the sale of dollars to the BDCs this week, boosting greenback liquidity.

The naira was quoted at 498/ dollar at the parallel market on Friday, down from 497 on Thursday. It traded flat at 497/dollar between Monday and Wednesday

On the official market, commercial banks quoted the naira at 305.75 a dollar on Friday, around the same level the local currency has traded at since August last year.

“Once dollar liquidity improves in the market I see the naira trading around 380-400 a dollar in the short-term,” Gwadabe said told Reuters.

The BDC operators are quoting the naira at 399 to the dollar.

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The naira fell against the United States dollar at the parallel market to 498 on Thursday, from 497 on Wednesday.

This came hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria resumed dollar sales to Bureau De Change operators through Travelex.

Before dropping to 498, the naira had appreciated to 495/dollar early on Thursday.

The currency traded flat at 497/dollar consecutively between Monday and Wednesday.

Economic and financial experts said the resumption of dollar sales to the BDCs by the CBN through Travelex would help boost the naira.

The local currency has been under persistent pressure owing to scarcity of dollar in the economy.

Economic and financial experts are divided over the outlook of the naira and most economists believe the local currency would continue to fall against the greenback unless the CBN reviewed its monetary and foreign exchange policy.

According to an economic expert, Mr. Henry Boyo, the currency monetary policy framework adopted by the CBN is flawed and there is an urgent need for the central bank to jettison it for a framework that can take the country off the current economic challenges.

He stressed that unless this was done, the rising oil prices would not make the economy better.

Boyo said, “The oil revenue is not the problem; the primary cause of the oppressive dilemma is the distortional process the CBN adopts for infusing the dollar revenue into the domestic money market to drive economic growth.

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The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency on Thursday denied reports speculating an imminent fuel scarcity over the Federal Government’s inability to pay fuel marketers’ N660 billion debt‎. ‎

In a statement released in Abuja by the PPPRA spokesman, Lanre Oladele, the agency said the report was misleading and “a gross misrepresentation of facts”. ‎

The statement said: “There were reports that fuel queues may soon return following the Federal Government’s inability to settle marketers’ N660 billion debt and non-availability of foreign exchange to fund fuel imports.

“PPPRA wishes to state unequivocally, that these stories are gross misrepresentation of available facts at our disposal, hence misleading.

“For the avoidance of doubts, the National Petroleum Products Stock data and import plan, currently indicate that the country has two months Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) sufficiency.

“Hence, we want to assure motorists and commuters alike, that the products supply situation is robust and able to cater for the fuel needs of all Nigerians, pending when ongoing challenges are addressed.

“As a corollary to the above, PPPRA also wants to inform that contrary to a widely-held belief on the status of kerosene, the product is fully deregulated.‎

“We hereby appeal to all Nigerians to remain calm and desist from any form of panic-buying, as we assure of our total commitment to adequate products supply and distribution across the country, in line with our mandate.”

Oladele appealed to all depot owners to adhere strictly to the subsisting truck-out principle in order to ensure that products get to retail outlets across the country in a seamless manner.

“The Agency shall not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions where necessary,” he warned.

SOURCE:PREMIUM TIMES

 
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