- Nigeria’s electricity troubles have worsened as two additional power generating plants, Sapele II and Shiroro, were shut down on Tuesday. This brings the total number of plants not in service to ten. The Sapele II plant has four generating units with a total capacity of 225MW. The GT1 was shut down for maintenance, GT3 is out due to work by the Nigerian Gas Company at the gas station, while the GT2 and 4 units are out of service as a result of gas constraints. Shiroro, whose capacity is 600MW, saw its unit 411G1 tripped on emergency shutdown on the 86ES lockout relay; units 411G2 and 3 out for under water repair work; and unit 411G4 is out on maintenance. Total national power generation stood at 2,774.2MW on Tuesday, down from 3,657.5MW on March 31. Generation from Egbin, the nation’s biggest power station, was limited to 415MW due to gas constraints, down from 1,085MW on March 15. The slide in power generation has worsened the blackouts in many parts of the country.
- Akwa Ibom has said that over the next three years it will increase the land available for cocoa production in the state to 80,000 acres. The state also explained its commitment to undertake the cocoa maintenance and production scheme as well as coconut oil refinery. According to the governor, Udom Emmanuel, the state’s investment in that aspect of agriculture was because of their viable value chain as the price of cocoa and coconut oil remained higher than crude oil in the international market. Emmanuel said his administration would continue to encourage cocoa cultivation by providing incentives to farmers with at least five hectares and explained that if the state could cultivate a hundred hectares of cocoa it will regain it ranking as one of the major producer of the crop. The major cocoa producing states in Nigeria are Ondo, Cross River, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Ekiti, Delta, Osun and Oyo.
- Activities are beginning to pick up at all the government hospitals in Osun State following the suspension of a strike by doctors which lasted for more than six months. The doctors had been on strike to protest the non-payment of their salaries and other emoluments for over four months. Several protests had been held as the doctors tried to press home their demands. The South West caucus of the Nigerian Medical Association had also threatened at a time to embark on systematic solidarity strike across the South-west states because of what it described as ‘unjust treatment’ by the Osun State government. However, the Osun State Association of Medical and Dental Officers decided to suspend the strike “because of the people.”
- Kaduna says it will spend more than N29.6 billion on power supply, agriculture and rail transport. Speaking at the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit, Governor Nasiru El-Rufa’i said that a part of the projects captured under the state’s 2016 budget was the construction of a rail line for the Kaduna metropolis which will cost N10 billion. The rail line designed under the first phase to run from Marabar-Jos to the Kaduna Refinery will be financed by a loan granted to states from the Excess Crude Account. On agriculture, priority will be given to rice, ginger, sorghum and maize production. N5 billon would be injected to triple ginger production and N2.1 billion for rice production. Rice farmers would be offered an interest free loan to boost production with the loan secured from CBN at 1% interest. El-Rufa’i assured investors of his administration’s commitment to provide security and ensure harmonious coexistence among the people for businesses to thrive.