Power crisis: Eaton to introduce energy storage inverters

As a means of aggregating and redistributing energy to where it is needed most, Eaton International Industries Nigeria Limited, has concluded plans to introduce energy storage inverters that will absorb idle energy for further distribution.

Called the X-Storage technology, the inverter is based on lutetium battery, a second generation set used in electric cars, which optimises energy from multiple sources like the grid, generating sets, or solar.

The product is particularly noveau, in view of Nigeria’s peculiar power situation in which estimated 40 per cent is lost to technical glitches. Speaking more about the product with The Guardian on Tuesday, in Lagos, the Managing Director, Eaton Electronic (S.A.) Pty. Ltd., Seydou Kane, explained that the product, is one of its power solutions for Nigeria.

He said: “Our solution is to match need with competitive products in line with international standards aimed at maintaining safety and efficiency of the system.”The X-Storage which will be ready for purchase from the shelves in September, is a hybrid battery management system that determines which source of energy to pick from and which to distribute when idle.

Kane, who is responsible for leading Eaton’s Electrical Sector team throughout Africa, and driving its ambitious growth strategy in Nigeria, insisted that despite the tough time, the power solutions company is committed to adding value to the nation’s power sector, particularly along the line of distribution.

He noted that Nigeria’s energy problem is a mix that requires a lot of solutions to fill the gaps. To this end, Eaton’s Sales Director, Africa, Malvin Naicker, clarified that the company is adopting a segmented approach to its solutions for the Nigerian market in view of scarce resources. “We picked key segments in key areas of the energy value chain that will present the best value for the people,” he added.

He told The Guardian that the new energy storage technology will provide solution for off-grid and micro-grid system, which looks to how speed up power supply to those in the rural areas. “We engage partners to bring in different models based on usage,” he added

With regard to its operations, since opening shop in Nigeria, Eaton’s Product Manager, Oluwatosin Omodayo, said the company has recorded appreciable successes in the areas of power distribution components, data centres and IT Channels, fire and safety, cooling devices and other power management related solutions.

Meanwhile, Kane disclose that Eaton is still in talks with the regulatory authorities for the energy storage inverters, while also discussing with the distribution companies on aggregation with a view to determining what capacities to deploy.

Eaton is a power management company that provides energy-efficient solutions that helps its customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably.

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Rivers United to face Club Africain, FUS

• Rivers United players celebrate for their qualification to the CAF Confederation Cup group stage.<br />

Nigeria’s only surviving club in continental engagement, Rivers United, will face Moroccan club, Fath Union Sport de Rabat (FUS Rabat) in the group stage of the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup.

Rabat were winners of the Caf Champions League in 2010 and were also runners-up in the Caf Super Cup in 2011.Rivers United will also face 2011 Caf Confederation Cup runners up, Club Africain of Tunisia, while Ugandan club, KCAA completes the line up in Group A.

Rivers United originally qualified to represent Nigeria in the 2017 Caf Champions League but after despatching Malian club, AS Real Bamako in the preliminary round, they came unstuck against Sudanese club, Al-Merreikh in the first round.

The ‘Pride of Rivers’ then dropped to Africa’s second-tier club competition, the Caf Confederation Cup alongside all losers at the first round stage of the Caf Champions League.

A 2-0 aggregate success over Rwandan club, Rayon Sports in the playoff round of the Caf Confederation meant United booked a ticket for the playoff round of the competition.

No Nigerian club has ever won the Caf Confederation Cup title and United will be looking to buck that trend.
Reacting to the draw on Wednesday, the Rivers United technical manager, Stanley Eguma expressed confidence in his side’s ability to progress to the last eight of the competition.

“I must say it is a very tough group with two North African clubs from Morocco and Tunisia but we are confident of qualifying for the quarterfinals.“We must also not overlook or underrate (Ugandan club), KCAA who have also earned a right to be here.“Now, we must work hard, study our opponents and try to do Nigeria proud,” he told supersport.com shortly after the draw.

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Abductors of Cross River commissioner demand N100m ransom

PHOTO: Thetoc.gr

Kidnappers of the Cross River State Commissioner for Water Resources, Gabriel Oji are asking for N100 million ransom. But the State Security Adviser, Jude Ngaji yesterday dismissed the report saying there was no truth in it. However, reports around town is that the abductors have got in touch with Oji’s family and are demanding N100 million before his release can be affected.

