Energy Efficiency: the way forward for Nigeria

On 29 August 2017, Nigeria’s first Building Energy Efficiency Code (BEEC) was officially launched in Abuja by the Federal Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).

The BEEC is a set of minimum standards for energy efficient building in Nigeria. Chilufya Lombe, Director at Solid Green Consulting, says, “With the energy scarcity that is common in Africa, energy efficiency becomes very important in allowing and maintaining development. In Nigeria, we have found that energy efficiency can have a bigger impact than renewables. It is easier to build a building to consume 30 to 40% less energy than to pay to add renewable technology onto an inefficient building. In other words, we are talking about buildings that perform well from a first principles point of view.” 

As technical consultants on the BEEC, Solid Green was commissioned to carry out work in four parts, namely:

  • to investigate existing building practices and establish a typical baseline for residential and office buildings;
  • to research building labels and incentive schemes that could encourage people to make use of the BEEC;
  • to provide guidance on enforcement and control, including identifying training requirements for building code enforcement personnel, building industry professionals, developers and financiers;
  • and to investigate energy modelling tools and their suitability for use in the Nigerian market.

Research for the BEEC was conducted primarily in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) but the new minimum energy efficiency requirements can be adopted by any state in Nigeria. The scope of these minimum requirements cover two building categories – residential and office buildings.

Lombe explains, “We used modelling and simulations to determine the expected energy performance of a Business as Usual building (BAU model). We then reviewed simulated variations of the BAU model as well as international references to identify the minimum efficient requirements. The simulations take into account the various climatic conditions found in Nigeria.”

Numerous stakeholder engagements were conducted in the FCT state, including workshops with design engineers, architects, financiers, technical advisors, officials from the Ministry and the State Department of Development Control. This ensured that any minimum interventions proposed were reasonable for the region and would be possible to implement; and that a balance was achieved between interventions that led to savings and ones that made sense for the first iteration of the building code.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Requirements

Under the BEEC, two compliance methods are possible – Prescriptive and Performance. For the Prescriptive option, projects must adhere to all the requirements as a checklist,

and no energy calculations are required. The Performance option looks at a whole building analysis using energy simulation software, and project teams may deviate from the prescriptive requirements provided that the theoretical energy use of the building is less than or equal to that of the same building with all the prescriptive requirements included.

To set the standard for minimum energy efficiency requirements, interventions were identified that lead to a minimum of 40% energy savings over current building practices. These interventions include:

  • Overall Window to Wall Ratio must not exceed 20%;
  • Shading is required when the Window to Wall Ratio exceeds 20%;
  • Reduction of installed lighting power density;
  • Minimum requirements for roof insulation;
  • Minimum performance of air-conditioning equipment specified;
  • Restricted use of non-inverter split units.

Building Energy Labels and Energy Efficiency Incentives

As an incentive for building owners and developers to comply with the BEEC, a comparative building label was developed, which rates a building depending on how many of the BEEC initiatives have been implemented. As the programme is voluntary for the first two years, this is a way of encouraging compliance with an official ‘badge of honour’.

After a voluntary period of two years, the intention is that the competent authority should make all requirements mandatory, and the label will be revised to communicate building energy efficiency on the market.

Public Education, Awareness and Training

“Campaigns to educate the public and prepare key market players are critical to the success of new building labelling and rating schemes,” Lombe observes. “Education and awareness build demand for voluntary labels and help to engage the market.

“Training has been identified as the most important enabler to effective control and enforcement of the BEEC. We carried out a survey to determine the capability of staff responsible for building permit approvals in assessing submissions related to energy efficiency in general and a BEEC in particular. From the survey, it was clear that not many of the staff have had previous exposure to the building physics elements that are important to a BEEC. Accordingly, we recommended training that focuses not only on the procedural requirements of a BEEC but also on the background knowledge of energy efficiency in general.”

The training will cover all aspects of the BEEC including understanding building physics; how to use BEEC calculation sheets; recognising correct details pertaining to the BEEC on drawings; recognising different types of equipment; and understanding the performance route to compliance. This training also has the potential to serve as a minimum qualification for staff who will process building permit approvals as well as for professionals in the construction industry.

