SSANU, NASU To Start Indefinite Strike On Monday

The Federal Government may have more troubles to contend with regarding labour issues, as the non-teaching staff unions of Nigerian government universities have resolved to embark on an indefinite strike.

Rising from a Joint Action Committee meeting of non-teaching unions on Wednesday in Abuja, the leadership directed their members across the country to down tools with effect from Monday, September 11.

Present at the meeting are members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).

They are demanding the immediate payment of earned allowances, as well as a review of the universities governance system.

Speaking after the meeting, airman of JAC and SSANU President, Samson Ugwoke, noted that the industrial action would be “total and comprehensive”.

According to him, there will be no provision of services from members of the union during the strike, no matter how skeletal.

Ugwoke said concessions would not be granted while all union members would stay at home until further notice, unless as directed by JAC through their respective presidents.

This is coming at a time when the government is still struggling to resolve the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) three weeks ago.

On August 14, the National President of ASUU, Dr Biodun Ogunyemi, announced the commencement of the industrial action after a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union in Abuja.

The union had directed members in its branches across the country not to attend statutory meetings of any kind.

Ogunyemi, who declared a ‘total, comprehensive and indefinite’ nationwide industrial action, had also said there shall be “no teaching and no examination” during the strike.

He had blamed the decision on government’s failure to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Some of the reasons stated by ASUU were payment of fractions/ non-payment of salaries; non-payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA); non-release of operational license of NUPEMCO and the non-implementation of the provisions of the 2014 Pension Reform Act with respect to retired professors and their salaries.

Others include the removal of Universal Staff Schools from funding by government; funds for the revitalisation of Public Universities (Implementation of Needs Assessment Report), as well as the poor funding of existing State Universities and proliferation of universities by their visitors among other issues.

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Chief Justice Of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen, Okonjo-Iweala, Fayemi, Fayose, Stella Oduah, Others Under Probe –EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen; Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State; his predecessor and the current Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and the immediate past Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, are among high-profile personalities currently under its investigation.

The names are contained in the list of high-profile cases involving over 100 politically-exposed persons and top-ranking public officers still being investigated by the EFCC as of August 2017, The PUNCH reliably learnt on Monday.

The list, sighted by one of our correspondents via an EFCC source on Monday, was recently sent by the anti-graft agency to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), based on a request.

Sunday PUNCH had reported that the list, sent to the AGF’s office earlier in August, comprised over 100 high-profile cases including the cases of a Justice of the Supreme Court and a judge of the Federal High Court.

Sunday PUNCH has also reported that some former governors, one of whom currently serves as a minister in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, and others serving their terms in the Senate, as well as other politically-exposed persons, including some former ministers, senators and some persons, are being investigated for the $2.1bn arms purchase scam.

“The list was actually sent in August to the then Acting President, as well as other politically-exposed persons, including some former ministers, senators and some persons,

Monday, listed 106 cases under investigation and several others pending in court but either stalled or moving slowly.

It did not disclose the details of the cases under investigation.

It, however, stated the date each of the over 100 cases was “referred”, the challenges being encountered in the investigation and the source of information leading to the commencement of the probe.

Sources of such information for the cases were listed against each of the cases.

They include intelligence, whistleblowers, and petitions from government agencies and private citizens.

Among other notable names on the list are the incumbent Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, and his predecessor, Captain Idris Wada.

Other former governors on the list include Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, who is currently the Senate’s Minority Leader; Jonah Jang of Plateau State, currently serving as Senator representing Plateau North; Ali Modu Sherriff of Borno State, who recently had a controversial stint as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party; and Chief Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State.

Also listed are the names of Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan; and some ministers who served under the Jonathan administration.

Apart from Okonjo-Iweala, former ministers on the list include the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; the immediate past Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN); a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed; ex-Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, who is currently the Senator representing Anambra North; and a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe.

Alison-Madueke’s husband’s name, Rear Admiral Alison Madueke (retd.), was also listed.

Also sighted on the list are the names of two men who simultaneously served as media aides to Jonathan – ex-Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, and a former Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe.