It was also gathered that his kidnap was politically motivated as he was rumoured to be sympathetic to Senator Owan Enoh who is alleged to be at loggerheads with Governor Ben Ayade.

Ngaji also dismissed the insinuations, saying the state government, in collaboration with the security agencies were working to ensure the release of the Commissioner who was abducted by unknown gunmen on April 9, 2017, adding, “hopefully, he would be released sooner than later.”

He however, declined to give details but admitted that the Commissioner’s abduction was beyond the run-of-the-mill kidnapping, but security agencies were working to secure Oji’s release soon

“By the end of today or latest tomorrow he will be released. When he is out, I will address the media. The whole thing is beyond mere kidnapping as it is being reported. There are a lot of issues surrounding the matter, including even domestic issues.

“It was not a case of normal kidnapping. Normal kidnapping cannot be a situation where a kidnapper comes into your house, pick you up and go away. He was not abducted in a restaurant as it was reported,” he said.

On the ransom, he said: “I am not aware of any demand for N100 million ransom. Our position as a government is that we don’t pay ransom to kidnappers. The police authorities and other security agencies are doing their work and we are working towards his release between today and tomorrow and after that we would talk to the press.

I cannot say more than that for now.”It was reported that some unknown gunmen kidnapped Orji at a restaurant along Mayne Avenue on April 9 and his whereabouts has remained largely unknown.

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Mourinho tips Manchester City to claim EPL top- four spot

Manchester United FC coach Jose Mourinho . / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY

Manchester City are favourites to beat Manchester United to a top-four spot in the Premier League due to their absence from Europe, claims Jose Mourinho.

Champions League hopefuls City and United will clash in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on today in another instalment of Pep Guardiola versus Mourinho.City – fourth in the table – are only a point ahead of United, who are also juggling Europa League commitments ahead of a semi-final tie against Celta Vigo.

And Mourinho heaped pressure on rival Guardiola – who went to Old Trafford and won the reverse game in September – amid United’s congested fixture list.“They play now one game a week until the end of the season while we have the [Europa League] semi-finals which are very important for us,” Mourinho said.

“Obviously to play one match per week brings teams and players to other levels, so it’s more difficult for us but we are going to try.”
Mourinho continued: “It doesn’t matter what happens in terms of titles we win or don’t win.

“I always feel that the season is very important for me, the players and the club.“I would say this can be the first season of the next five or six or seven. It can be the first season of better years.

“And the reality is even in the first season of better years we won already [the Community Shield and EFL Cup], and if we manage to win the Europa League and in August to play the European Super Cup against the Champions League winner, it will be magnificent.”

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American firm opens discussion on Nigeria-Sao Tome oil blocks


ERHC Energy Inc., a publicly traded American company with oil and gas assets in Sub-Saharan Africa, is in discussions with the Nigeria-Sao Tome & Principe Joint Development Authority (JDA), regarding the terms of a new Production Sharing Contract for block two of the Joint Development Zone (JDZ).

The company said in a statement on Monday that in addition to ERHC, the JDA has designated at least one new contractor on the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) in replacement of interest-holders that have terminated their interests in the block.

According to the company, it is expected that similar discussions regarding JDZ Blocks three and four will also commence in due course. It stated: “As earlier disclosed, the company has been reviewing its legacy exploration assets with a view to deciding, on an asset-by-asset basis, the feasibility and desirability of retention in the light of conditions in the oil industry and ERHC’s revised strategic focus.

“In the course of the review, the company has come to a conclusion regarding Block BDS 2008 in Chad. “After careful consideration, ERHC has elected not to apply for renewal of the Exclusive Exploration Authorisation and the Production Sharing Contract over Block BDS 2008 upon the expiration in April 2017, of the current term.”

ERHC stated that it would continue working toward a strategic realignment of the company in the light of the current oil-price environment, and continued constraints on funding for oil exploration activities.

It said that it is refocusing on opportunities for cost-efficient entry into production and producing assets. This, it noted is in contrast to the pure exploration model which the company previously ran and is intended to open up the company to new streams of investment and revenue.

“Accordingly, the company has concluded a Term Sheet with Starcrest Nigeria Energy Limited (Starcrest) pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding earlier signed between the parties.

The Term Sheet sets out a 180-day period commencing May 1, 2017, for a definitive agreement between the parties that gives ERHC entry, for valuable consideration, into Starcrest’s current entitlements to production.

