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Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector

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…Rallies Stakeholders for Synergy, Evaluation on NDEPS

…As Danbatta says “NCC raised $563.1M for FG through 3.5GHz auction; 80 million Nigerians have broadband access

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Left-Right: Engr. Abubakar Ladan, Coordinating Director, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCoDE); Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami); and Prof.Muhammed Abubakar, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Galaxy Backbone at the FMCoDE retreat, that took place recently.

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has commended all the agencies in the communications and digital economy sector for being dedicated to the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, and urged them to work collaboratively and co-ordinately in order to achieve the Federal Government’s strategic objectives as articulated in NDEPS.

Pantami stated this at a retreat organized by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) for senior management staff of the Ministry and all its agencies which commenced on March 31, 2022. The retreat was convened to evaluate the implementation of NDEPS in the context of what has been achieved, what needs to be achieved, and what processes should be emplaced to enhance the capacity of the Ministry and Agencies it superintends to mobilize all stakeholders to accomplish the objectives of NDEPS. The retreat took place at the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) Centre at Mambilla Barracks, Abuja.

Citing the most recent report of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Minister in his keynote and opening address told the forum that synergy among stakeholders in terms of co-operative posture, collaboration, coordination, deployment of social skills such as good listening skills, critical and analytical thinking, emotional intelligence, as well as project management and quality assurance skills, are central to organizational effectiveness, successes and the future of work, as projected by WEF. Pantami then urged all the agencies and their staff to challenge themselves to do more rather than think of themselves as competitors.

Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) addressing the participants
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, EVC of NCC.
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, Head Online Media, NCC with Sumbo Olawaiye, Assistant Director, Universal Service Provision Fund
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Ayuba Shuaibu, Acting Executive Secretary, USPF; Philip Tunde Eretan Deputy Director Licensing and Authorisation, NCC; and Yakubu Musa, Special Assistant, Media to the EVC, NCC
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Fola Ango, Planning Research and Statistics Department, FMoCDE
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector

Also speaking at the retreat, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta asserted that the NCC has acted superlatively in implementing NDEPS and in the context of the vision of Federal Government and the supervision of the Ministry. Danbatta who made clearly methodical presentation that chronologically documented NCC accomplishments under each of the eight (8) pillars of NDEPS, cited 10 of the 16 regulations that have been instituted in giving expression to Government’s vision on developmental regulation, which is the first pillar of NDEPS.

These regulations were focused on Enforcement Processes, Lawful Interception, Quality of Service, Competition Practices, Licensing Regulations, and Universal Access and Universal Service among others.
Danbatta promised to also complete the review of the remaining soonest and activate their implementation. Danbatta, who used a triangulation method in contextualizing the achievement of NCC under the first pillar, itemized the guidelines, regulations, and policy development initiatives to discharge the burden of proof of NCC’s effectiveness in the regulation of ICT and digital economy sector through approaches that enabled development.

In implementing Digital Literacy and Skills, the second pillar, Danbatta also stated in his clearly explanatory presentation, that the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), set up by NCC in 2004, had trained 5,352 students through 49 institutions, provided educational training software to 398 secondary schools, and endowed 7 professorial chairs in various Nigerian universities across all the geopolitical zones.

Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Dr. Ibietan with the Director General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz.
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Rita Emeka-Wachukwu, Assistant Director, Corporate Planning, Strategy and Risk Management, NCC with two participants
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Ibietan and Bamigboye
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Adebayo, Postmaster General; and Engr. Abdulrahman Adajah, representing Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT.

On Solid Infrastructure, the third pillar of NDEPS, Danbatta stated that broadband penetration as of December 2021 was 40.88 percent, thus enabling 80 million Nigerians to have access to broadband services.

To reinforce the intensity of NCC’s commitment to improving broadband penetration, the EVC declared to the forum that NCC has emplaced a process for the deployment of optic fiber cable using Infrastructure Companies (Infracos). Danbatta was emphatic that the licensed Infracos have been directed by the Commission to commence immediate rollout without recourse to counterpart funding because the license issued to them is independent of the counterpart funding agreement. The Infracos are expected to lay 38,296Km of fiber optic cable. Also, in keeping with Government’s directive through a Federal Executive Council decision of 2005, NCC has constructed 32 Emergency Communication Centres (EECs) in various states, and 32 of those have been activated and are operational. Prof. Danbatta also documented copiously in his presentation, Commission’s achievement in the other five pillar areas.

