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First NCC Digital Park Set for Completion January 2023

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

Ahead of the auspicious commissioning of the Digital Industrial Park (DIP) project in Kano State, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has, once again, paid an inspection visit to the site of the ongoing construction of the project in Kano State where he got an unequivocal commitment from the contractors that the project will be completed by January 2023.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the Friday’s inspection call by the NCC’s boss was part of the routine visits to ensure close monitoring and effective supervision of important projects that will have great impacts on the country’s socio-economic development.

During the visit, the EVC, who was accompanied by the NCC’s Head of Projects, Philip Eretan, and the EVC’s Chief of Staff, Malam Hafiz Shehu, among others, with the Special Adviser to the Kano State Governor, Prof. Yusuf Alhassan, in attendance, emphasized the need for the contractors to expedite efforts in completing the project on schedule.

Addressing the contractors, Danbatta said that both the Federal and the State governments are following the progress being made at the construction site with keen interest owing to the value addition the project would make not only to the economy of the North-West geo-political zone but also to the country as a whole.

“This is a project that Nigerians are eagerly waiting to be completed. The Federal Government and the State government are following it with keen interest, and at NCC, our responsibility is to ensure that there’s no further delay in delivery as we have been doing everything possible to ensure that we have the project commissioned in the next few months.

“While I promise you that we will give you all the support you need, I also demand that progress report to be sent to me fortnightly over the two months period in order to ensure effective monitoring by us at NCC,” he said.

Speaking further, the EVC commended the State Governor for proving land at a prime location in Kano for the project, which he said is an indication of the value the government attaches to the project.

The DIPs currently being built across the six geo-political zones of the country by the NCC are expected to provide Innovation Labs and Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fablabs) for use by digital innovators and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into products and prototypes. The parks are also designed to provide broadband services and to have access to constant power supply.

This is not the first time the NCC boss would pay a visit to the construction site of the project located at Audu Bako Secretariat in the ancient city, which doubles as the commercial nerve centre of northern Nigeria.

The EVC’s latest visit was sequel to a similar visit to the construction site in July 2022 and other visits he had made much earlier, essentially to assess the level of work that has been done so far to ensure that the project is delivered within the set deadline.

During the July 2022 visit to the construction site, Danbatta pointed out that the project was conceived to support the Federal Government’s digital drive by facilitating the availability and accessibility of digital services across the country, and promoting their adoption and usage across all sectors, as well as providing youth employment in the country.

“The idea of putting these two things (i.e., skill acquisition and innovation) at the forefront of this very important initiative is to produce youths that can be self-reliant, generate employment for themselves and other Nigerians,” he said.

Danbatta had also stressed that no part of the country would be left out in benefitting from the initiative. “The project is another move to boost youth digital skills acquisition, promote innovations, provide jobs for the teeming Nigerian youth and ultimately support the overall digital economy agenda of the Federal Government,” he said.

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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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