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World Bank Approves $300m Electricity Project Support To W/African States

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World Bank Approves $300m Electricity Project Support To W/African States, SiliconNigeria

The World Bank, has approved a total of $300 million in International Development Association (IDA) credits and grants to support reforms that will help promote electricity trade in West Africa. 

The West Africa Regional Energy Trade Development Policy Financing Programme (West Africa Energy DPF) seeks to remove barriers to electricity trade, which will lower electricity costs for consumers, support the competitiveness of firms and improve resilience and reliability of supply.

Currently, only 50 per cent of the population in West Africa have access to electricity, and those who do, pay among the highest prices in the world more than double those of consumers in East Africa. 

In addition, due to operational deficiencies, electricity services are unreliable, with an average of 44 hours of outages per month. The World Bank noted that over the past decade, member countries of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) have been working through the West Africa Power Pool, WAPP towards a fully integrated power market.

 Within a few years, they will have completed the primary interconnectors that will link them together. The West Africa Energy DPF supports a policy reform programme being implemented by Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone, to facilitate trade in cleaner low cost electricity generated from gas, hydropower and renewable energy across borders.

This will replace the more expensive electricity generated from inefficient small-scale oil-fired and diesel generation and improve the reliability of electricity services, states the World Bank.

Commenting on the development, the World Bank Vice-President for Western and Central Africa, Ousmane Diagana, said: “West Africa has huge potential for clean and green energy generation, which countries can unlock and pool together to bring lower-cost electricity to communities and help create jobs.

“The West Africa Power Pool has done the fundamental work of interconnecting national grids, and it is now time to realise the full strength of the regional power market. Coordinated policies paired with effective institutions and regulatory frameworks will help improve trust in the electricity trade and usher in a new era of affordable and reliable energy in West Africa.” 

The new operation supports a regional energy reform programme set out in three pillars. The first aims to increase confidence in the enforcement of commercial arrangements by supporting payments and enforcement mechanisms relating to energy trade.

The second supports the implementation of least-cost investment decisions that consider regional options and that promote competition. The third supports transparency, by addressing creditworthiness of national power utilities and keeping the market informed on key investment decisions that impact demand and supply. 

“This is a landmark programme for achieving our goal of having a regional energy market and I want to thank the World Bank support,” says Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission.

Brou continued: “The West Africa Power Pool will continue to make strides and with this support, it can help member countries work together on the key coordinated policy reforms needed to deliver regional electricity trade – and therefore access more affordable and reliable electricity. 

By better using energy resources in the region, we expect the resulting efficient and resilient power systems to make our economies much more productive and inclusive. ECOWAS will continue to be a strong partner in realising this goal.”

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LaPRIGA Awards Recognises MTN Nigeria For Community Relations

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LaPRIGA Awards Recognises MTN Nigeria For Community Relations, SiliconNigeria

Leading telecommunications services provider, MTN Nigeria has been recognised for best practices in Community Relations efforts through its social investment arm, MTN Foundation, at the fifth edition of the Lagos Public Relations Industry Gala and Awards (LaPRIGA).

 The annual event organized by the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) was created to celebrate exemplary practices, professional accomplishments and long-standing leadership roles of stakeholders, PR practitioners, the media and corporate organisations. Through the awards, the Lagos State Chapter of NIPR aims to boost adoption of global best practices while in turn increasing awareness for the role of PR.

 Commenting on the recognition of MTN Foundation’s efforts, Nonny Ugboma, Executive Secretary, appreciated the Lagos State chapter of NIPR for recognising MTN Foundation’s impact in over 500 communities across Nigeria. According to her, “We understand the crucial role PR practitioners play in strengthening relationships between corporate organisations and their stakeholders. At MTN Nigeria, we have enjoyed mutually beneficial relationships with media practitioners through which we have been able to reach more host communities with our health, education and economic empowerment projects.”

 “We are honoured to not only receive this award but to have been nominated alongside other outstanding organisations. We remain committed to improving quality of life for Nigerians on a sustainable basis.” She added.

 In 2019, MTN won two LaPRIGA awards for best in Crisis Management and Excellence in Internal Communication, this is in addition to a long list of decorations for the brand this year, including the 2020 Nigeria Risk awards for the most responsive organisation to the Covid-19 crisis, brand of the year at the Marketing Edge and Brandcom awards, Investors in People Employer of the Year awards, among others. Since inception, the Foundation has spent over N22 billion in 852 people-centred projects across the 36 states and the FCT, and impacted over 18.6 million lives. 

