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NCC sets the pace in FG’s  indigenous Tech Development Policy

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given concrete expression to the Federal Government’s drive to promote indigenous innovative technologies in Nigeria’s telecommunication sector.

KANO FOCUS reports that NCC demonstrated this by organising the maiden prototype and research exposition aimed at showcasing no fewer than 10 prototypes, arising from its sponsored Telecommunications-Based Research Innovation Projects in the Nigerian universities.

At the event, which took place at the Commission’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Head Office Annex in Mbora District, Abuja, from 21–22, February 2022, the Commission selected 10 prototypes for exhibition as outputs of its telecom research project during the two-day event.

The top 10 prototypes include: Multiple operators’ enabled SIM, GSM communication-based walking cane robot, Powerline communications module, Home-grown electrical power charger, Low-cost GSM telephone system, Wireless power transfer device, Vital sign monitor, Plastic optical fibre cable, Wearable E-band tracker, and a Software-based nomadic base station.

The Commission is implementing the research and prototype exposition as a way of encouraging the commercializing of the prototypes, as an influential platform for universities, professionals and industry experts to come together, share information and build long-lasting business relationships.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, stated that, through the NCC’s telecoms-based research and prototype exposition, “the indigenous technological capabilities of Nigerians will be fully appreciated, harnessed, and utilised towards stimulating the overall productivity and sustainability of the telecommunications industry.”

Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami

Pantami emphasised that research is considered a necessary condition for the technological development of any nation and also regarded as the backbone of the communications industry, because it is the building block for the future development of advanced telecommunications products and services.

He tasked the mobile network operators (MNOs) to work with NCC to support indigenous technology development to solve national challenges in future.

The Minister commended the Commission’s Board and Management for facilitating the delivery of the lofty policy targets contained in the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content (NPPIC) 2021.

He also thanked the recipients of the Commission’s grants for the display of already developed prototypes for the knowledge of the industry stakeholders.

Speaking earlier, Chairman, NCC, Board of Commissioners, Prof. Adeolu Akande, declared that the Commission will continue to provide the enabling environment to bridge the gap in the significant tripartite relationship among the academia, industry, and the government.

Prof. Adeolu Akande,

He encouraged participants to support NCC’s initiative to succeed, as businesses will emerge, and sustainable jobs will be available for our young graduates on account of this new developments.

Also in his address, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of NCC, Prof .Umar Garba Danbatta, reinforced the Commission’s commitment to discharging its role as an active regulator to drive the indigenous content development component of the nation’s telecoms sector.

Prof .Umar Garba Danbatta

The EVC reiterated the significance of building the indigenous technological capacities of Nigerians through partnerships with relevant stakeholders.

“The Commission has awarded grants to successful academic institutions to develop Working Prototype and Telecommunications-led Products capable of addressing industry needs and providing overall sustainability, fully-developed and ready-for-the-first phase of market entry”, Danbatta stated.

The EVC asserted that “it is important to have a commercialisation strategy to transit from rudimentary research into the market to address the local challenges and reduce the over-dependence on imported innovations and technologies with the attendant drain on the nations scarce foreign exchange.

This is what this programme hopes to achieve to maximize the full potential of academia in contributing to the steady growth of the telecoms industry in Nigeria.”

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Dangote Refinery imports additional 11m barrels of US crude oil due to domestic supply shortage

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

 

Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals has issued a tender for an additional 11 million barrels of US crude oil over the next six months due to Nigerian crude oil producers’ inability to meet its feedstock requirements.

KANO FOCUS reports that the 650,000 barrels per day refinery has already received 9 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude from the US since the beginning of 2024 to offset unreliable domestic supplies. The new tender, closing on July 21, aims to procure two million barrels per month of WTI Midland crude for the world’s largest single-train facility located in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, for the next six months starting in August.

In a tender reported by Bloomberg, Dangote Refinery purchased five million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude for delivery in the upcoming months of August and September. Additionally, the company initiated a tender process to acquire an additional six million barrels of American crude for September.

This reliance on US crude highlights Nigeria’s challenges in meeting its own refining needs, attributed to issues such as crude theft, aging infrastructure, and underinvestment, which have led to a decline in production. In April, Nigeria’s daily output was only 1.45 million barrels, well below its capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day. The country recorded an estimated 30 million barrels underproduction in the first four months of 2024.