Lombe adds that barriers to market adoption include a lack of sufficient information and understanding on the part of tenants and building owners to make well-informed investment decisions; a lack of information about the energy performance of buildings; and a misperception that energy efficiency measures make buildings more expensive.

“Training of building owners and vendors has a marked impact on participation. A look at the common barriers experienced in the procurement of products and commissioning of energy efficient buildings in the public sector immediately identifies awareness as the starting point to unlocking the remaining barriers. For example, a better understanding of life cycle costing can lead to questions around stringent policies of lowest initial purchase price requirements for equipment.”

Case Study

The BEEC’s minimum energy efficiency requirements will also apply to the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing’s own buildings, and the current Ministry building was used as a case study for the BEEC technical report.

Using data from an energy audit conducted on the building together with a simulation model, it was determined what the impact would have been if the BEEC had been applied to the building when it was built, in terms of both capital and running costs.

In terms of overall capital cost savings for the project, a 40% peak load saving would have been achieved. This could have equated to a N10 million saving per generator at today’s prices. As the building has two 500kVA generators, the total saving would have been N20 million.

In terms of running costs, a N9.8 million running cost saving per year would have been achieved if the BEEC had been implemented, through the specification of roof insulation and a more efficient air-conditioning system. This represents a 32% saving on overall energy use.

Lombe concludes, “Implementing the BEEC on the Ministry project provides almost the same cost saving as providing renewable energy in the form of photovoltaics. However, the BEEC also provides a capital cost saving for the project whilst the photovoltaics require a significant capital investment.”

The BEEC’s minimum energy efficiency requirements are to be voluntary for up to a maximum of two years to give individual states an adoption and inception phase, after which the requirements will become mandatory – a significant move towards more sustainable development in Nigeria.



Safety and business sustainability in the power industry

The challenges in the power sector in Nigeria grew with time in the face of weak infrastructure, vandalism, electrical accidents with several electrocutions, and poor service. For the purpose of implementing a strategy to reduce fatality and injury rates in the power sector, as it impacts on service delivery, health and safety of utility workers and the general public, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) put in place the Nigerian Electricity Health and Safety Code Version 1.0, released in 2014. This practical document formulated with best industry practices to achieve the standards of health and safety as required under Part III Sections 32 (1)(e) and 32(2)(b) of the EPSR Act 2005.

Despite this code and other applicable safety guidelines, such as the Nigerian Electricity Supply and Installation Standards Regulations 2015, the level of electrical accidents, the fatality and injury rates, are still on the increase.

Electrical accident especially when it involves people, both utility workers and the public as well the environment, usually leads to huge expenditure, which has a deep effect on the triple bottom line (Profits, People and Planet) of business sustainability. Hence, managing the health, safety and environmental risks prevents losses and reduces attendant accident costs including compensation, medical expenses, regulatory penalties and fines, reputational damage, operational losses and legal consequences.

The duty of business is survival

According to Peter F. Drucker, an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation, avoidance of loss is paramount to business success. Drucker states: “The first duty of business is survival, and the guiding principle of business economics is avoidance of loss – not maximisation of profit.” Hence, avoiding losses – including those that occur as a result of our failure to integrate appropriate safety risk assessment into the power industry in Nigeria and the entire global village – will eventually promote and sustain the profitability and health of the players in the industry.

Be that as it may, in order to prevent accidents, and increase the bottom line of players in the industry, three critical safety factors (unsafe behaviours of the utility workers, poor public perception of safety and unsafe network conditions in terms of the electrical infrastructure) have been identified to have contributed to over 90% of accidents that have led to injuries and fatalities in both the utility workers and the public in Nigeria. Therefore, to avoid losses and improve performance, operational excellence and profitability, risk management programmes must focus on these three critical elements.