Established in 1963, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), is the non-governmental, not-for-profit professional body of qualified Public Relations practitioners chartered by Decree 16 of June 1990 (now an Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) to regulate the practice and direct its development.

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Good Together: MTN Nigeria and uduX Partner to Deliver Quality Music Content

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Good Together: MTN Nigeria and uduX Partner to Deliver Quality Music Content, SiliconNigeria

MTN Nigeria today announced a new partnership with uduX, Nigeria’s first domestically launched music streaming service which offers users access to high-quality audio and HD music videos. The partnership will see MTN subscribers gain access to discounted data bundles for accessing content and streaming unlimited music on the uduX app.

 Srinivas Rao, Chief Digital Officer, MTN Nigeria, described the partnership as reinforcing the company’s Good Together mantra, which advocates collaboration as a way to foster growth in different sectors of the economy.

“Our young customers are passionate about music. That is why we have consistently supported the development of the local music industry. We’ve partnered with uduX because we believe in their capacity to deliver high-quality, curated music from around the world, and contribute immensely to the continued growth of the music industry in Nigeria.” 

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,” he added referencing the well-known African adage. “This partnership reaffirms our commitment to supporting the growth of indigenous companies and content through active collaboration.”   

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of uduX, Chidi Aneto Okeke said: ‘‘With all three global major record companies signed to uduX among many others, we will be bringing our MTN/ uduX audience the creme of the global music scene and its international superstars, and of course we are committed to showcasing the very best of our African artistes.  Our partnership with MTN bodes well for the entire music streaming chain, and especially the artistes who will get a chance to earn from locally generated streaming revenue.  We are thrilled to be working with one of Africa’s leaders in telecommunications.”  

With a library of over three million local and international music tracks and videos, uduX enables artistes, DJs, music content providers and aggregators optimize revenue across Africa and beyond. The music industry keeps seeing a rise in local talents and platforms like uduX and MTN who have been at the fore of promoting local content continue to set the pace. 

Customers can register for the service via MyMTN app or go to www.uduX.com. The uduX app is also available for download in the Google Play and App stores.

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Pantami To Deliver Keynote Address At Council Meeting In Owerri

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Pantami To Deliver Keynote Address At Council Meeting In Owerri, SiliconNigeria

L – R: Managing Director (NIGCOMSAT), Dr. Abimbola Alale; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus.; HRH Eze TID Uba, Hon. Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Ikechukwu Sunday; Gombe State Commissioner for Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Aishatu Umar Maigari and Director (|Planning, Research, and Statistics) Dr. (Mrs.) Nonye Nwachukwu, during a courtesy visit to Eze Palace in Owerri.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the ongoing 8th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy in Owerri, Imo State.

The ongoing 8th National Council on Communications and Digital Economy has a theme titled “Leveraging the Digital Economy Policies and Strategies for Economic Recovery in a COVID-19 Era and Beyond.” Scheduled from Friday, November 27 – Tuesday, December 1.  

The meeting involves all stakeholders from 36 states commissioners and FCT,Security agencies, ICT stakeholders from the public and private institutions.  

In a related event, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Musa Istifanus led the Council Members on a courtesy visit to the Palace of His Royal Highness, Eze TID Uba, of Owerri.

The Permanent Secretary said that the purpose of the Council coming to his domain is to introduce the Digital Economy to his people so that they can market their products around the world without necessarily being in the market.

He added that with the digital economy their children can be educated without being in the classroom. He noted specifically that this will get the youths to key into the Digital Economy and use the knowledge to make a living for themselves and improve the economy.

In his response, the Eze solicited the help of the Federal Government through the Permanent Secretary to resuscitate  the NIPOST and make it fully functional, and to get the telecom service providers like (MTN, GLO, AIRTEL,9Mobile)  to reduce the cost of telephone calls, and data adding that the cost of using the Internet to render their services is too high which makes it too expensive for the youths to key into the digital economy.

Members of the Council that accompanied the Permanent Secretary includes; the MD, NIGCOMSAT; Dr. Abimbola Alale,  Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, Post Master-General, NIPOST, Directors, and other stakeholders.

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