Connect with us

News

Is Nigeria Ready To Pay The Full Cost Of Harnessing Power From Coal By Kikiowo Ileowo

Published

on

With a population of over 180 million and growing, Nigeria with an average power generation of 4,500mw, requires 12,000mw megawatts to ensure steady power supply, but ultimately needs 200,000mw for all her electricity requirements. To meet this power need, the present administration has vowed to look towards other sources of producing electricity away from the hydro and gas-powered plants, which has been a source of epileptic power supply into the national grid.

The problems faced in the mentioned methods of power production are low level of water to drive the huge turbines at the hydro power plants and lack of gas to fuel the generating sets at the gas-powered plants which litter the Nigerian scape. To deal with this challenge, the government of President Muhammudu Buhari stated it will start producing power with the use of Coal – a decision which will see coal-powered plant contribute at least 30% into the current power-mix by 2030.

However, many questions exist: does the government recognize the full cost of harnessing power from Coal? If it does, is it ready with her partners to pay the price?

Answers to these questions and more were the focus of Global Rights in conjunction with Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nigeria, when the organizations presented a report on the Impact of Coal Mining and Coal Power Generation on Okobo and Itobe Communities in Kogi State.

According to Mrs. Tsema Okoye, a programme officer with Global Rights, Coal provides 40 percent of the world’s electricity, thus causing 39 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions which is responsible for rapidly depleting the Earth’s Ozone layer.

It may interest you to know that the destruction of the eco-system does not start at the point of using Coal to generate electricity; it begins at the point of mining the coal itself.

However, since Nigeria does not generate any power from Coal yet, we must ask ourselves the hard questions, such as: what commitments are we undertaking to ensure power would be produced from coal in a clean and efficient manner? How do we mitigate the negative effects of Coal mining on host communities, and many other questions?

A close examination of the report on visited coal mining site in Okobo, Kogi state tells the story of anguish, bitterness, resentment, anger, destruction, loss of livelihood, loss of life and suffering as expressed by community representatives who attended the event.

One of the major problems faced in Okobo community is access to portable water. The community members claim the company mining Coal in the area, Eta Zuma Mining Company which also had representatives in attendance at the event, had polluted their only source of water. Now, community members – usually women and children – have to travel many kilometers to get water fit for human consumption.

Also Read:  Clarke Energy Chosen to Supply GE’s Gas Engine Technology to Combined Heat and Power Plant in Tanzania

Mrs. Okoye noted that Eta Zuma had commenced coal mining four years prior to the study, and as a result, there has been weathering and leachate of the host rock. In fact, it was noted that a high quantity of heavy metals have resultantly dissolved into the water bodies around the mining site, making well water in the community highly acidic and unfit for human consumption.

Sadly, the report claims waste water collected from the mining pit was directly disposed into the community’s stream, which residents relied on for its domestic and commercial consumption. Thus, the only stream at Okobo has been polluted.

However, in a robust rebuttal, the mining company tried to shift blame, claiming they can’t take up the role of the government. Truly, in other part of the world, the government provides, roads, schools, electricity, water and other essentials of life the community is expecting the company to provide.

And in fairness to the company, they had dug at least three boreholes to source for clean water, but all the efforts failed; now they supply the community with clean water in tankers, thrice a week. The representative of Eta Zuma, its executive director, Ambassador Joseph Ayalogu stated that before their arrival, the quantity and quality of water available in the community had always been a problem. This assertion is understandable because of the large coal mineral deposits.

Another point of note is the death of a pupil who lost her life when a wall inside Okobo’s old school building collapsed while Eta Zuma was carrying out its Coal mining activities. The mining company has since built a modern six (6) classroom block for the community.

The effort of Eta Zuma in and around Okobo is generally commendable, owing to the fact they have no Community Development Agreement (CDA).

According to the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007, a CDA is a formal agreement between the mining companies and host communities on obligations and terms of engagement of both parties. The document is a compulsory requirement before mining license can be granted by the supervising ministry.

The unavailability of the document four years after the company began mining legally in Okobo is an indictment on the Ministry of Solid Minerals.

Representatives of the ministry at the event claimed they are extremely understaff and underfunded. In fact, the Director Environmental Compliance Department, Ministry of Mines and Steel, Engineer Salim Salaam who attended the report presentation revealed that the Ministry of Information has eleven times the budget of his ministry – another indictment of the Buhari administration which had before now vowed to diversify the economy, using minerals resources spread across the country as alternative source of revenue.

It may also interest you to know that many licensed and unregulated artisanal miners in Nigeria have no plan for reclamation; neither do they give consideration to host communities.

Also Read:  For Anofiu Elegushi, Charity Does Not Begin At Home

So, in generating electricity through Coal, one must earnestly ask, is the federal government ready to pay the full cost of sourcing power through this means? In Nigeria, environmental laws are not strictly enforced, unlike the United States which produces about 1 billion tons of Coal annually, a little less than 12% of the world’s supply—second only to China and produces 40% of its electricity need from Coal.

In fact, U.S. mining companies have reclaimed more than 2.6 million acres of mined land over the last 35 years and have contributed nearly $10 billion for the reclamation of areas mined decades ago before reclamation was a common practice and legal requirement.

The case of Eta Zuma is a unique one – at least, they are engaging all the stakeholders. Most mining companies in Nigeria don’t. Though they are involved in one form of activity or the other that negatively impacts the eco-system, they are less concerned of the effects, and neither do they take conscious effort to mitigate the damage. Sadly, there is lack of political will to rein in their activities.