Dr. Armstrong Takang, an innovative and technology-for-development specialist, who presented the lead paper as a guest speaker, praised the Federal Government for concretely aligning ICT and digital economy with national economic imperatives. Additionally, he commended NCC for driving the necessary infrastructure purposely and strategically, and for its effectiveness in regulating the telecom sector.

Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Left-Right: Ladan, and Honourable Minister Pantami
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Adebayo, Postmaster General; and Engr. Abdulrahman Adajah, representing Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT.
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Left-Right: Director General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz; Dr. Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner/CEO of the Nigerian Data Protection Bureau; and Prof. Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Dr. Vincent Olatunji ; and Engr. Aziz, Director General NIMC

Takang, citing Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory Administration as good models, Takang emphasized the correlates of adoption of technology or automation in economic growth and effective governance, crediting technology for improved internally-generated revenue in Lagos State. Takang recommended that Nigeria must link technology to specific programs that are impacting and sustainable. He also asserted that Nigeria needs to undertake pilots for projects that are planned for implementation and utilise the results of the pilots to scale up and for budgeting. Takang also bemoaned the human capital challenge in the ICT sector in Nigeria, insisting that at least 500,000 software engineers are required to redirect efforts for the effectiveness of the policy.

The Director overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary in FMoCDE, Engr. Abubakar Ladan, and the following CEOs of the other agencies in the Ministry also made presentations on their efforts and activities towards accomplishing the objectives of NDEPS: Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu, Acting Executive Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF); Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), represented by Engr. Abdulrahman Adajah; Engr. Aliyu Aziz, Director General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC); Kachifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Prof. Muhammed Abubakar, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Plc; Dr. Adebayo Adewusi, Postmaster General of the Federation and Managing Director, Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST); and Dr. Vincent Olatunji, National Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB). All the agencies and the Ministry were well represented at the retreat by at least 6 officers in the directorate cadre.

Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Dr. Augustine Nwaulune, Director Digital Economy, NCC with Dr.Omoniyi Ibietan, Head, Online Media,NCC
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
Engr. Bako Wakil, Director Technical Standards and Network Integrity, NCC;MT Head, Internal Audit, USPF; Babagana Digima, Team Lead, Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS)
Pantami Commends Agencies In The Communications Sector
A staff of NITDA, Dr. Olatunji, Director General NDPB; and Babatunde Bamigboye, a staff of NDPB

The retreat will end on April 1, 2022.

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NCC-CSIRT Proffers Countermeasures Against Website Scams On Microsoft Edge Browser

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NCC Issues Final Letters Of Licence Awards To 5G Spectrum Winners

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has issued an advisory for users to install trusted, up-to-date anti-virus software with an Internet security component and to customize News Feed in Microsoft Edge Browser. 

This is part of the countermeasures to lessen the chances of falling for a malicious attack that has been discovered in the browser.

The NCC-CSIRT further advised users of the browser to practice safe Internet browsing habits and to refrain from clicking on links they are unsure of in the face of a malicious attack that has been rated as high in probability and potential damage to systems.

The advisory stated that the malicious advertising campaign, unearthed on the Microsoft Edge Browser News Feed, redirects victims to fraudulent tech support websites and that cybercriminals have resorted to posting bizarre, attention-grabbing stories or advertisements on the Edge news feed to entice users to click on them. The malicious advertisements appear legitimate but contain malware and/or other threats.

According to the advisory, “The Microsoft Edge News Feed is the default page that appears when a new tab is opened, and it displays information such as news, advertisements, weather, and traffic updates. Also, the following are the steps that result in being redirected to a bogus tech support page: The user clicks on a story or advertisement, and the Edge browser setting is analysed for various metrics.”

Based on the aforementioned metrics and prior results, the advisory said “if the user is adjudged to be a bot or in a location that is not of interest, the user is redirected to a harmless dummy page that is relevant to the story or advertisement initially clicked on; However, if the user has adjudged a potential victim, then the user is redirected to a tech support scam website for further exploitation.”

Victims of the tech support website scam could have their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other data harvested or they could be with malware.

The NCC, therefore, urges telecom consumers and other stakeholders in the ecosystem to install up-to-date AntiVirus software and be alert to the wiles of cyber criminals in order not to fall victim to cyber scams.