Starcrest has a significant stake in Elcrest Exploration and Production Company Limited, the holder of 45 per cent of Nigeria’s producing OML 40. Starcrest also holds directly OPL 291 and OPL 242 in Nigeria.

ERHC continues to bid, as part of several consortia with backing from financing partners, for producing interests in West Africa.Newstar Oil and Gas, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of ERHC, has also been set up to acquire producing assets domestically in the United States.

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Katsina communities reject polio immunisation officers

The village heads of Ruma and Manarawa in Batsari in Danmusa, Bello Galadima and Abdullahi Muazu revealed this to newsmen during a meeting organised by an organisation “Save the Children.”

Three communities in Katsina State have rejected polio immunisation for their children.Residents of the communities located in Batsari and Danmusa local councils sent away immunisation officers and barricaded roads leading to the villages.

The village heads of Ruma and Manarawa in Batsari in Danmusa, Bello Galadima and Abdullahi Muazu revealed this to newsmen during a meeting organised by an organisation “Save the Children.”

They explained that the communities complained about lack of social amenities in the area such as road and water.According to Galadima: “Members of the community barricaded roads leading to the village and turned away polio immunisation officers.”

He lamented that the situation was a setback to polio immunisation exercise in the state and efforts to eradicate the disease.The village head of Manarawa said the community shared similar problem with Rumah, which is lack of accessible road and water.

According to him: “Our people complained that they don’t need polio immunisation, but want water and accessible roads instead.”Muazu, however, said it took the intervention of some traditional rulers and council area officials before immunisation officials were allowed to vaccinate children in his village.

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CIPD sees rising income for 1.3 million workers in Gig economy

Peter Cheese

A new report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) has revealed that Gig economy would boost the income of no fewer than 1.3 million workers even as it predicted that thousands of unemployed persons could miss out on employment opportunities.

Gig economy is a situation in which temporary jobs are commonplace and where companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of offering full-time employment to job seekers.

Recent research carried out by the CIPD showed that four per cent of working adults between the ages of 18 and 70 work in the ‘gig economy’, while nearly two-thirds of them or 63 per cent believe the government should regulate the practice to guarantee them basic employment rights and benefits such as holiday pay.

The report was based on a survey of 400 workers in gig economy and more than 2,000 others, as well as 15 in-depth interviews with the gig economy workers.The research also found that contrary to rhetoric, just 14 per cent of respondents said they were involved in gig employment because they could not find alternative employment.

However, some of the respondents confirmed that the commonest reason for taking on gig work was to boost their income. Overall, 46 per cent of gig economy workers are also about as likely to be satisfied with their work as 48 per cent others in more suitable employment are with their jobs.

The Chief Executive of the CIPD, Peter Cheese said: “This research shows the grey areas that exist over people’s employment status in the gig economy.”He pointed out that it was often assumed that the nature of gig work was well suited to self-employment, which was true in most cases.

He said research conducted by CIPD, the professional body for Human Resources (HR) and people development also showed that most gig economy workers were either permanent employees, students, or even the unemployed who choose to work in the gig economy to boost their income.

“Our research suggests that some gig economy businesses may be seeking to have their cake and eat it by using self-employed contractors (outsourcing firms) to cut costs, while at the same time trying to maintain a level of control over people that are more appropriate for a more traditional employment relationship.

“Many people in the gig economy may already be eligible for basic employment rights, but are confused by the issue of their employment status. It is crucial that the government deals with the issue of employment status before attempting to make sweeping changes, else they risk building foundational changes on shifting sands,” he said.

The report also revealed that only 25 per cent of gig economy workers say it was their main job, suggesting that most of them use it to boost their income rather than depend wholly on it.

In spite of the typically low earnings reported by gig economy workers, they remain on the whole satisfied with their income, with 51 per cent saying they were satisfied and 19 per cent dissatisfied with the level of income they receive. This is significantly higher than the level of satisfaction with pay reported by other workers, where 36 per cent are satisfied while 35 per cent are dissatisfied.

“The research shows the challenge that policymakers face in regulating the gig economy and finding the right balance between providing flexibility for businesses and employment protection for individuals.

“The government needs to take a number of steps to help clarify people’s employment rights and enforce existing legislation better, such as supporting a ‘know your rights’ campaign, so more people are aware of what protection they can expect,” Cheese added.