In terms of the unsafe behaviour of the utility workers, the players in the industry – especially in the distribution, transmission and generation companies – should embark on strategies that will enhance attitudinal change of the workers so that the safety culture is improved and sustained. Examples of such strategies include behavioural-based safety programmes, reward system and consequence management, safety counselling sessions, strategic safety meetings like toolbox talks, safety huddles and contractors’ safety engagements, safety learning sessions, and field safety monitoring and compliance activities.

Safety awareness programmes

The illegal construction of homes under power lines, trading near electrical equipment, working illegally with electricity assets (without permission from the distribution companies, wiring houses in the wrong manner) are among the poor public safety habits. Yes, attitude plays a role here but lack of safety awareness and government intervention with respect to enforcement of laws plays a major role. In order to overcome these challenges, the players in the industry should organise public sensitisation programmes using the media including print, electronic and wordofmouth. They can also engage in safety discourse in the communities, organise awareness on power safety in schools as a corporate social responsibility initiative, paste safety warnings/caution signages, and work with government to prevent encroachment on power lines as stipulated in the Nigerian Electricity Supply and Installation Standards (NESIS) Regulations 2015 Vol. 1 (chapter 3 Section 3.1).

Furthermore, unsafe network conditions like failure of the relay system, use of undersized conductors, poorly maintained electrical equipment and bent poles usually lead to accidents. Therefore, to prevent any untoward incident in the industry, there is an urgent need to carry out network technical audits, so as to identify unsafe network conditions and implement corrective actions. Meanwhile, the distribution and transmission companies should carry out quick-win programmes such as network safety monitoring and periodic facility safety assessment (FSA) to identify unsafe network conditions and fix immediately.

In conclusion, it is pertinent to be cognisant that a robust safety risk management programme, that will enhance operational excellence and profitability, requires commitment from the top management of every facet of leadership from both the corporate organisation and government. Hence, no matter how laudable the programme is, its workability and sustainability is dependent on the leaders in the industry. ESI.

Source: esi-africa

Nigeria’s economy contracted by 1.5% in 2016 on lower oil prices

Nigeria’s gross domestic product fell by 1.5% in 2016 due to lower oil revenues, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday, for its first annual contraction in 25 years.

Africa’s largest economy slid into recession in the second quarter of 2016 as a slump in crude prices hammered the Opec member’s public finances. Crude sales make up two-thirds of government revenue.

Fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 1.3%, the statistics office said. The oil sector declined by 12.38% year-on-year in the quarter.

“This contraction reflects a difficult year for Nigeria, which included weaker inflation-induced consumption demand, an increase in pipeline vandalism, significantly reduced foreign reserves and a concomitantly weaker currency,” the office said in a report.

Oil production – Nigeria’s economic mainstay – fell to 1.83-million barrels a day last year after 2.13-million barrels a day in 2015, it added, blaming militant attacks in the Niger Delta oil hub.

The non-oil sector fell only by 0.33% in the fourth quarter, the office said.

“The very shallow contraction in nonoil GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2016, raises hope of a more meaningful recovery in nonoil GDP in the first quarter of this year, buoyed both by improved budget spending and some improvement in FX availability,” said Razia Khan, chief economist Africa at Standard Chartered Bank.

Source: engineeringnews

SAP Africa Code Week unlocks Africa’s future

Over the next two weeks Nigeria will play host to a series of official train-the-trainer (TTT) sessions as the country takes on a leading role in the build up to SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) 2016.

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Founded in 2015, ACW seeks to empower African youth with coding skills through hands-on and playful learning.

Spearheaded by SAP, world leaders in enterprise software, and with the support of hundreds of partners across Africa, its inaugural year saw more than 89,000 youth across 17 countries introduced to software coding within a mere ten days – four times the initial goal. The aim for ACW 2016 is to double that, reaching a minimum of 150,000 youth throughout 30 African countries.

“However, the sustainability of initiatives such as ACW relies heavily on skilled volunteers,” says Kudzai Danha, Managing Director for SAP West Africa.

