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Reps want punishment for DisCos for poor electricity supply



The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to compel Distribution Companies (DisCos) to discontinue alleged extortive practice of estimated/arbitrary billing with immediate effect.

The legislators recommended that the companies be reprimanded for the abysmal provisioning of services to Nigerian electricity consumers.

The resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Afuape Moruf (APC-Ogun) at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion earlier, Moruf said that the Electricity Act, 2023, prescribed a comprehensive and institutional framework to guide the operation of a privatised, contract, and rule-based electricity market.

The Rep said it was within the ambit of which every participant in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) must operate.

He said the NERC as the NESI regulator, had among other obligations to ensure adequate supply of electricity to consumers.

According to him, it is expected to ensure that prices charged are fair to consumers, though sufficient to allow the finances of Disco’s activities, as well as enable them to make a reasonable profit for efficient operation.

Moruf said that 11 Electricity DisCos were entities established by the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005, to supply electricity to power consumers with obligations to the respective operational areas.

He said the companies had the statutory duties to provide for power transmission facilities and other ancillary services to ensure reliability and support the transmission of electricity from generation sites to consumers.

“Concerned that the distribution companies raked in a whooping N247.33 billion in the first quarter of 2023 as against N232.32 billion generated in fourth quarter of 2022, representing a rise by 20.81 per cent compared to N204.74 billion generated first Quarter of 2022 (year-on-year consideration)

“Whereas, electricity supply declined from 5,956 (Gwh) in first Quarter of 2022 to 5,852 (Gwh) first Quarter of 2023 (year-on-year consideration), despite the increase in earnings.

“Concerned that the distribution companies have demonstrated unfaithfulness toward the social contract with Nigerians, as enshrined and enhanced by the transitional effect of the Electric Power Reform Act, 2005 to the Electricity Act, 2023, having been inefficient in their services.

“They have condemnable attitudes toward expected investments, abdicating their statutory responsibilities for communities, private and other public entities, despite their humongous earnings, as extracted from the Q1 2023 report of the National Bureau of Statistics on a performance review of the 11 distribution companies,” he said.

He expressed worry that the NERC had watched helplessly while communities, individuals, and corporate organisations assumed the responsibilities of providing electricity transmission facilities (meters, cables and transformers) where they were either not available or repaired, where the same were faulty.

The house urged the NERC to put in place an effective metering plan, which assured consumers of fair billing.

The lawmaker tasked NERC to invoke relevant provisions of the law and other extant agreements to penalise DisCos from exploiting and abusing the rights of consumers.

The green chamber charged NERC to evolve a methodology along with the distribution companies to compensate communities, individuals, and other private and public entities for their investments in the distribution network.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas mandated the Committee on Power when constituted, to interface with the NERC and the distribution companies (DisCos) to work and resolve limitations to provide excellent service delivery to Nigerians.


Tribunal upholds Gov. Alia’s election



Gov Alia Hyacinth Alia

The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on Saturday upheld the victory of Gov. Hyacinth Alia of the APC in the March 18 Governorship Election.

Delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and PDP.

Karaye, who read the unanimous judgment, stated that only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.

He further said the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.

He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.

Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.

He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election and therefore, dismissed the case.

The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.

The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election, not qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election.

They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.

They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, therefore, should be disqualified.

They, therefore, prayed among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.

The also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC be withdrawn.

NAN reports that the petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.

However, the respondents in their counter arguments, urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.

The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division, had before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter which was filed by the petitioners but they did not appeal the judgment till date.

They also said that the issues raised were all pre election matter and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.

The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners case was status bar and should be struck out.

They said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.

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LASTMA, others combat Ilupeju industrial fire outbreak



The operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and other emergency responders at early hour on Saturday combated an industrial fire outbreak at Mega Plastics Company at No.4, Ilupeju Bypass.

Mr Taofiq Adebayo, the Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos on Saturday.

Adebayo stated that the industrial fire outbreak took place at Mega Plastics Company at No.4, Ilupeju Bypass beside Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Ilupeju area of Lagos.

“The Traffic Officer of LASTMA, Mr Ayo Olaosebikan (Falcon) of Zone 21, confirmed that LASTMA rescue team arrived at the scene of the industrial fire outbreak around at 6:30a.m. before other emergency responders were contacted by LASTMA.

“Immediately we arrived at the scene of the industrial fire, we quickly informed other emergency responders particularly the Lagos State Fire, Rescue Services and the Nigerian Police.

“The causes of industrial fire could not be immediately ascertained, he said.
Olaosebikan noted that preliminary investigation revealed that the storage and factory section of the petrochemical company were seriously affected by the fire outbreak.

According to him, emergency responders on ground include Federal and State Fire Services, policemen and LASTMA Response Unit.

Olaosebikan said that neither injury nor death had been recorded.

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