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PML excites trade partners with Premiership experience

Six Nigerians savouring the experience of watching a live match in England

Week in, week out, many Nigerians stay glued to news channels just to catch-up with the English Premiership Football (EPL) matches and their respective outcomes. The way the young and old argue and take sides over EPL games show how passionate people are about the game in Nigeria.

Such is the massive passion and followership garnered by the EPL that a chance of watching an EPL game live in England is considered a lifetime experience by the average Nigerian football fan. The few who get the chance, will typically keep memorabilia of such to continually remind themselves of the thrills, or relive the experience, and proudly show-off the achievement to friends and family.

So for six Nigerian trade partners of Philip Morris Limited, who recently found themselves savouring the experience of watching a live match in England and having a tour of Stamford Bridge, the home ground of Chelsea Football Club (CFC) and the eight largest ground in the Premier league, it has been a dream come true.

Given that Stamford Bridge is the home of the CFC where football legends like Nigeria’s own Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi, retiring Chelsea FC Captain, John Terry, African legend Didier Drogba among many other notable soccer stars honed their skills in preparation for entertaining their fans across the world on regular basis, it would always be a remarkable and exciting experience for any football follower to step on such grounds.

To heighten the excitement and make it more memorable, the trade partners got a full celebrity treatment as they were conducted round Stamford Bridge. Due to a change in the EPL schedule, the earlier planned match between Arsenal and Leicester City, current EPL champions was postponed. Not deterred by this, PML’s agent worked assiduously to get new tickets to the FA Cup quarter final game played between Arsenal Football Club and Lincoln City on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the Emirates Stadium.

The lucky six were drawn from the six geopolitical zones in recognition of the business done with PML, and rewarded with an all expense return trip to the United Kingdom, live football experience, a guided tour of London and other thrilling experiences for three days.

While the businessmen and woman; yes there was one lady among them, were relishing the experience, the trip coordinator Andrew Donnelly, the Commercial Director, Philip Morris Limited on discerning that most of them were fans of the CFC, promptly arranged to enrich the experience with a visit to Stamford Bridge.

“We set out to delight our trade partners with world-class footballing experience, because the game of football is a sport most Nigerians are passionate about. So we wanted to connect with our partners through their passion point,” Donelly said.

He explained his proactive tweak of the itinerary in these words: “We chose to use the popularity of the English Premiership to reward our gold partners with a chance to enjoy themselves by attending and watching a game live in England. However, during the course of the tour, I discovered that most of the people were fans of Chelsea FC while the live game available as at the time we were in London was involving Arsenal FC, so I quickly arranged a tour of Stamford Bridge in addition to the live Arsenal FC game earlier planned. The only lady among us was very pleased, though not an active football follower revealed that her brothers support the Chelsea FC.”

The company bore full expenses of the trip, from visa procurement, flight tickets, and choice accommodation to local runs, within and outside Nigeria. For the trade partners, it is an experience of a lifetime that has literarily turned them to celebrities among their peers.

One of the beneficiaries, Ifeanyi Anthony, Managing Director, Tonychy & Sons, recounts the experience this way “When Philip Morris Limited informed me that I was chosen for the trip, I didn’t take it to heart. But when they called for my international passport for visa procurement, I thought to myself, maybe this is real. And when we boarded the flight to London, I tuned my mind to what it will be like seeing a football game live in England.”

Expressing pleasure at the chance to personally feel his beloved CFC home grounds, he said it is something that will live with him forever. “Being a Chelsea fan, I never in my wildest imagination thought that I would have the opportunity of being live in Stamford bridge and snap pictures around the stadium,” he said.
On other aspects of the tour that resonated with him, he said. “The Arsenal game was worth it. The atmosphere of the live match will live with me forever. The shopping experience and the visit to the historical site (famous Trafalgar Square) etc., even the warmth of the company’s officials will last forever in our memories.”

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Illicit financial flow gulps $50 billion from Africa, says minister

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun has revealed that illicit financial flow gulps $50 billion from Africa every year.The minister gave this revelation at an international tax conference holding in Abuja.

Represented by Director, Technical Services, Larai Shuaibu, Adeosun urged participants to fashion out ways by which corruption can be routed out.The conference titled “Nigeria leads the fight against money laundering, bribery, corruption and tax evasion,” was jointly organised by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Bank Group (WG).