“In order to train a new generation of Digital Economy workers in Africa we need to have skilled and knowledgeable instructors in place to provide mentorship, leadership and skills transfer to our ACW participants. It is our vision to not only help the world run better, but to improve people’s lives. TTT workshops enable the teachers of today to enable the innovators of tomorrow by providing a platform for the transfer of skills and knowledge from ‘Master Instructors’ to parents, teachers and educators, empowering them to become teachers who can train students in their local communities.”

Aimed at local school teachers, this week’s TTT workshops in Lagos and Abuja will seek to train in excess of 200 participants. The objective is to empower as many people as possible to take part in this year’s ACW and to ensure the sustainability of this initiative. With over 1,500 educators trained in 2015, all of whom have gone on to positively impact the lives of thousands of young people, SAP’s long-term goal is to empower more than 200,000 teachers reaching in excess of five million children and youth over the next ten years.

Lagos State’s Commissioner for Science & Technology Olufemi Odubiyi adds, “Africa Code Week is an opportunity for us to deliver leaders for tomorrow’s challenges. We need to show Africa and the rest of the world what Nigeria and, more importantly, what driven and determined African youth, can achieve. It is programmes like these that help showcase Nigeria’s game changing acts of solidarity and harmony to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, changing one country at a time while supporting growth through technology.”

Adding to Odubiyi’s comment, Lagos State’s Special Adviser on Education, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, says, “IT skills are the job currency of the future. It is not just our responsibility but also to our benefit to invest in putting African youth on the path to successful careers. Large-scale literacy initiatives, such as ACW, prove that public-private partnerships can be a strategic means to affect change. We are proud to be part of this programme”.

Africa’s working-age population is growing rapidly, but it’s estimated that less than one percent of African children leave school with basic coding skills. ACW helps shape the future workforce by sparking interest in software coding with participating youth receiving not only basic skills but also invaluable hands-on experience. The initiative provides learners from the ages of 8 – 17 with coding basics and the opportunity to program their own animations, quizzes and games. Older learners, aged 18-24, are provided an introduction to web technologies such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and SQL in order to provide them with a basic understanding of website architecture, teaching them how to develop a fully operational and mobile-friendly website.

Held from 15-23 October, ACW will provide thousands of free coding workshops and online training sessions to children and youth. The event always provides a number of ways for the public to get involved. Over and above actual attendance, opportunity exists for interested parties to host a free coding workshop, but to also receive free online training in Scratch (free software which simplifies the face of coding for youth).

The Nigeria TTT workshops will take place in Lagos on Tuesday, 27 September at the recently constructed Digital Village and Abuja on Thursday, 29 September in partnership with National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS). TTT workshops are open to all school teachers and any other parties interested in becoming part of ACW, and all attendees will receive 90 minutes of training, a USB with course notes and Scratch (coding programme) pre-loaded, T-shirts and a training certificate upon completion. To reward the efforts of the teachers involved in this initiative, the school that teaches coding to the most students will win a laptop and data projector valued at more than 176,000 NGN.
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Source: pctechmag

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Nigeria to host Africa Senior Athletics meet in 2018

Nigeria will host the 22nd edition of the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Lagos, in 2018. An agreement to this effect was signed last weekend between the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr Solomon Dalung, and President of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), Mr. Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, in the presence of the President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Dr. Solomon Ogba. The CAA president, Malboum, was in the country and visited Dalung, during which he announced that a High Altitude Athletics Training Centre will be established in Jos, Plateau State. A statement issued by Mrs. Nneka Ikem-Anibeze, the minister’s Special Assistant, Media, said on the occasion, Malboum stressed the need for Africans to develop their own athletes by setting up structures and facilities that will enhance and develop athletes in the continent.

“We have already set up a High Performance Training Centre in the University of Port Harcourt. We intend to set up another one in Jos for the middle and long distance runners because we have seen that we need to prepare our athletes in Africa. “When you send them to UK, in a few months they change nationality and easily become British citizens. Even their coaches don’t support our athletes because they want their own to win. So, this is why we need to set up our own facility for long and middle distance runners in Africa to develop our own athletes,” Malboum explained. In his response, the youth and sports minister, Dalung, thanked the CAA president for his passion in promoting African sports and enhancing the prospects of African youths.