Other prominent high-profile persons on the list are a former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko; a former acting Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus; Col. Bello Fadile (retd.), who served under the immediate past National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki; the incoming Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati; and Justice Mohammed Tsamiya, who was recently retired compulsorily by the National Judicial Council.

The EFCC stated in the document that it was investigating the CJN based on intelligence referred to it on October 12, 2016. The document indicated that the commission was investigating Okonjo-Iweala based on a petition referred to it on January 28, 2016.

For Fayose’s case, the commission said it received a petition against the governor on August 13, 2016, but the investigation had been stalled due to alleged lack of cooperation from the Ekiti State Government officials.

The commission stated similarly that the case against Akpabio was referred to it on May 10, 2016, but had been stalled due to an injunction granted by a High Court of Akwa Ibom State stopping the probe.

It stated that although the Court of Appeal had set aside the injunction, the Akwa Ibom State Government had proceeded on an appeal to challenge the judgment of the Appeal Court.

Apart from stating that Fayemi’s case was under investigation and giving the name of the person who referred it to the commission, it did not state the date the case was referred.

It stated that the cases against Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and his predecessor, Capt. Idris Wada, were referred to the EFCC on September 29, 2016 and April 16, 2016 respectively.

The case against Patience Jonathan alongside Ariwabu Aruera Reachout Foundation was said to have been referred to the commission on September 26, 2016, while that of Oduah was on April 5, 2016.

The case against Sherriff was said to have been informed by an intelligence report referred to the commission on October 10, 2016.

The commission stated that Diezani’s case was referred to it on June 20, 2016 while it received that of her husband on January 14, 2016.

It stated that investigation into Orubebe’s case, referred to it in 2013, had been stalled due to lack of cooperation from the Ministry of Niger Delta.

The case involving Justice Tsamiya was said to have been referred to the commission on October 17, 2016 while the case file of Justice Kafarati was said to be with the commission’s acting chairman.

The document indicated that the cases against Abati and Okupe were referred to the commission sometime in December 2015.

The file of the former Customs boss, Dikko, was said to have been referred to the EFCC on February 20, 2017.

In his reaction on Tuesday, Fayose’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said the state government would not cooperate with the EFCC until it started acting responsibly.

Olayinka stated, “The EFCC should start acting responsibly in the interest of the nation and stop being a willing tool in the hands of the All Progressives Congress.

“We have written several petitions against former governor Kayode Fayemi, now Minister of Mines and Steel Development, which the commission fails to act on.

“The state government will not cooperate with the EFCC under Ibrahim Magu until it starts behaving responsibly.”

When contacted, Fayemi, who spoke through his media aide, Yinka Oyebode, said, “I am not aware of any probe by the EFCC.”

On his part, Okupe said he had appeared before the EFCC to answer some questions on a particular issue.

Though he refused to mention the issue, he said it was not a crime for one to be investigated by a government agency.

The former presidential spokesman added, “I have appeared before the EFCC before on an issue the commission was investigating and I have given them sufficient explanation.

“I have not been condemned or convicted. Investigating politically-exposed persons is normal. So, I don’t see the list as something we should bother ourselves with.”

Akpabio could not be reached for his reaction. When contacted, his media aide, Mr. Anietie Ekong, said, “My boss is still out of the country and I cannot comment on this matter.”

Attempts to get Okonjo-Iweala on Tuesday were unsuccessful as calls to his media Adviser, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, did not connect while a text message sent to him had yet to be answered as of the time of filing this report.

In his reaction, the Director-General on Media and Publicity to the Kogi State Governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said he was not aware of the investigation.

He said, “Governor Yahaya Bello is a staunch advocate of a corrupt-free Nigeria and will welcome any genuine drive at combating or preventing corruption.

Having said that, I think it is premature and prejudice to comment on a mystery investigation.

“Governor Bello is an incorrigible and incorruptible Nigerian who had been doing legitimate business before his foray into politics.”

Abati neither responded to telephone calls nor text messages sent to his two phones.

The lawyer to Mrs. Patience Jonathan, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), had accused the EFCC of persecuting his client.

