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Ensure Security and Resilience Of Nigeria’s Critical National Assets- Alfred Chiakor

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Ensure Security and Resilience Of Nigeria’s Critical National Assets- Alfred Chiakor, SiliconNigeria

Chief of Strategic Planning and Innovations, Ashcraft Centre for Social Science Research,  Chiakor Alfred, has called on Nigerians and all critical stakeholders to forge a common front to confront the challenges impacting the integrity of critical infrastructures and assets in Nigeria.

Alfred who made the call at a press conference on the forthcoming South–South Zonal Stakeholders Summit on: “Domesticating Stakeholders Statutory Responsibilities in Protecting Nigeria’s Critical Infrastructures and Assets,” in Rivers state, said Nigeria now faces more security threats that have different characteristics from classic military conflict between states. 

He disclosed that structural challenges, such as the systematic vandalisation, degradation and destruction of Nigeria’s critical national infrastructures, monuments and business assets; terrorism, insurgency, cyber-­­crimes, banditry, kidnapping, piracy, oil bunkering, drug trafficking and other forms of organised crime, have created an entirely new security environment.

“The rampancy and intensity of the vandalisation and destruction of Nigeria’s infrastructures and assets prompted the call to arms by His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR – President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Armed Forces, Intelligence and Security Establishment and all Nigerians to see it as a patriotic duty to ensure  maximum vigilance and shared responsibility in the protection and security of these Assets and platforms at all points in their life-cycle.

“The South – South Zonal Stakeholders Summit is therefore a Private/Public Sector Partnership that aims at galvanizing responsibility and synergy for the prioritization of the Multi Agency/Joint Risk Management efforts to ensure the security and resilience of Nigeria’s critical national assets, in line with the Risk Management Framework of the National Protection Policy and Strategy 2022 (CNAINPPS 2022), and also, the Critical National Infrastructure Bill under consideration at the National Assembly,” he explained.

He said this projections of the Summit are therefore, consistent with the provisions of the CNAINPPS 2022; Petroleum Industry Act, 2021; the National Security Strategy Framework; and the Critical National Infrastructure Bill, 2021 currently under consideration at the National Assembly.

“The South–South Zonal Stakeholders Summit aims to intensify advocacy for Stakeholders Statutory Responsibilities. It shall also engender the re-engineering of appropriate legislations; and the strategic roadmap for harnessing expert knowledge and country wide technical support for deterrence, codified response strategy and recovery architecture to Nigeria’s critical assets. 

“Equally important is the desire to seek renewed commitment to the challenges impacting the integrity of critical infrastructures and assets in the Region, especially the vandalisation and destruction of its complex ecosystem of separate yet interconnected infrastructures in the Oil and Gas; Telecommunications, Transportation and Power Sectors,” he added.

To achieve the projected outcome and also sustain confidence building, Alfred said diverse Stakeholders are mobilized to discuss the challenges impacting the integrity, operations and security of the critical infrastructures and Assets and also seek possible solutions and suggestions. 

By building inter/multi sectoral synergy, Alfred said, “The Summit shall engender Stakeholders and citizens with shared responsibilities towards achieving the institutionalization of the road map and priorities of the policy frameworks crafted to provide deterrence, security and resilience of Nigeria’s assets. 

“It is also the expectation of the Conveners that the derivatives from the Summit shall enhance knowledge leadership & management, regenerate confidence in securing Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria’s productive Sectors; and also boost capital growth and turnkey business startups and development.”

He therefore called on the partnership and support of all Stakeholders, both in the Public and Private Sectors, with diverse political, religious and professional orientations to put aside all prejudices to help forge a common front to confront the monster that is threatening the integrity of our corporate existence as a people and as a nation. 

“It is incumbent on us all therefore to engage robustly on how to deter and mitigate these challenges in a systematic and coordinated manner. This way, we can be sure of preserving our collective heritage and sanctity of our God endowed resources, both human, technical and material,” he added.

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3.2 billion People Lack Broadband Internet -GSMA

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3.2bn People Lack Broadband Internet -GSMA, SiliconNigeria

Around 3.2 billion people who are covered by networks are still unable to reap the benefits of this connectivity, due to lack of skills, knowledge, affordability, relevant content and other factors, a report has revealed.

The Seventh Annual GSMA SDG Impact Report, released on Wednesday, showed that, six years after becoming the first industry to commit to the SDGs, the mobile sector continues to increase its contribution to the achievement of all 17 goals; however, despite mobile operators’ continued commitment to the 2030 agenda there is still a long way to go.

A combination of global conflict, growing food and energy poverty, economic uncertainty, and the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 are creating significant headwinds, currently threatening SDG progress worldwide. In the face of these challenges, the report highlights the crucial role mobile connectivity and connected technologies can play as enablers, supporting countries as they ‘build forward better’ in pursuit of economic recovery and resilience.

The report demonstrates that those without access, in contrast, are most vulnerable to economic and social disruption, and risk falling further behind as the world emerges from the pandemic, especially as online services become even more integral to society.

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Green IT

Renewables – The Energy of the Future

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, SiliconNigeria

The net-zero carbon emissions ambition of world leaders is accelerating the global shift away from hydrocarbon-based energy sources and towards renewables. Many governments are making sustainable investments a strategic thrust and are using policies and incentives to drive innovation in renewable energy technologies.

As a result, Agusto & Co anticipates that the world’s capacity to generate electricity from solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewables will grow significantly in the next few years. In 2022, a projected $472 billion will be invested in renewable energy, 44% more than in 2017, when $326 billion was spent[1].  

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewables will account for about 95% of the increase in worldwide power capacity by 2026[2], with solar photovoltaics (PV) alone accounting for more than half of the anticipated expansion.