The CSIRT is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector and as they may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large.

The CSIRT also works collaboratively with the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents by preparing, protecting, and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks, and problems or related events.

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Zoom Users Advised To Update Software After Vulnerabilities Found

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NCC Issues Final Letters Of Licence Awards To 5G Spectrum Winners

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has advised users of the video telephony platform, Zoom, to install the latest update of the software from its publisher’s official website following the discovery of vulnerabilities that allows a remote attacker to exploit the app.

In an advisory issued on Wednesday, NCC-CSIRT reported that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) found several flaws in Zoom products.

The video telephony platform became popular for virtual meetings in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic with more than 300 million daily users.

According to the NCC-CSIRT advisory, “A remote attacker could exploit the vulnerabilities to circumvent implemented security measures and cause a denial of service on the targeted machine.” 

It noted that “These vulnerabilities exist owing to incorrect access control implementation in Zoom On-Premises Meeting Connector MMR prior to version 4.8.20220815.130. A remote attacker could exploit these flaws to join a meeting they were not permitted to attend without being seen by the other attendees. They can also access audio and video feeds from meetings they were not permitted to attend, as well as interrupt other sessions.”

In 2019, the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solutions project was commissioned, and the SPDC JV is planning to reduce associated gas flaring further through its Forcados Yokri gas-gathering project, of which large parts are set to be completed in 2022. Despite such efforts to reduce continuous flaring, unfortunately flaring intensity (the amount of gas flared for every tonne of oil and gas produced) at both SPDC- and SNEPCo-operated facilities increased in 2021 owing to short-term operational issues. Flaring from SPDC-operated facilities increased by around 5% in 2021 compared with 2020. The increase was primarily because of the extended outage of the gas compression system in SPDC’s shallow-water operations. The system was restored and became operational from January 2022. Flaring at SNEPCo-operated facilities rose by around 160% in 2021 compared with 2020. This was mainly because of an increase in flaring on the Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Repairs to a flex-joint on the Bonga FPSO’s gas export riser in the second quarter took longer than expected, in part because of weather conditions. While repairs were under way, the FPSO continued to produce oil and therefore flaring was necessary for safety reasons. The repairs were safely concluded in July 2021. Although flaring intensity levels rose in 2021, SPDC and SNEPCo over the last 10 years have almost halved the combined amount of hydrocarbons they flare from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. This reduction is the result of a strict flaring reduction management process and both SPDC and SNEPCo will continue to work in close collaboration with joint-venture partners and the government to make progress towards ending routine flaring of associated gas. NIGERIA LNG EXPANSION UNDERWAY Global demand for LNG continues to grow as the world increasingly seeks reliable supplies of lowercarbon energy. Shell’s investment in Nigeria’s gas infrastructure for export is expected to help 6 This is according to a data provided by global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. the country benefit further from revenues. Shell Gas B.V. and its partners took a final investment decision in 2020 on a new LNG processing unit – known as Train 7 -- at NLNG. The expansion is expected to create around 12,000 jobs for Nigerians during construction and stimulate growth of the local oil and gas service sector, with 55% of engineering and procurement of goods and services being sourced in-country. Train 7 is expected to ensure Nigeria’s continued place as a global player in a lower-carbon energy source. Once operational, Train 7 will add around 8 million tonnes per annum of capacity to the Bonny Island LNG facility, taking the total production to around 30 million tonnes per annum. In 2021, NLNG began awarding procurement and construction contracts. Early works started at the site. The first phase of the worker village is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2022 and the new material offloading facility ready for use by the end of 2022. NLNG’s Train 7 is expected to come onstream in the middle of