The focus is to work with stakeholders on the use of beneficial ownership information and recovery of assets in Africa. It also focuses on detecting, tracking and preventing money laundering, tax evasion, corruption and other types of illicit financial flows.

In his remarks, acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, decried the level of corruption on the continent. He explained that most of the money find its way out of Africa through tax evasion, money laundering and illicit financial flows within the sub-region.The EFCC boss described the conference as ‘timely and key’ as it supports the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to recover assets.

“The government of Nigeria is taking the bull by the horn by initiating policies, that have enhanced the fight against corruption in Nigeria and tremendous efforts are being made to enhance international cooperation to recover our stolen assets”, he said.

Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Tunde Fowler in his remark said the potential of Africa in terms of revenue generation in comparison to the US tax rates were much lower.“The only way to get Africa out of the present economic situation is to review the conditions and follow strict compliance”, he advised.

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FIRS, EFCC to launch anti-tax-fraud team


The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are putting a new breath to the fight against tax fraud and evasion in Nigeria, as the two agencies will soon launch an anti-tax fraud and evasion team.

This collaboration, according to the FIRS Executive Chairman, Tunde Fowler, will ensure Nigeria’s financial security and independence, which he said, are key to national development.

Fowler made this known in Abuja today at the opening of International Conference and Capacity Building Workshop on the Use of Beneficial Ownership Information and The Recovery of Assets in Africa hosted by the FIRS and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, according to a statement by the Head of Corporate Communications of the tax Agency, Mr. Wahab Gbadamosi.

He beckoned on Nigerians and the international community to collaborate in the fight against “any illegality”.“Corruption is anything illegal. Whether it is money laundering, tax fraud, tax evasion or other illegalities. We must collaborate to fight them. When you are fighting corruption, you are taking back from the corrupt people, what they erroneously think belongs to them. That is why they resist the fight against corruption,” Fowler said.

The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said that FIRS and EFCC have reached terms on the setting up of an anti-tax fraud team.“We are setting up anti-tax fraud team to deal with tax fraud and evasion. We have discussed with the Chairman of FIRS and very soon, the team will be set up. We will do everything possible to stop all corrupt people.

“I want everybody to be a part of the fight against corruption. We are all together in this fight. Corruption is what is disturbing this country and like the President, Muhammadu Buhari, said, ‘if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us’”, Magu said.

Magu also said that the EFCC has received complaints about corruption on some Nigerian higher institutions and promised that EFCC in collaboration with relevant agencies will soon beam a searchlight on the higher institutions.

“We have received complaints from Student Union Governments of some higher institutions, complaining of corruption in the institutions. We will soon beam searchlight on the higher institutions. All we want to achieve is to secure the future of our people,”Magu added.

In his presentation on Beneficial Ownership Of Assets: The Experience of Nigeria in Confronting Tax Evasion, Corruption and Money Laundering, the FIRS Chief Executive said Nigeria, through FIRS, has been able identify and plug some revenue leakages and also position Nigeria for more revenue generation.

“Nigeria is committed to working with its treaty partners and other international agencies to ensure increased access and exchange of taxpayer information required for effective tax administration. At the domestic level, the FIRS shall continue to provide a forum for inter-agency collaboration to tackle abusive tax practices, by implementing initiatives to optimise tax revenues.

“The FIRS is collating for tax purposes information on ownership of economic landed property, in collaboration with States Land Registry (starting with the FCT and Lagos State) and leading Estate Agency Firms”, he said.

Fowler noted that FIRS has signed Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (ADTAs) with 13 Countries and also signed up to the OECD/EU Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters Convention (MAC) that has over 130 participating countries.“Nigeria joined Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Tax Information (GF) in 2011 and has successfully gone through the Phases 1 and 2 Peer reviews.

“Nigeria has also established a functional Exchange of information (EOI) unit in 2012 to oversee an effective system of exchange of tax information with Nigeria tax treaty partners. Nigeria Joined the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in 2016 and committed to implement the minimum standards.

“The country, Fowler said, has commenced process to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) for the automatic exchange of financial account information with other countries,” Fowler added.

He also noted that FIRS has implemented a framework for tax authorities’ collaboration with other agencies of government to improve access to and exchange of taxpayer information, including information on ownership of assets.

“Inter-agency collaboration with organisations like Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIR), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML, has enabled expeditious and confidential access to information on beneficial ownership as and when required for tax purposes,” Fowler added.

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