The tariff payable by electricity consumers may increase by 61.5 per cent any time soon following the latest revelation by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Friday that it was waiting for a final approval from the Federal Government before implementing the new rate, The Punch reports. According to NERC, the actual tariff for one kilowatt-hour of power is meant to be N51, as against the current unit cost of N31.58 for which electricity distribution companies are selling the commodity. NERC explained that the actual tariff of N51/KWH was arrived at based on the economic fundamentals considered when carrying out minor tariff reviews, adding that the commission had completed the process for the new tariff but had yet to receive an approval from the Federal Government to announce its implementation. When asked why NERC had mandated the Discos to continue selling power at N31.58/KWH, a development that had plunged the sector into a huge financial deficit, the NERC’s Principal Manager, Tariff and Rates, Aisha Mahmud, denied claims that the regulator forced the Discos to sell power at the reduced price. Power distributors had argued that they were not remitting the amount required of them by the sector because the regulator mandated them to collect far less than the actual unit cost for a kilowatt-hour of electricity. Source: Energy Mix Report
The Senator representing Anambra North in the National Assembly, Senator Stella Oduah, has called on all South Easterners to plough some of their investments back home to develop the region. With particular reference to indigenes of Anambra State, the former Aviation Minister said any wealthy ‘Anambarian’ who refuse to invest in the region, is not only doing a disservice to the region in general but the state in particular. Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, Oduah said that according to a World Bank definition which she aligned with, one could only be said to be wealthy if the people around such individual feel and benefit from the wealth. Championing the campaign tagged “Aku Lue Uno” (which means ‘The wealth should reach home’), the senator said that Anambra State and indeed the South East had very wealthy people who could develop the region if they invested their wealth back home. She explained that ‘Aku Lue Uno’ is a prosperity sharing gospel that the South East must adopt for their well being as well as the growth and development of the area. She therefore called on all South Easterners especially, those from Anambra, to bring back some of their wealth to develop the region. She however stressed that it was not a call for all investment in other regions to be collapsed adding that the Federal Government should also be mindful of its responsibility to the region. “Aku Lue Uno is a concept that encourages indigenes to think of their homes in their investments. “It is not just the right thing to do, it is economically viable to invest in our homes, particularly for those from the South East and Anambra in particular. “We have the enabling community, we have the population and current government initiatives have provided enabling environment. so what we need is to plough back our investment, our commercial ability. “What we have outside the South East zone should be replicated in the zone, we need to start domesticating our investments so we can help our people. “We would help in improving the poverty level, we will help in creating jobs, we would help in growing our domestic economy. Most importantly our people will feel that accomplishment we have. “In doing so, we would be doing what is termed shared prosperity, in doing so we are doing what is termed Aku Lue Uno,” she said. Itemising the magnitude of wealth controlled by Igbos, particularly those from Anambra, Oduah said that according to statistics, one out of every four industries in Nigeria belonged to an individual from Anambra and one out of every importer or exporter is from Anambra. “We also know that one out of every five successful businessman or woman is from Anambra. “Can you imagine the magnitude of that investment if we can just channel just 10 percent of that home? “We would create massive employment, we would create massive mentorship for the young ones and we would have a society that will be the envy of all. “So my advocacy is to encourage all Anambarians, all South Easterners to think backwards (home) on their investments. “I am not saying uproot your industries, I am saying start divesting and think homewards so that our people can feel your impact and so that our people can grow. “It is only by doing that that you can in all conscience say that you are a wealthy man because it is only by doing that that you can say yes I am an Igbo man and I have made it. “In my book you haven’t made it if you haven’t invested what you have invested outside in your community. Any wealth that does not reach home is a lost wealth as far as I am concerned and it is a useless one. “There must be semblance of that in your state, we must help the state to grow, we must help our people to grow, we must share our prosperity, we must be involved in Aku Lue Uno concept,” she said. She admonished South Easters not to only show their wealth by building mansions or showing off when they organise or are invited to events. Speaking on profitability Oduah said that investing in the region would also be profitable, adding that there is an enabling environment and access to markets. She argued that Anmabra State is safer than Lagos State, pointing out that the international airport in Enugu provides access to international markets. She added that the state is putting enabling environment for its people to come and invest, stressing that there are tax incentives in place to encourage investments. “Most importantly there is security: we have better security in Anambra than you have in Lagos. In Anambra you do not have violence like you have in Lagos. “We have lacuna on infrastructure; rail, airports and so on, but then the state is in joint venture to build the cargo airport. “Above all we have in Enugu, Enugu has an international market so you can export. The Federal Government needs to put inland container terminal in Onitsha so that importers can from Onitsha get their goods without having to go to Lagos or Port Harcourt. “When that happens we have access to international markets. You would be amazed at the number of vehicles that go to other African markets from Onitsha. “We are currently re-exporting in an informal market, that should be formalised. Alaba and other markets in Lagos are our people’s market. We should have a huge portion of that domesticated in Onitsha”.