“Sport is one of the strongest weapons of promoting development in Africa. The only thing that can provide gainful employment for youths and engage them is sport. With the support of the government, I have discussed with officials in South Africa that there is a need for us to strengthen the Council of Ministers meeting and begin to identify the relevant issues that will move African sports forward and also give Africa a comparative advantage to compete with other countries of the world.

“It is the absence of facilities that makes African athletes travel for training outside Africa and end up becoming citizens of countries where they trained and camped. If we must also domesticate our own talents and skills for the benefit of young Africans, then we must invest in the provision of modern sporting facilities in Africa. This will take us to the development of a functional high performance system with all the necessary equipment for the training, camping and development of African athletes,” Dalung said. A delegation from the IAAF and the CAA is expected to come for an initial inspection of the site in Jos for further recommendations and provision of facilities. The high altitude Athletics training centre when completed, will serve athletes from West Africa. Similar training centres are already located in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Dakar and Zambia.

Source: nationalmirroronline

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Nigerian tourism and challenge of insecurity

The fear of insecurity in the country has created a hole in the profit margin accruing to the tourism sector, which is why so much needs to be done and hurriedly too.

In 2014, the World Travel and Tourism Council calculated that tourism comprises of about 11 percent of the global GDP. The organisation also declared that the worth of expert of tourist provisions is nearly 6 to 7 percent of complete exports of services and goofs. Assessment has it that tourism industry hires nearly 6 percent of the global professional population staff includes railway employees, travel agents, airline employees, taxi workers, hotel employees, bank personnel, insurances, tour or travel guides, vendors, photographers, life savers, potters, as well as individual in control of locations visited by tourists like art, museums, shops, galleries, parts and theatres. Therefore, tourism is a function that cuts across the majority of the economic activity of a country.

Counting the many blessings of tourism in the recent years, there has been improvement in the protection of Nigerian culture, tradition and historical legacy. The significance of tourism development thus in protecting both natural and manmade context cannot be over-estimated especially in the preservation and protection of several historic, archaeological and cultural destinations from destruction due to its positive utilization in such areas. The several natural resources such as national games and parks resources are instances of such positive utilization. Tourism has expanded the country’s economic baseline and assets of foreign exchange through the development of global tourism and made more employment options to accept an ever raising work force.

However, the security situation in the country is dashing the gains of tourism to pieces presently.

In her journal, tourism scholar and enthusiast, Mojúbàolú Olufunke mentions that

“The Boko Haram sect has infused so much fear and anxiety on the legal enforcement agents and institutions of Nigeria. In reality, relocating to the northern area of the state has become abhorrence to, particularly members of the police force from the southern region of Nigeria going by the persistent killing and assaults conducted by members of this group who are sternly averse to all forms and nature of education or civilization”

In a recent interview with the Conservator- General of the National Park Service (NPS), Haruna Tanko, he decried the level of insecurity and infrastructure which is responsible for the deficit in revenue.

“The NPS currently operates seven national parks across the country covering a land area of 24, 000 square kilometers. The National Park Service has been playing a crucial role in intelligence gathering for the country’s military in the Northeast and the forest bothering Chad and Cameroun,

“Since we have been upgraded to a para- military agency by the President, we have been working closely with other security outfits as well as have a joint border patrol.

“National parks are located in the rural areas and mostly in the borders between Nigeria and other African countries. In most cases, when there are cases of insecurity, especially coming from those areas, there is always collaboration between us (and other agencies in terms of patrolling the areas.

He regretted that insecurity and infrastructure deficit have been a challenge to maximizing the potentials of the Parks, “The Park realised thirty-two million naira as against the forty seven million naira, he added.

Furthermore, Mr. Tomi Akingbogun, Vice President, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), has ascribed the drop in the influx of tourists to the country to the ineffective management of the county’s image, adding that the increase in bills; insecurity and other economic challenges made visits to tourist sites in the country difficult.

“The government is not giving the right attention to development of tourism. Dubai works on tourism, Kenya, South Africa; see how many billions they are making; why are we allowing Nigeria to just go down.

