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Discos Intensify Efforts For Electricity Tariffs Hike Approval



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.


Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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