the 2020s. KEY LICENCE RENEWED FOR DEEP-WATER SNEPCo has interests in four deep-water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, two of which it operates. Today, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and the nonoperated Erha fields.6 Since production began in 2005, Bonga alone has produced more than 950 million barrels of oil with the 2021 average oil production per day at 105,000 barrels. The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. In 2021, the availability of the FPSO vessel increased to 80% from 70% in 2020. In addition to Bonga, SNEPCo’s exploration activities have led to several significant discoveries of oil and gas over the last two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields (Shell interest 55%). Nigeria Briefing Notes Helping to power Nigeria’s economy 13 In the right investment climate, SNEPCo believes that there are opportunities to expand. In 2021 the OML 118 (Bonga) production sharing contract was renewed and the lease extended for 20 years. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil fields are two such potential opportunities. Bonga North is a proposed tie-back project to the existing Bonga FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 14 wells. BSWA is a development of a new FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 23 wells. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY STARTUPS Millions of Nigerians are excluded from the country’s power grid and Shell Companies in Nigeria have established and provided substantial funding for a not-for-profit, impact-investing company called All On. Operating as an independent company, All On works to bring reliable electricity – often from renewable energy sources -- to off-grid urban and rural customers. This support aims to build a solid pipeline of viable businesses that can create the scale required to address Nigeria’s access to energy gap. In December 2019, SPDC and SNEPCo made a significant additional 10-year financing commitment of $160 million in All On, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. By the end of 2021, All On had provided investment capital to over 40 renewable energy start-ups in its portfolio – an increase of more than 30% from 2020. One such company is Infibranches Technologies Limited, to which All On has committed $2 million, which is expected to enable the indigenous technology company to expand sales of solar home systems via its more than 13,000 agent banking partners across Nigeria. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the All On Hub was established in 2020 to provide nonfinancial support and build the capabilities of off-grid energy entrepreneurs. In 2021, the hub supported 81 ventures – nearly double the 41 supported in 2020. Also in 2021, All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched a $10 million equipment financing facility as part of the DART pilot programme in Nigeria. 7 Hydraulic flying leads support the delivery of hydraulic fluid and/or chemicals between subsea equipment. 8 Subsea trees are an assembly of valves and other components used to monitor and control the production of a subsea well. DART will combine demand pooling, aggregated purchasing of solar equipment, and access to affordable finance to unlock economies of scale for solar companies, achieve cost savings for end-users, and accelerate the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and beyond. DEVELOPING LOCAL CONTENT AND SKILLS Shell Companies in Nigeria contribute to the growth of Nigerian businesses that can provide technical and support services to the industry. This includes the manufacture of tools and technical kits, the operation of helicopter flights in the Niger Delta, and strategic partnerships between foreign and local companies to stimulate technology transfer and capacity development. While there are government-required programmes in some areas, such as the Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project, Shell Companies in Nigeria deliberately seek to contract local businesses wherever possible. In 2021, Shell Companies in Nigeria awarded $800 million worth of contracts to Nigerian-registered companies. Of these, 92% were companies with at least 51% Nigerian ownership. SNEPCo has awarded major engineering and construction contracts to companies that are indigenous, have local staff, or possess domestic capabilities in the country. At present, the manufacture and rebuild of hydraulic flying leads7 (HFLs) is being carried out in-country by wholly indigenous companies. Pressure Controls Systems Nigeria Limited, another Nigerian company, continues to refurbish old subsea trees.8 Sometimes, a lack of access to capital hinders Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively. Shell Companies in Nigeria have provided access to nearly $1.6 billion in loans to 901 Nigerian vendors under the Shell Contractor Support Fund since 2012. These loans help improve their tendering opportunities.