He explained that if there was no movement of tourists within the country, there would be no influx of tourists from outside the country, a situation, which he said, had undermined Nigeria’s ranking as a tourist destination.

However, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, the Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation argues that Nigeria is not the only country that is dealing with terrorism or insecurity, it is a global issue.

“It’s a global issue. Our job is to create awareness, to let people know where is safe and not safe. There will be tourism police and guard. For example look at South- West, South-West is safe, tourism industry is booming, Lagos is doing very well and all the others as well as other Geo-political zones so security is not a barrier.

Supporting Mrs. Mbanefo’s claim, Mrs. Sola Olumeko, said that there is no place that is actually free of vices

“There is no place that is actually free of vices. So for our tourism industry to thrive, we should focus more on positive than negative reports that will scare tourists away”.

“Other countries have excelled in tourism because they don’t look at their bad sides, they look at the good sides of their country and that should be our orientation in Nigeria as well”. She added emphatically, “Security is a very sensitive issue in tourism; I would rather prefer you talk about tourism and the potentials of what we have that can attract tourists which can also help to enhance our own image. I don’t think it is only Nigeria that has security challenge, it is all over the world”.

Throwing more light on what can be done to convince people that Nigeria is still safe and secure for tourists visiting the country, the Director of Tourism described Nigerians as warm and hospitable people who accommodate any tribe or foreigner, no matter the religion. She discloses further on cultural diversity and tourist sites that can attract foreigners to the country.

“Nigeria comprises 36 states with diverse cultures and big festivals that are internationally-recognised. We also have interesting sites to visit like Obudu Ranch Resort, Tinapa and various artefacts. The civil servant agreed though that the country should focus more on providing necessary infrastructural facilities.

However, Mr Boris Bornman, the General Manager, Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers argued further that there is no guarantee for safety in the country as lots of people abroad see the country like the old Soviet, where many believe that there is an iron curtain and until that curtain of insecurity is removed, people won’t come.

“Without doubt, the more violent the situation gets, the more people will stay away from Abuja and Nigeria at large. Do not forget that Nigeria is not a tourist destination yet, but a business market. Again, in spite of the huge potentials of Nigeria’s cultural tourism that can attract tourists, they will all stay away because of insecurity. As I speak with you, lots of people abroad see the country like the old Soviet, where many believe that there is an iron curtain and until that curtain of insecurity is removed, people won’t come.

“To be honest with you, we now have to spend more money on security than ever before in the history of our operations. We have to import detective equipment, spend extra money on CCTV cameras, and the list goes on and on in other to provide at least minimum security for our guests.

“Regrettably, Nigeria is a beautiful country and you have wonderful things that people want to see, but the fear of insecurity and violent keeps people away. Imagine Zimbabwe with the entire international political buzz, tourists from UK and around Europe still go there. Zambia and their likes too also have a fair share of international arrivals because they have been able to guarantee safety of visitors to their countries.

He added that in those countries, tourism accounts for between 15-20 per cent of their Gross Domestic Product [GDP] and the tourists’ dollars spent in their countries matters.

“Like you know too, it’s not compulsory that the entire country is promoted as tourist zone, but those sections that can be promoted be done because Nigeria has some unique cultures that most people around the world have not seen and they would want to see such.”

Old Mutual acquires 100% of African Infrastructure Investment Managers

Cape Town: Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI), a boutique of Old Mutual Investment Group, has announced an agreement to acquire the 50% of African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) that it does not already own, making it the sole shareholder of the pan-African infrastructure investment manager.

AIIM was established in 2000 as a 50/50 joint venture between OMAI and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA). Over the last 15 years, AIIM has developed into one of Africa’s leading infrastructure investment managers with a pan-African remit.

Paul Boynton, CEO of OMAI, says that the transaction allows Old Mutual to secure a business with strategically significant growth opportunities. “The global alternative investment industry is estimated to be worth around $13 trillion by 2020, and is predicted to be the fastest growing segment of the asset management industry globally over the next 10 years. In addition, the African market is becoming increasingly attractive to global investors and as an established pan-African asset manager, AIIM is ideally positioned to capitalise on this key growth sector,” he explains.