Adedipe said the former first lady had sued the EFCC for harassment and he was sure of victory.

The spokesperson for the CJN, Awassam Bassey, could not be reached through his telephone on Tuesday.

Wind Energy Is One of the Cheapest Sources of Electricity, and It’s Getting Cheaper

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the latest iteration of its annual Wind Technologies Market Report, which pulls together a wealth of data to track trends in the cost, performance, and growth of wind energy.

The report found that U.S. wind energy will continue to be one of the lowest cost electricity generation technologies available, with the long-term wind electricity price available through a power purchase agreement coming in at about half the expected cost of just running a natural gas power plant.

Furthermore, stiff competition from both natural gas and solar energy are poised to push the wind industry to achieve even lower prices and higher performance through the development of bigger turbines tailored to maximize their output even in regions with less than optimal wind speeds.

This post will review a few of the major U.S. wind energy trends tracked in the DOE report. For a full rundown, I suggest you check out the full report and associated slide deck.

Wind Energy Is One of the Cheapest Sources of Electricity in the United States

While the all-in price of wind energy directly depends on the wind speeds at a particular site, examining national trends in the installed cost of wind energy definitively shows that wind energy has become an extremely inexpensive source of electricity.

The average U.S. consumer pays about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity. That price includes the cost of generating power, the wires that deliver it from generators to our homes, and the cost of running the utility business. The actual cost of electricity generation alone is something like 2 to 4 cents per kilowatt-hour — that’s the price that wind energy has to compete with to be successful.

Based on data compiled in the Wind Technologies Market Report, wind energy consistently comes in at or below the going market rate for electricity. Wind energy is often purchased in large blocks through a long-term contract called a power purchase agreement (PPA). The figure below shows the historic price of wind energy PPA contracts since 1996. The diameter of each circle is the size of the wind farm built in megawatts, and the height of the circle on the y-axis is the contract price in dollars per megawatt-hour (or dollars per 1000 kilowatt-hours).

This figure compares the power purchase agreement (PPA) contract price for wind energy (circles) to the levelized cost of natural gas (black bars) based on Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections. The diameter of each circle represents the capacity of the wind farm contracted in megawatts. Wind energy built in the U.S. interior has come in at or below long-term gas price projections since 2011. In recent years, the price of interior wind has fallen below 20 dollars per megawatt-hour, or 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. Credit: Wind Technologies Market ReportLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

In recent years, an enormous amount of wind energy has been procured at or below a price of 20 dollars per megawatt-hour — or just 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. That is competitive with typical wholesale electricity market prices by any measure.

But it’s important to note that the price of wind energy offered through a PPA is an all-in price that includes the effect of subsidies such as the federal wind production tax credit, which provides a tax subsidy of 18 to 23 dollars per megawatt hour of energy produced. When you exclude the production tax credit and look at the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from interior wind, it still comes in at an extremely competitive cost of less than 50 dollars per megawatt-hour (5 cents per kilowatt-hour). For comparison, the Energy Information Administration estimates a best-in-class combined cycle natural gas power plant has an LCOE of about 54 dollars per megawatt-hour (5.4 cents per kilowatt-hour). So even when you account for the effect of the federal wind production tax credit, wind energy remains an extremely competitive generating resource.

The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) reflects the average cost of wind energy excluding any federal tax benefits or other subsidies. Interior wind built in 2014 and 2015 has an LCOE of less than 50 dollars per megawatt-hour, or 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. For comparison, the Energy Information Administration estimates a best-in-class combined cycle natural gas power plant has an LCOE of about 54 dollars per megawatt-hour, or 5.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. Credit: Wind Technologies Market Report Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Competition Is Driving Wind to Be Cheaper, Bigger, and Better

One of the benefits of wind energy becoming fully competitive with conventional fossil-fuel electricity generation is that it places significant pressure on the wind industry to continually improve the cost and performance of their wind turbines to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Industry data show that wind turbines deployed in 2016 has larger diameter rotors, which allow them to capture more wind overall, and higher hub heights, which allow them to capture the more-steady winds available at higher altitudes. The average rotor diameter in 2016 was 108 meters, a 13 percent increase over the previous 5-year average, while the average hub height in 2016 was 83 meters, up 1 percent over the previous 5-year average. As a result, the average generating capacity of newly installed wind turbines in the United States in 2016 was 2.15 megawatts, up 11 percent from the average over the previous 5 years.