A successful exploit of these vulnerabilities could allow an unauthorized remote authenticated user to bypass implemented security limitations on the targeted system.

The Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector and as they may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large. The CSIRT also works collaboratively with the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents by preparing, protecting, and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks, and problems or related events.

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NCC Urges NSSB To Create Awareness About Digital Literacy

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NCC Urges NSSB To Create Awareness About Digital Literacy

…NCC continues to give research grants to lecturers and students in the universities

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged the Nasarawa State Scholarship Board (NSSB) to support the NCC in creating awareness about the intervention projects of the Commission concerning research and digital literacy in order to provide more opportunities for the citizenry.

Director of Digital Economy at the Commission, Dr. Augustine Nwaulune, who hosted a delegation of the Board, led by the Board’s Executive Secretary, Hajia Saadatu Yahya, on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, recently, recalled that Nasarawa State is one of the beneficiaries of NCC’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) intervention projects such as the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP) for secondary schools, the Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI), the Wireless Cloud, as well as the E-Health program.

“While we don’t give scholarships to students, the NCC has continued to give research grants to lecturers and students in the universities and provided additional opportunities including sponsoring competitions involving students, as well as endowing professorial chairs in universities across the country. In the last seven years, the financial value of the endowments and grants is more than N500 million.

“Therefore, I will appeal to NSSB to create awareness about these initiatives of the NCC among stakeholders in the academia, particularly the research grants to enable stakeholders to leverage such opportunities offered by the Commission to scholars interested in carrying out telecommunications-based research,” he said.

NCC Urges NSSB To Create Awareness About Digital Literacy
Left-Right: Haruna Sani, Senior Special Assistant to Nasawara State Governor on Information and Communication Technology; Dr. Beluchi Nwanisobi, Head, Knowledge Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Sani Jibrin, President, Nasawara State Students Association; Saadatu Yahya, Executive Secretary, Nasawara State Scholarship Board (NSSB); Dr. Austine Nwaulune, Director, Digital Economy, NCC; Freda Bruce-Bennett, Head, Digital Services and Skills, NCC; Edoyemi Ogoh, Head, Quality of Service and Interconnect, NCC, during a courtesy visit of the NSSB to the Commission on Wednesday (September 21, 2022) in Abuja.

Nwaulune said the NCC has been upbeat in ensuring implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, in which one of its eight pillars, rests on digital literacy, while the Digital Economy Department has been set up and equipped by the Commission with the human resources required to coordinate its programs in concrete terms.

Yahya, whose delegation visited to discuss areas of collaboration for deepening digital/technical training and skills acquisition in Nasarawa State, commended the Commission for the central role it has played in promoting digital awareness and skills across the country and pleaded that Nasarawa State should be given more opportunities to benefit from NCC’s social investments and other digital economy-focused interventions, being the closest State to the Federal Capital Territory, the base of the Commission.