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will commence a forensic audit of Oando Plc on Wednesday, contrary to reports that the audit had been stopped following the suspension of the Director-General of the Commission, Mr Mounir Gwarzo. In a letter obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday in Abuja, SEC notified the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando, Mr Adewale Tinubu, of its decision to conduct a forensic exercise into the activities of the company. The letter, which was signed by the Acting Director-General of SEC, Dr. Abdul Zubair, said the forensic auditors would be at the premises of Oando on Wednesday to undertake the audit. Zubair was appointed by the Federal Government on Thursday, November 30, 2017. The Letter titled, ‘Re: Forensic Audit into the Affairs of Oando Plc’, reads: “Further to our letter to you dated November 27, 2017 and another letter to your lawyers dated November 28, 2017, wherein the Commission had notified Oando Plc of its decision to go ahead with the Forensic Audit, the Commission in the light of recent development wishes to reiterate the following: ”1. That the Commission is aware, that Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1601/17: OANDO PLC V. SEC & ANOR was struck out on November 23, 2017 by his Lordship Hon. Justice Aikawa of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court. “2. That the Commission is not aware of the existence of any valid or subsisting Order of Court restraining the Commission from proceeding with the Forensic Audit. “While we acknowledge that a Notice of Appeal has been filed to challenge the judgment of the Federal High Court, this notice does not serve as an Order of Court restraining the Commission from conducting the exercise. “We wish to restate that our Forensic Auditors had been directed to commence work since November 27, 2017 and as a result shall be at your premises on any date from Wednesday, December 6, 2017. “Kindly accord them the necessary assistance,” the letter stated. It will be recalled that following the recent suspension of the former Director-General of SEC, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, facts emerged that the DG was suspended for looking into the affairs of Tinubu, a close ally of the present administration.
A renowned company director, Dr. Mayor Nwachukwu of Godfy Towers Nigeria Limited has called for the proscription of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company in Abia State over its inability to supply power. Nwachukwu made the call in Aba recently while making a contribution during a one day mega seminar on “Electricity Consumers Rights and Obligations”organized by Joint Action Group and attended by professional bodies, labour union leaders, market leaders, youths, civil servants and artisans, where issues bothering on crazy and outrageous bills,illegal disconnection,intimidation by EEDC staff and absence of electricity in some parts of Aba, Abia State were discussed. Dr.Nwachukwu lamented that for over one year now, he has not had electricity in his residence yet receives and pays bill every month.He decried Nigerian Electricity and Regulatory Commission for not doing enough to enlighten the public on their rights as electricity consumers.According to him, the EEDC is just out to milk consumers as nothing has changed since it came into the Power industry.He said, “they occupy the same office as National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) the same office as Power Holding Company of Nigeria(PHCN) and now as EEDC” He suggested that electricity consumers in Aba should match and inform the government of the day about the sufferings consumers are passing through. He said the issue of non-provision of electricity supply, adversely affects the overall economy and production capacity of the state in general and Aba in particular. “What EEDC staff do in Aba is to make money for those in charge and allow the poor masses to suffer the consequences, but when we match to the government functionaries, we will tell them all their atrocities” he concluded. Earlier in his key note address,the secretary, Joint Action Group,Chief Ike Opigwe said the group is a non –profit advocacy body that provides an enabling environment for the education of electricity consumers on their right as guaranteed by the Electricity Power Sector Reform(EPSR) Act 2005 and National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) guideline,directive and methodology which include but not limited to the following: billing methodology,connection, disconnection procedure and rights to certified standard prepaid meter. Mr.Odu Obot,a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who represented Abia State Commissioner of Police, thanked the organizers of the seminar and said if all activities are handled this way;the police will have less job to do. He revealed that Abia State Police Command is tackling the problem of vandalization of electricity materials by creating Electricity Consumers Team to tackle all criminal activities against the provision of electricity in Abia state. Mr. Ezeocha Peter, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Representative in charge of Ebonyi State, gave an overview of Electricity Sector Power Reform .He said the Commission (NERC) is empowered by the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005, to ensure an efficiently managed electricity supply industry that meets the yearnings of Nigerians for stable, adequate and safe electricity supply. According to him the Act mandates the Commission to ensure that electricity Operators recover costs on prudent investment and provide quality service to customers. In a lecture on “ Overview of Consumers’ Rights and Obligations” delivered by Comrade Anele Jacobs, he said “ it is pertinent that electricity customers know their rights which include that a new electricity connections must be done strictly based on metering before connection. That is, no new customer should be connected by a DisCo without a meter first being installed at the premises” According to him, consumers have the right to electricity supply in a safe and reliable manner; a properly installed and functional meter; a right to transparent electricity billing and also that all un-metered customers should be issued with electricity bills strictly based on NERC’s estimated billing methodology. He said consumers should be notified in writing ahead of disconnection of electricity service by the DisCo serving the customer in line with NERC’s guidelines; refund when over billed and to report the issue to the NERC Forum Office within the coverage area of the DisCo. Consumers have the right to appeal against the decision if not satisfied and any un-metered customer who is disputing his or her estimated bill has the right not to pay the disputed bill, but pay only the last undisputed bill as the contested bill go through the dispute resolution process of NERC. “It is not the responsibility of electricity customer or community to buy, replace or repair electricity transformers, poles and related equipment used in the supply of electricity” he added .However, he said consumers are under obligation to pay bills for electricity consumed and provide requirements for connection as stipulated by NERC and DisCo. And also to ensure that meters and other electrical equipment within your premises belonging to the DisCo are not tampered with, or by-passed and consumers should notify the DisCo serving you of any tampering or bypass of electricity installations. In an exclusive chat with the Chairman, Abia State Civil Society Network (ASCON) Comrade Cassius Ukwugbe, he decried the crazy bills and epileptic electric supply in Aba that has touched everybody and said the messages should be taken to the appropriate authorities and solution proffered once and for all. According to him, high billings have continued to be a source of worry to many Electricity Consumers in Abia state. He called on the Federal Government to revisit its power privatization policy to check the exploitation of Nigerians by Power Distribution Companies. He said”Aba residents have made their feelings known in the area of over – estimated billings by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company and something should be done.. In his contribution, the Chairman Hotel Proprietors Association, Aba, Chief Godwin Egbuchulam, revealed that hotels will soon sack some of their staff due to high electricity billing in Aba. According to him the cost of running hotels has increased in recent time as a result of fast consumption rate of prepaid meter. A book on Rights and Obligations of Electricity Consumers authored by Chief Ike Opigwe and reviewed by Dr. Mike Iheukwumere was presented to participants. The book; a must read by all electricity consumers, was described by Dr. Iheukwumere as the ‘Bible’ of electricity consumption. The seminar had in attendance notable Nigerians including: the Chairman Joint Action Group-Dr. Mike Iheukwumere, DSP Odu Obot, who represented the Abia state Commissioner for Police, Secretary, Joint Action Group-Chief Ike Opigwe, National Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) Ebonyi State Representative-Mr. Ezeocha Peter,Chairman, Hotel Proprietors Association-Chief Godwin Egbuchulam, Chairman, Abia State Civil Society Network-Comrade Cassius Ukwugbe,Comrade Anele Jacobs, Chairman, NASSI-Amb. Darlington Kalu, Manager, Hotel De L’s Paix-Mrs Celestina Asiegbu and others.
The Federal Government on Wednesday suspended the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, to allow for an unhindered investigation of several allegations of financial impropriety leveled against the Director-General. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun announced the suspension in a statement on Wednsday, saying that two others had also been suspended. The statement from the Ministry of Finance and issued by Patricia Deworitshe, Deputy Director, Press, said the suspension was in line with the Public Service Rules (PSRs) 03405 and 03406. “Minister has set up an Administrative Panel of Inquiry (API) to investigate and determine the culpability of the Director-General. “She has directed the suspended SEC Director-General to immediately handover to the most senior officer at the Commission, pending the conclusion of investigation by the API,” the statement said. “Also suspended are two management staff of the Commission – Mr. Abdulsalam Naif Habu, Head of Media Division and Mrs. Anastasia Omozele Braimoh, Head of Legal Department – who have been alleged to engage in financial impropriety in the Commission,” the statement added.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said it had arrested a former Kano State High Court Judge, Justice Kabiru Auta, for an alleged N220 million fraud. Spokesperson of the commission, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday. Okoduwa said the suspect was detained on Tuesday when he honoured an invitation by the commission over allegations of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery. Auta, according to her, allegedly conspired with some other persons to defraud a Kano businessman named Alhaji Bashir Yakasai of N220 million. “The matter was referred to the commission after it had been reported to the National Judicial Council which had constituted a committee to investigate the allegations. “The amount involved had been fraudulently obtained from Yakasai by Auta and his accomplice, Bashir Sufi, on the pretext that they were acting on behalf of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Aloma Mukhtar. “Auta in his statement to the Commission disclosed that he made a part repayment of N20 million to Yakasai during the course of the matter,” she said. Okoduwa said the suspect was released on administrative bail, while further investigation into the matter was ongoing.
Activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday sustained bullish trend for the second consecutive day, with major equities recording price growth led by Nestle. Nestle recorded the highest price growth with a gain of N22 to close at N1,252 per share just as predicted by market watchers. It was followed by Seplat with N15 to close at N492 and Dangote Cement rose by N5 to close by N224 per share. Flour Mills rose by N1.50 to close at N31.50 per share. Some financial experts on Oct. 30 predicted that the 2018 budget proposal presentation and improved third quarter earnings would impact positively on the market this week. Consequently, the All-Share Index appreciated further by 195.99 points or 0.54 per cent to close at 36,680.29 against 36,484.30 on Monday. In the same vein, market capitalisation inched N67 billion or 0.53 per cent to close at N12.694 trillion compared with N12.627 trillion on Monday. Total posted the highest price loss to lead the losers’ table with a loss of N4 to close at N236 per share. Beta Glass trailed with a loss of N2.84 to close at N54.01, while Unilever dropped by N1.59 to close at N41.19 per share. Nigerian Breweries lost N1.50 to close at N150 and Forte Oil declined by 99k to close at N40 per share. Also, the volume of shares transacted inched by 48.08 per cent with an exchange of 259.08 million shares valued at N3.05 billion traded in 4,503 deals. This was against a turnover of 174.96 million shares worth N1.82 billion achieved in 3,401 deals on Monday. Diamond Bank was the toast of investors during the day, exchanging 42.94 million shares worth N42.64 million. Fidelity Bank came second with an account of 31.07 million shares valued at N47.62 million, while FBN Holdings traded 21.47 million shares worth N132.12 million. Dangote Flour sold 19.72 million shares valued at N183.97 million and Transcorp traded 19.34 million shares worth N27.15 million.
The Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) has confirmed the death of 22 persons in a boat mishap around Mahuta community in Agwara Local Government Area of the state. Malam Hussaini Ibrahim, the Public Relations Officer of the agency, confirmed the incident in Minna on Wednesday. He said the deceased were traveling on Tuesday from Yauri in Kebbi and Mage around Kontagora area to Manhuta in Niger. Ibrahim said that seven of the travelers were, however, rescued. According to him, the victims were traveling to Mahuta following information that a divine stone, with an islamic inscription was found there, when their boat capsised. “Some of the survivors said the boat hit a log of wood inside the river and capsized,” he said. He said the bodies of the deceased were deposited at the General Hospital in Yauri.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week arraigned the Deputy Managing Director of BGL plc, Chibundo Edozien, in a Wuse Chief Magistrates’ Court for conspiring with some staff of the company to defraud the investing public. The accused person, of Plot 417 Tigris Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, was docked on charges of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and cheating. Edozien also appeared in court on behalf of M/S BGL plc, its asset management and securities limited subsidiaries. The prosecutor, Moshood Adeyemi, told the court that Edozien conspired with the company along with one Albert Okumagba, now at large. He alleged that the accused also conspired with some other staff and cheated one Mahmoud Usman and four others. Adeyemi further alleged that the accused cheated UN Staff Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society of Anambra, Abuja Office, among others, who filed complaints against the defendant before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The prosecutor said the offences contravened the Penal Code. Edozien, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The defence counsel, Mr K.B Asunogie, made a bail application for Edozien, stressing that the matter had been on since 2015 and he had been honouring invitations all through the inquiry. He added that his client was on administrative bail and never breached it, urging the court to grant bail in the most liberal terms. The prosecutor, however, said if bail was granted, it should be with conditions that would ensure the defendant’s appearance for his trial. He also said the police detained and granted the defendant administrative bail, not the SEC. The Magistrate, Chinyere Nwecheonwu, however, granted the accused bail in N1 million with one surety in like sum. She said the surety must be a civil servant of Grade Level 12 and the office address must be verified by the prosecutor and the court registrar. She added that the surety must present original appointment letter and promotion letter before the court and adjourned the case till Nov. 6 for hearing.