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Discos Intensify Efforts For Electricity Tariffs Hike Approval

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Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Fellow Press

There is no respite yet for electricity consumers with Distribution Companies (DisCos) still pushing ahead with their bid for Federal Government’s approval to raise the tariffs.

Last week, the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) halted the 40 per cent tariff hike planned by the DisCos following an outcry by Nigerians, who are reeling under the effect of petrol subsidy withdrawal.

NERC’s action came after some of the DisCos notified consumers of increased tariffs.

It was learnt yesterday that the DisCos are billed to meet with NERC in Abuja next week.

Senior officials of two DisCos, who confirmed the scheduled meeting, declined to release the agenda.

But it was learnt that tariffs raise is central to the parley.

The NERC will also meet with other power institutions such as the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Generating Companies (GenCos).

It was learnt that NERC has scheduled a meeting with all the 11 DisCos and other critical stakeholders in the electricity supply and loop.

The Nation exclusively gathered that the meeting will hold between Monday and Friday.

NERC will meet on Monday and Tuesday with Managing Directors and top management of DisCos, GenCos and TCN.

On Wednesday and Thursday, it will meet with major electricity consumers, firms, suppliers and service providers, such as suppliers of gas, among others.

How the DisCos can shore up their revenue, especially following a 40 per cent loss, and their inability to meet their performance targets, will also be discussed, it was gathered.

All the DisCos, based on the NERC’s June 2023 data, recorded losses after exceeding their allowed targets for Aggregate Technical, Commercial, and Collection (ATC & C) losses.

The ATC & C losses include technical, commercial and collection inefficiencies in the power distribution process, such as power theft, meter tampering, billing inaccuracies and revenue leakages.

The failure to meet the target comes at a time when the sector was considering an increase in electricity tariffs brought about by macroeconomic conditions.

Sources close to the top management of DisCos that will be attending the meeting confided in The Nation that the issue of tariffs increase will be knotty, but they are ready to really push for its approval.

It was gathered that another option to be mooted will be to have a gradual increment instead of the 40 per cent tariffs increase at once.

This means that the DisCos may settle for increments on pro-rata basis until they finally get to the desired target of 40 per cent.

However, should the proposal be rejected, the DisCos may ask the government for a subsidy in the form of a “relief package” on their equipment importation and other critical operational transactions executed in foreign exchange, especially with the exchange rate unification.

But this may be a difficult option given that in March 2022, the former Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, revealed that the government had ‘quietly’ removed the subsidy on electricity tariff or any buffers it was paying in the sector.

“We have been able to quietly implement subsidy removal in the electricity sector and as we speak, we don’t have subsidies in the electricity sector.

“We did that incrementally over time by carefully adjusting the prices at some levels while holding the lower levels down,” she said at a virtual meeting of African Finance Ministers (AFM) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) back then.

DisCos have insisted that without increasing tariffs, their continued survival in business will be threatened.

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Tinubu increasing poverty instead of reducing it– Labour Party

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President Tinubu

Last Updated on June 19, 2024 by Fellow Press

The Labour Party has expressed its disappointment over President Bola Tinubu’s statement which it described as making a mockery of Nigerians as poor.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, who said this added that the President needed to be reminded that he was elected into office to reduce if not eliminate poverty and not increase it.

He was reacting to President Tinubu’s statement that Nigerians were not the only ones suffering from poverty.

According to him: “We are disappointed but not surprised by the comments made by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu about the excruciating poverty his administration’s policies have unleashed on Nigerians since he took office over a year ago.

“It was to say the least disheartening to hear Mr. President mock his citizens by saying Nigerians are not the only ones facing poverty.

“Assuming but not conceding that what he said is true, Nigerians who are at the receiving end of his harsh economic policies don’t need to be reminded about the pain and hunger they have been forced to live with by the very people who put them in that situation in the first place.

“May be this administration needs to be reminded that it was elected to reduce if not eliminate poverty, hunger and disease but what we have seen is an obsession with opulence.

“We are yet to get over the billions appropriated for the renovation of the President and Vice President’s lodges, now we hear they want new jets to join the Presidential fleet.”

He said the nation’s schools and health institutions were on their knees and the same government claims it cannot afford to pay public servants a living wage but has enough to make itself comfortable at the expense of the suffering masses.

He implored the President to uphold the constitution he swore to protect, adding that the constitution says the security and welfare of the populace shall be the primary purpose of the existence of the government.

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Gunmen kill three while enforcing sit-at-home in Anambra communities

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Last Updated on June 19, 2024 by Fellow Press

Some gunmen, who were enforcing sit-at-home, have reportedly killed many people and injured others in two Anambra communities.

The gunmen invaded Nnewichi community in Nnewi north LGA and Nnobi community in Idemili south LGA, on Monday morning.

At Nnewichi community, the gunmen were said to have invaded a hotel after discovering that some persons were having a meeting there. The gunmen started shooting sporadically at the hotel premises, while destroying properties.

The assailants were said to have killed Oseloka Ubajiekwe, head of the vigilante group and chief security officer of the community, while he was attempting to wade off the attackers.
Those who sustained injuries have been taken to various hospitals in the state. At Nnobi community, the gunmen shot sporadically to scare away residents and engaged in gun duels with security operatives.

Confirming the attacks in a statement, Tochukwu Ikenga, Anambra police spokesperson, said only three persons, including a 22-year-old lady, have been confirmed dead.

“The commissioner of police, CP Nnaghe Obono Itam, has ordered an immediate manhunt operation on the armed men operating in a red Highlander jeep, who abducted a citizen in Nnewi by 1:30 pm yesterday 17/6/2024 and were trailed to Nnobi, where they engaged security operatives in a gun battle,” Ikenga said.

During the gun duel, one of the security operatives was fatally hit by the bullet and due to the indiscriminate shootings by the hoodlums in an attempt to escape the scene, the bullet also fatally struck two innocent passersby in the area.

“The police responding team at the scene recovered the bodies of the victims and took them to the hospital but regrettably, three of the victims including a 22-year-old lady were confirmed dead by the doctors on duty while two others are currently receiving treatment.”

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