In 2019, the Southern Swamp Associated Gas Solutions project was commissioned, and the SPDC JV is planning to reduce associated gas flaring further through its Forcados Yokri gas-gathering project, of which large parts are set to be completed in 2022. Despite such efforts to reduce continuous flaring, unfortunately flaring intensity (the amount of gas flared for every tonne of oil and gas produced) at both SPDC- and SNEPCo-operated facilities increased in 2021 owing to short-term operational issues. Flaring from SPDC-operated facilities increased by around 5% in 2021 compared with 2020. The increase was primarily because of the extended outage of the gas compression system in SPDC’s shallow-water operations. The system was restored and became operational from January 2022. Flaring at SNEPCo-operated facilities rose by around 160% in 2021 compared with 2020. This was mainly because of an increase in flaring on the Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Repairs to a flex-joint on the Bonga FPSO’s gas export riser in the second quarter took longer than expected, in part because of weather conditions. While repairs were under way, the FPSO continued to produce oil and therefore flaring was necessary for safety reasons. The repairs were safely concluded in July 2021. Although flaring intensity levels rose in 2021, SPDC and SNEPCo over the last 10 years have almost halved the combined amount of hydrocarbons they flare from 1.5 million tonnes in 2012 to 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. This reduction is the result of a strict flaring reduction management process and both SPDC and SNEPCo will continue to work in close collaboration with joint-venture partners and the government to make progress towards ending routine flaring of associated gas. NIGERIA LNG EXPANSION UNDERWAY Global demand for LNG continues to grow as the world increasingly seeks reliable supplies of lowercarbon energy. Shell’s investment in Nigeria’s gas infrastructure for export is expected to help 6 This is according to a data provided by global research and consultancy business Wood Mackenzie. the country benefit further from revenues. Shell Gas B.V. and its partners took a final investment decision in 2020 on a new LNG processing unit – known as Train 7 -- at NLNG. The expansion is expected to create around 12,000 jobs for Nigerians during construction and stimulate growth of the local oil and gas service sector, with 55% of engineering and procurement of goods and services being sourced in-country. Train 7 is expected to ensure Nigeria’s continued place as a global player in a lower-carbon energy source. Once operational, Train 7 will add around 8 million tonnes per annum of capacity to the Bonny Island LNG facility, taking the total production to around 30 million tonnes per annum. In 2021, NLNG began awarding procurement and construction contracts. Early works started at the site. The first phase of the worker village is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2022 and the new material offloading facility ready for use by the end of 2022. NLNG’s Train 7 is expected to come onstream in the middle of the 2020s. KEY LICENCE RENEWED FOR DEEP-WATER SNEPCo has interests in four deep-water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, two of which it operates. Today, nearly one-third of Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and the nonoperated Erha fields.6 Since production began in 2005, Bonga alone has produced more than 950 million barrels of oil with the 2021 average oil production per day at 105,000 barrels. The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. In 2021, the availability of the FPSO vessel increased to 80% from 70% in 2020. In addition to Bonga, SNEPCo’s exploration activities have led to several significant discoveries of oil and gas over the last two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields (Shell interest 55%). Nigeria Briefing Notes Helping to power Nigeria’s economy 13 In the right investment climate, SNEPCo believes that there are opportunities to expand. In 2021 the OML 118 (Bonga) production sharing contract was renewed and the lease extended for 20 years. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil fields are two such potential opportunities. Bonga North is a proposed tie-back project to the existing Bonga FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 14 wells. BSWA is a development of a new FPSO with Phase 1 comprising 23 wells. SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY STARTUPS Millions of Nigerians are excluded from the country’s power grid and Shell Companies in Nigeria have established and provided substantial funding for a not-for-profit, impact-investing company called All On. Operating as an independent company, All On works to bring reliable electricity – often from renewable energy sources -- to off-grid urban and rural customers. This support aims to build a solid pipeline of viable businesses that can create the scale required to address Nigeria’s access to energy gap. In December 2019, SPDC and SNEPCo made a significant additional 10-year financing commitment of $160 million in All On, bringing the total commitment to $200 million. By the end of 2021, All On had provided investment capital to over 40 renewable energy start-ups in its portfolio – an increase of more than 30% from 2020. One such company is Infibranches Technologies Limited, to which All On has committed $2 million, which is expected to enable the indigenous technology company to expand sales of solar home systems via its more than 13,000 agent banking partners across Nigeria. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the All On Hub was established in 2020 to provide nonfinancial support and build the capabilities of off-grid energy entrepreneurs. In 2021, the hub supported 81 ventures – nearly double the 41 supported in 2020. Also in 2021, All On, Odyssey Energy Solutions and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launched a $10 million equipment financing facility as part of the DART pilot programme in Nigeria. 7 Hydraulic flying leads support the delivery of hydraulic fluid and/or chemicals between subsea equipment. 8 Subsea trees are an assembly of valves and other components used to monitor and control the production of a subsea well. DART will combine demand pooling, aggregated purchasing of solar equipment, and access to affordable finance to unlock economies of scale for solar companies, achieve cost savings for end-users, and accelerate the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and beyond. DEVELOPING LOCAL CONTENT AND SKILLS Shell Companies in Nigeria contribute to the growth of Nigerian businesses that can provide technical and support services to the industry. This includes the manufacture of tools and technical kits, the operation of helicopter flights in the Niger Delta, and strategic partnerships between foreign and local companies to stimulate technology transfer and capacity development. While there are government-required programmes in some areas, such as the Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project, Shell Companies in Nigeria deliberately seek to contract local businesses wherever possible. In 2021, Shell Companies in Nigeria awarded $800 million worth of contracts to Nigerian-registered companies. Of these, 92% were companies with at least 51% Nigerian ownership. SNEPCo has awarded major engineering and construction contracts to companies that are indigenous, have local staff, or possess domestic capabilities in the country. At present, the manufacture and rebuild of hydraulic flying leads7 (HFLs) is being carried out in-country by wholly indigenous companies. Pressure Controls Systems Nigeria Limited, another Nigerian company, continues to refurbish old subsea trees.8 Sometimes, a lack of access to capital hinders Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively. Shell Companies in Nigeria have provided access to nearly $1.6 billion in loans to 901 Nigerian vendors under the Shell Contractor Support Fund since 2012. These loans help improve their tendering opportunities.

“The purpose of our visit is to seek collaboration with the NCC in whatever ways possible, especially in the areas of scholarship, and ICT skills and literacy for our people. The ICT is, today, the engine room of the global economy and we do not want to lag in this new digital order, hence, our decision to seek collaboration with organisations in the ICT space such as your work, especially because you are contiguous to our State,” Yahya, the NSSB Executive Secretary said.

Other members of the delegation, including Senior Special Assistant to Nasarawa State Governor on Information and Communication Technology, Haruna Sani; and the President, Nasarawa State Students Association, Sani Jibrin, spoke in favour of a greater collaboration with the NCC which would add the needed impetus to the current efforts by the state government to leverage ICT for economic development.

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