Dangote Refinery, crucial to Nigeria’s goal of becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, has found it necessary to import crude to sustain operations amidst insufficient domestic supply.

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, stated during the Africa CEO Forum 2024 that the refinery will need to continue importing crude as production scales up and alternative supply contracts are sought.

“It also makes economic sense for us to tender for crude. If we could source 100 percent Nigerian crude, then fine, but we can’t wait,” said Dangote.

Commenting on the challenge with sourcing crude locally, Dangote added, “there is a bit of a problem for us to source the entire volume of crude that we’re looking for domestically because we need different types and mixes. Unless crude production improves – which we pray and hope for – we need to go elsewhere.”

The refinery took in more than 41 million barrels of feedstock in the first half of the year as it completed test runs and gradually increased processing rates, tanker-tracking data show. Of that, about a quarter has been American supply.

According to CAS, the refinery took delivery of 11 WTI cargoes, or 9 million barrels, between February and May, contrasting with around 18 million barrels of Nigerian crude deliveries.

Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), NNPC has struggled to meet its 300,000 barrels per day obligation to the refinery due to operational constraints.

International financial analytics corporation, S&P Global, recently described the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals company as capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) issue and its huge pressure on the local Naira currency, while also catalysing the country’s economic development.

S&P Global, headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, disclosed this during an onsite visit to the refinery as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria. The team from the international rating agency were accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

S&P noted that the refinery would bolster Nigeria’s oil sector and, more importantly, also have a positive impact on its growing economy.

Currently operating at 350,000 barrels per day capacity, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, recently disclosed that the refinery would scale up to at least 500,000 barrels per day capacity by July/August, commencing the refining of petrol and ultra-low sulphur diesel.

He noted that the refinery, designed to process a wide range of crudes including various African and Middle Eastern crudes, as well as US Light Oil, conforms to Euro V specifications. In addition, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Union (EU) emission norms, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms, and the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.

While noting that most refineries were built by foreign companies, he said it is a thing of pride that a Nigerian company designed and built the world’s largest single-train refinery complex while acting directly as its own Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. The refinery which also incorporates a self-sufficient marine facility capable of handling the world’s largest vessels, can meet 100% of Nigeria’s requirement of all liquid products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene & Aviation Jet) and have surplus of each of these products for export.

 

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UNICEF Commends Governor Yusuf for Education Prioritization in Kano State

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

In a gesture of appreciation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has praised Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State for his steadfast commitment to enhancing the education sector within Kano.

During a cordial meeting at the Kano Government House on Thursday, the Country Director, Mrs. Christain Munduate, extolled the enduring partnership between UNICEF and Kano State, advocating for its reinforcement to yield greater mutual benefits and collaborative opportunities.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Governor’s spokesperson Mr. Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa and made available to journalists in Kano.

Mrs. Munduate reiterated UNICEF’s unwavering support for the state in both the Health and Education sectors, emphasizing the imperative for Kano State to fulfill its counterpart funding obligations for the Malnutrition project.

In response, Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf called for increased support and goodwill from UNICEF and other donor agencies, highlighting Education and Health as pivotal realms necessitating additional assistance due to their fundamental importance in societal progress.

Governor Yusuf pinpointed Malnutrition and poliomyelitis as pressing health concerns, particularly affecting children and other vulnerable demographics.

Detailing the notable achievements in the education sector under his administration, Governor Yusuf underscored his government’s dedication to providing essential infrastructure, educational resources, modern classrooms, teacher training programs, and fostering an enriching environment conducive to learning.

Furthermore, in the realm of healthcare, Governor Yusuf emphasized the state’s endeavors to ensure complimentary medical services for women and children, overhauling of hospitals, and furnishing healthcare facilities with requisite equipment.

Assuring the visiting delegation, Governor Yusuf expressed the State’s commitment to doubling the counterpart funding contribution compared to Jigawa State for combating the pressing issue of Malnutrition.

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NiMet predicts morning thunderstorms in Kano on Friday

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted morning thunderstorms on Friday over parts of Kano State.

KANO FOCUS reports that NiMet’s weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja envisaged thunderstorms over parts of Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Bauchi States on Sunday.

The agency anticipated thunderstorms over parts of Katsina State, Zamfara, Sokoto State and Kebbi.

The agency urged the public to take adequate precautions as strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur.

NiMet advised Airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

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