“We are excited about the ownership of a business which has shown an excellent track record for investors over a 15-year period. AIIM is recognised as one of Africa’s market leaders in infrastructure transaction execution and asset management and is increasingly seen as a partner of choice by infrastructure investors and developers alike,” says Boynton. “We couldn’t have asked for better results from AIIM when we first established the joint venture with MIRA and we are excited about the investment pipeline AIIM faces and the opportunity we see to deploy investor capital for attractive returns.”

Boynton further explains that the transaction underlines Old Mutual’s overall African strategy, which focuses on expanding its presence in Africa where infrastructure plays a crucial role. “This acquisition facilitates the leveraging of AIIM’s resources and infrastructure across the broader Old Mutual Group, while also broadening Old Mutual’s geographic footprint, most notably in Africa, and introducing new client opportunities for the enhancement of cross-selling and distribution opportunities.”

Jurie Swart, CEO of AIIM, says that given their strong focus on Africa, Old Mutual is a natural fit for AIIM. “We have enjoyed a strong and fruitful relationship with MIRA for 15 years, and this transaction is a mutual decision by the shareholders to give AIIM the optimal structure to support its future growth. Africa is still climbing the agenda for investors worldwide and we are excited about the opportunities presented by the alignment of the Old Mutual and AIIM strategies to capitalise on this growth,” explains Swart.

“We remain an autonomous business, as we have been since inception in 2000,” Swart adds. “AIIM will continue to create value for investors, while making a tangible contribution to African economies and communities. AIIM has established local offices in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya and the depth of knowledge and experience within the AIIM team is exemplary,” he explains.

Source: moneyweb

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Tourism is the greatest employer

Director-General Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo, has described tourism as the greatest employer. She said the corporation under her would ensure practical development and promotion of domestic tourism, which will propel job creation, develop the nation’s economy and raise social awareness on cultural preservation and environmental protection.

Mbanefo spoke at this year’s World Tourism Day, with the theme, 1 Billion Tourists, 1 Billion Opportunities, held in Enugu State which underscored the role of tourism sector as a valuable and sustainable source of livelihood for millions of people.

“Nigeria has a better advantage over so many other countries to benefit from tourism. We have the advantage of population. Tourism contributes 10% to the global GDP but as at now, Nigerian is not fully benefiting from tourism like other countries. For instance, 4,333,000 tourism visited Nigeria in 2013, which contributed about 4 per cent to our GDP, while tourism contributes 17.7 per cent to the GDP of Gambia; 13 per cent to Egypt; 12 per cent to Kenya; 11.9 per cent to Mexico; 9 per cent to South Africa, and 6 per cent to Cuba.

“We need to know that Nigeria should focus more on tourism as the best alternative to oil, with domestic tourism as the catalyst. I need to emphasise that Nigeria has the best of the ingredient of tourism. We have fascinating tourist sites, enviable cultural festivals, good weather, good and hospitable people. Have you ever wondered why most diplomats, after serving their terms chose to stay back in Nigeria? It is because of the warmth and friendliness of our people, environment and potentials,” she said.

Mbanefo, who emphasised that the potential of tourism in Nigeria is N4billion prayed that government should take privatisation to the next level, which according to her will facilitate further facilitate an enabling environment for tourism to thrive in Nigeria.

The NTDC boss lauded the Enugu State government for making tourism alive in the state, describing the state as a hub of eco-tourism.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mrs Nkechi Ejele, described tourism as the way forward for Nigeria. She noted that the Ministry is, on a daily basis, intensifying efforts at ensuring the money spinning sector is well developed and promoted in Nigeria, to ensure Nigerians, among the people of other countries, maximally benefit from the potentials of tourism.

The Group Managing Director, Viko Nigeria Group of Companies Limited, Mr Lucky Kanu, expressed the readiness of his company to further support NTDC in promoting domestic tourism, thereby creating more jobs and wealth in Nigeria.