The Ministry of Environment can at best be described as clueless and confused. Representatives of the ministry at the event gave no articulate answers on what the ministry was doing to mitigate the destruction of the Nigerian environment. The role it plays in ensuring mining companies conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, before mining license is granted could not be discerned.

In view of the environmental damage associated with generating power from coal, this writer asked Mr. Umaru Gambo, representative of the Minister for Power, Works and Housing on the provision of clean alternative source of producing electricity, specifically the wind mill farm that has been lying fallow in Kastina State. The timid representative muttered some words that were unclear and incomprehensible.

Truth be told, the Nigerian government seems ready to access the benefits of coal mining, but have no clue as to how to mitigate the attendant effects of such activities across the country. In the next few months, the steps taken by regulators would determine how willing the government is on paying the full cost of generating power from coal.

Ileowo is the chief strategist at Revamp Media.

Share
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Man Steals Church’s Tithes, Offering

Published

on

Tithes

An 18 year-old man identified as Elikor Ehud has been arrested by men of the Ejigbo police station in Lagos state for allegedly stealing a church’s tithes and offering.

Suspect arrested for stealing Tithes and Offerings in a church in Lagos (photo)

Suspected Thief, Elikor Ehud

Ehud stormed Divine Chosen Vine Ministry in the area and carted away the it’s tithes and offering.

A statement released by the state police command’s spokesperson, Bala Elkana, was quoted as saying on October 1st, one Pastor Moses Nwoke  of the Divine Chosen Vine Ministry, Furniture Avenue, Ejigbo, reported at the Ejigbo Police Station that on August 30th after Church Service, unknown persons broke the wooden boxes placed on the altar meant for tithes and special seeds of faith offering carting away the money inside.

Also Read:  All Set For "Sunny On Sunday" Concert

After a thorough and painstaking investigation conducted by the Ejigbo Police Station under the supervision of the Divisional Police Officer, Ehud was arrested on October 15th.

On interrogation, he confessed to stealing the sum of six hundred and seventy thousand Naira (#670,000.00) cash from the church boxes. He also mentioned one Lucky as his accomplice.

Also Read:  Pictures From Senator Adeleke, Dr Ogunbiyi Peace Meeting

 

According to the police, efforts are in place to apprehend the said accomplice, while the suspect will be charged to Court.

Share
Continue Reading

News

CAN Caution MURIC Over Kidnapping For Christ Statement

Published

on

Joseph Hayab, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (Northern Region), has cautioned the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) over statements made by its director, Ishaq Akintola.

Akintola had associated the Christ to abduction and recent the news of the conversion of 9 Kano children who were reunited with their parents after 5 years.

He was quoted to have said: “kidnapping for Christ is disgusting, nauseating, wicked and reprehensible. Kidnappers have taken over the house of God. The phenomenon of kidnapping for Christ has now rented the air. We are shocked to our marrows.”

Reacting to Akintola, Hayab described his comment as “irresponsible, derogatory and provocative,” adding that there is nothing like kidnapping for Christ.

Hayab said:

“Criminals abound in everywhere and in every religion, for MURIC to say a crime was perpetrated for Christ, is sheer mischief aimed at provoking Christians,” he said.

“How could rational, sane and educated person, associate the action of criminals to a religion? There are many instances where Christian girls were abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and married off by criminals in Northern Nigeria. In some of these cases, the police either refused to act, or turned blind eyes.

“Will it be right to accused all Muslims for the action of such criminals? The answer is no.

“A particular group which belongs to a particular religious group has always been alleged to be responsible for the rampant kidnappings and banditry across the country, especially in the north, will it be right to say that they are committing the crime to promote their tribe or religion?

“We also have the case of Leah Sharibu who is still being held by Boko Haram insurgents for refusing to denounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam. No Christian has associated Muslims with such criminal acts.

“If we have any witness against the culprits behind the abduction, we will join hands with the people of Kano to testify against him or them in court.

“There is nothing like kidnapping for Christ. This evil kidnapper or child trafficker, knowing that he did not carry away the children for religion gave them new tribal names, MURIC should note.

“CAN northern states, therefore, condemned anybody carrying peoples children away and supports security agencies to investigate the matter and prosecute the culprits. Abduction of children is a criminal offence. MURIC can call whoever is found doing that whatever name they like, but don’t associate criminality with Christ.”

Share
Also Read:  Face off continues between Ayila and wife Gbemisola *** she wants to kill me and inherit my properties-Yussuf Ayila
Continue Reading

News

I Started But I Did Not Finish, Man Who Raped 9 Year-old Girl Says

Published

on

Raped

A 30 year-old man named Mohammed Babangida arrested for raping a 9 year-old girl has denied committing the offence.

Babangida told men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), who arrested him that he actually attempted to rape the girl, but didn’t carry out the act.

According to the NSCDC, Babangida raped his victim on October 10 at Damare community in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

He was nabbed after being linked to the sad act by Damara residents.

Also Read:  YCee Has No Chill***Read Response To Fan

“The suspect will be charged to court through the intervention and advice by Director of Prosecution (DPP), state Ministry of Justice, which we always partner with on capital offence that amounts to prosecution” The state Commander of the NSCDC, Nurudeen Abdulahi said.

 

Confessing to the crime when paraded before newsmen, Babangida said he gave the girl N50 and N20 on two respective occasions and tried raping her when they met for the third time after giving her N50.

Also Read:  Skales turns scientist

 

“I started but I did not finish,” he said, adding that someone knocked on the door and that was how it ended.

He asked for leniency, saying, “I have not done it before and I will not try it again. I have a wife and children. The government should pity me and not ruin my family.”

 

Share
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending

Copyright © 2019, February13 Media