Nigeria is not excluded from this pursuit of carbon neutrality, being one of the 195 nations that are party to the United Nations Paris Agreement – a pact that seeks to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Nigeria has undertaken to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% between now and 2030 and to attain net-zero emissions by 2060.

Modern Solutions to Age-old Problems?

However, Agusto & Co is of the opinion that Nigeria’s aspirations are rather lofty considering that the country is still grappling with inadequate electricity supply from the national grid as unmet demand is estimated at approximately 20,000 megawatts (MW)[3]. With rapid industrialisation, population and income growth, this supply gap is expected to widen.

The challenges confronting the Nigerian power sector are well documented, over-laboured and cut across the industry’s entire value chain. They were summarised by a World Bank study[4] in 2020 where it was revealed that about 47% of Nigerians lack access to grid electricity and those who do have access, face regular power outages.

Nigeria’s current energy mix is heavily skewed towards gas, with 23 thermal plants contributing 76% of the total installed generating capacity. However, years of underinvestment in the domestic gas market as a result of price controls, regulatory obstacles and pipeline vandalism have put question marks on the commercial viability of gas supply to the power sector.

Agusto & Co estimates that renewable energy sources (such as wind and solar) in Nigeria, which are frequently proposed as alternatives to gas, are still in their infancy and are not commercially viable on a sufficient scale to diversify the country’s energy mix.

A Case for Renewable Energy in Nigeria

Given its abundant and diverse natural resources, Nigeria is capable of producing significant amounts of clean and renewable energy (particularly solar energy). The country is located within a high sunshine belt and has significant solar energy potential as a result. According to the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), the average annual daily sunshine in Africa’s largest economy is 6.25 hours[5].

Nigeria’s Northern region enjoys average solar radiation of about 25.2MJ/m2 (megajoule/square meter) per day, with an average of 12.6MJ/m2 in coastal areas[6]. Wind speeds ranging between 2.5m/s and 6.5m/s[7] in the Northern region of Nigeria, owing to the large expanse of dry land, also present opportunities to generate wind power, while biomass remains a potential and untapped source of bio-energy given the amount of waste produced.

While grid-connected electricity supply remains the cheapest source of power in Nigeria, it is not always economically efficient to construct gas pipelines and/or transmission cables to some remote villages with very little demand for electricity. Agusto & Co believes that this underscores the need to expand the current energy mix to include renewables.

Renewable energy plants can be constructed in remote areas as an alternative to running several kilometres of transmission cables, which are subject to vandalism. The poor and erratic power supply from the national grid also provides opportunities for small-scale renewable projects for individual households.

Also, a decentralised energy production system is pertinent to address the transmission and distribution challenges plaguing the Nigerian power sector, which is provided by the use of solar energy. Nigeria’s market for electrification is ripe, with an estimated 215 million[8] people and an annual population growth rate of 3%. Given the appropriate regulatory support, Agusto & Co forecasts significant investment in renewables.

Two Birds, One Stone

Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source globally and many industry experts consider it to be the energy for the future with projections of as much as 85% of global power output coming from renewables (mostly solar and wind) by 2050[9]. Agusto & Co expects that with growing awareness of climate change and environmental sustainability, more Nigerian organisations will opt for renewables, driving their increased adoption – particularly solar energy – in keeping with the global trend.

This would place Nigeria firmly on track to effectively kill two birds with one stone by accomplishing its national goal of increasing energy output sufficiently to overcome the domestic power supply shortfall and putting itself on a solid route to meeting its international commitment to achieve zero emissions by 2060[10].


[1] https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/b0beda65-8a1d-46ae-87a2-f95947ec2714/WorldEnergyInvestment2022.pdf

[2] https://www.iea.org/news/renewable-electricity-growth-is-accelerating-faster-than-ever-worldwide-supporting-the-emergence-of-the-new-global-energy-economy

[3] NERC

[4] https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/06/23/nigeria-to-keep-the-lights-on-and-power-its-economy

[5] https://businessday.ng/energy/power/article/achieving-renewable-energy-projection-hinge-on-effective-rd-human-capacity/

[6] Sweetcrude Reports

[7] New Era Energy

[8] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/nigeria-population/

[9] https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2018/Apr/IRENA_Report_GET_2018.pdf

[10] https://www.spglobal.com/commodityinsights/en/market-insights/latest-news/energy-transition/110321-cop26-nigeria-vows-to-reach-net-zero-by-2060-but-stresses-role-of-gas

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IT and Telecomms

TTSWG Opens Nigerian Secretariat, Seeks Membership Growth  

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TTSWG Opens Nigerian Secretariat Seeks Membership Growth, SiliconNigeria

 Telecommunication and Technology Sustainability Working Group (TTSWG),  a Nigerian pro-technology and non-governmental organisation that advocates for sustainability in the ICT sector, announces the launch of its secretariat in Lagos, Nigeria.

TTSWG’s main vision is for Nigeria to be an inspiration to other developing countries in adopting sustainability best practices. Potential member organisations that fit the criteria for joining TTSWG stand to gain several attractive privileges such as, access to networking opportunities with other industry players, regulators, and key industry decision-makers.

 In addition, TTSWG offers its members the opportunity to define the sustainability direction for the telecommunication and technology industries.

In order to address a wide range of issues concerning sustainability in the ICT sector, the organisation has released a number of  publications on ttswg.org, its website, which include: “Tech for Good Initiatives in Nigeria”; “Managing ICT Emissions and Environment Pollution in Nigeria”; and “50 Financially Impactful ICT Innovations in Nigeria”.

TTWSG has secured national  partnerships and is working closely with critical organisations in the ICT sector on its advocacy for industry sustainability, including the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST); National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA); the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).

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