“Our partnership with NTDC could be best described as demonstration of a successful practice of public private partnership in Nigeria, as the partnership has yielded opening of information desks in about six states in Nigeria, while we are working on a new project that will create over 500,000 jobs for the youth in every state of Nigeria,” Kanu said.

Source: thenationonlineng

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Africa’s Sustainable Development Begins With Local Capacity

Over the last decade, there has been a gradual, yet significant shift in the way large international donors give foreign aid in countries like Nigeria. Increasingly, major development donors, such as the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, have begun giving money directly to developing country governments and local non governmental organisations, NGOs.

Often referred to as “aid localisation,” this movement bypasses traditional international NGOs to directly empower grassroots organisations; ensuring aid reaches its intended recipients.

As the trend of aid localisation continues, the global community is starting to pay more attention to the impact localisation is having for the organisations that receive the aid on-the-ground in developing countries.

Amref Health Africa, a non-profit organisation with a focus on women and children that is committed to improving the health of Africans by partnering with and empowering communities, is one of many NGOs across Africa and South Asia that has experienced the impact of aid localisation.

Attend the Sustainability in Mining Seminar in Pretoria in June.
Attend the Sustainability in Mining Seminar in Pretoria in June.

Localised aid has dramatically changed the way these organisations operate, mostly in a positive way. With the right investment in local NGO capacity, localisation of aid can yield positive results in the long term. In addition to the benefits, the increase in direct funding from major donors has also created some unintended challenges.

Operational & financial burdens

For example, localisation has imposed new operational and financial burdens on aid recipients, many of which have gone unnoticed by international donors.

These include responsibilities related to grant applications and reporting systems – the responsibilities once typically handled by international NGOs, but now passed on to local partners.

These responsibilities have proven to be challenging for lots of in-country NGOs. Many do not have the strong operational systems needed to comply with the reporting demands. According to a new report surveying development experts, as many as 97 percent of aid recipients describe grant compliance – the process of tracking grant activities and budgets and adhering to donor compliance guidelines- as a growing burden.

This burden has increased demand for an already limited number of skilled operations and finance professionals, having predictable effects. Often, NGOs will recruit and train local administrative staff in financial and marketing tools, only to have them leave for higher-paying positions in the corporate sector.

Amref Health Africa has experienced these operations challenges and pressures. As the impact of aid localisation began to be felt, Amref Health Africa invested in tracking employee hours and allocating resources to build a team for grant applications.

Dividends: While this requiredsignificant upfront investment, these systems are now paying dividends, allowing new grants and improved efficiency. Amref Health Africa is also sharing lessons and helping to strengthen local operational and financial capacity by sharing its own innovation initiative, known as Organisational Development and Systems Strengthening, ODSS.

Success story

While this is a success story, many smaller NGOs are struggling. The global community must act now to empower on-the-ground organisations that can help smaller NGOs meet the changing requirements, so they can continue to improve health and economic growth within their communities. But if we don’t address these challenges as a community, the overall effectiveness of aid will suffer.

Creative responses are already being seen around the world, led both by international and in-country NGOs. International groups are creating local affiliates within countries, investing in the operations and systems capacity of their grantees, and building regional technical support hubs.

Internal capacity

Developing country organisations are beginning to build their own internal capacity to manage these funds while also considering outsourcing operations tasks, employing local fiscal agents, and establishing partnerships with private accounting firms.

While these changes are helping, more needs to be done to ensure that the localisation of aid has the greatest positive impact. Donor harmonisation – the aligning of grant requirements across many donors – would be a good first step.

Long-term effects: While the long-term effects of localisation are still largely unknown, it is critical that the international community takes action to build local capacity on-the-ground. Ensuring that developing country organisations are equipped with the resources, talent and tools they need is critical to helping us all reach the ambitious development goals we’ve set.

Lennie Bazira Kyomuhangi-Igbodipe is the Interim CEO, Amref Health Africa, while Linn Dorin is the Principal of Global Finance Strategies.

Source: All Africa

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