Improvements in wind turbine design have not only helped to increase the maximum power they can produce (or their generating capacity), but also their capacity factor, a measure of how often they actually produce energy. The average capacity factor of projects installed in 2014 and 2015 was over 40 percent — meaning they produced 40 percent of the maximum possible energy they could produce if it were very windy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Improvement in wind turbine design has driven significant increases in wind farms’ capacity factor, a measure of how often they actually produce energy. The average capacity factor among projects built in 2014 and 2015 was 42.6 percent, compared to an average of 32.1 percent among projects built from 2004 to 2011 and 25.4 percent among projects built from 1998 to 2001. Credit: Wind Technologies Market Report Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

What About Integration Costs Associated with Wind Variability?

At this point you might be asking, what about all the costs associated with wind variability? Don’t we need storage to manage fluctuations in wind energy output? Unfortunately, there are no short answers to what the costs of integrating a variable source of electricity like wind are. The answer is a definitive “it depends.”

One thing we can do is look at how the amount of wind forcibly turned down, or curtailed, by grid operators has changed as the amount of wind energy on the grid has increased. The figure below shows both wind penetration rates and wind curtailment rates between 2008 and 2016 for seven U.S. independent system operators (ISOs) (map of U.S. ISOs here).

This figure tracks changes in wind penetration and wind curtailment, or the amount of wind generation that is forcibly turned down by the grid operator, across seven U.S. independent system operator (ISO) regions. While wind penetration has increased significantly, wind curtailment has decreased due to transmission investments and other operational changes to accommodate wind energy. Credit: Wind Technologies Market Report Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

When you look at the total change in wind penetration and wind curtailment across all seven ISOs, curtailment has actually decreased even though wind penetration has significantly increased. This doesn’t mean that the costs of integrating wind are not significant. In fact, a big reason curtailment has decreased since its peak is 2009 is that regions have been investing in large-scale transmission lines to pipe wind power from the plains to the cities, and better balance wind power output with demand. In the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region, for example, utilities invested $7 billion in transmission lines linking windy West Texas to the eastern and central cities — significantly reducing curtailment. Like all investments in transmission lines, those costs were spread throughout the entire customer base, so they are not reflected in the cost of wind energy shown in the charts above. But when you spread a billion-dollar investment across millions of customers, the cost incurred per customer is relatively modest.

As the exceptionally low price of U.S. wind energy drives further wind farm installations, it will be interesting to see how U.S. grid operators manage the challenge of integrating wind energy with the rest of the grid. So far, at least, they’ve been successful. But policymakers and regulators should be cognizant of the need for new transmission capacity and other grid upgrades to integrate wind as more turbines are installed in more places. Identifying the lowest cost investments to integrate the most renewable energy is not a simple task — but it will become increasingly vital as renewables throw off the “alternative energy” label and become a major contributor to the U.S. electricity supply

FOOD BUSINESSES

<> on April 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
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Food is one of the recession proof businesses in Nigeria and anywhere in the world. It cannot be affected by economic hard time. In any capacity, it’s evergreen. Food business is not just a profitable venture, it’s a business you can start with a very small capital depending on the standard of the quality services you which to render to your customers. No matter what the circumstances might be, one thing is sure, man must eat. Continue reading “FOOD BUSINESSES”

Who I am, and why I’m here.

There is a reason for to be where you now.

That is a question “who am I”  and “why am I here”…

You are welcome to Realifo.

Crownfitblog.wordPress.com is site that is dedicated to Nigeria youth. I have taken it upon ourselves to put an end to unemployment, joblessness, financial disability and a lot of problems been faced by Nigeria youths.

How do I intend to tackle this problem.

Continue reading “Who I am, and why I’m here.”