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Electricity Consumers Paid Discos N210.17bn in Q4 2021–NERC

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has revealed that electricity consumers paid N210.17 billion to Nigerian electricity distribution companies in the fourth quarter of last year.

It disclosed this in its Quarterly Report for Fourth Quarter 2021 released on Thursday, noting that the N210.17 billion represented 69.34 per cent of the total electricity bill given to consumers by electricity distribution companies during the period.

The regulator noted that the total revenue collected by all Discos in Q4 2021 was N210.17 billion out of N303.11 billion billed to customers – corresponding to a collection efficiency of 69.34 per cent, lower than 70.89 per cent in the third quarter of the year.

It noted, “Compared to 2021/Q3, the total billing by Discos increased by N30.12bn (+11.03 per cent) while the revenue collected increased by only N16.64bn (+8.60 per cent), hence the reduction in overall collection efficiency in 2021/Q4.”

On market remittance, NERC stated that the combined market remittance order adjusted invoices from the Nigerian Bulk Trading Company and Market Operator to Discos in the quarter was N210.72 billion for generation costs as well as transmission and administrative services.

Out of this amount, the Discos collectively remitted a total sum of N149.19 billion with an outstanding balance of N61.53 billion. This represents a remittance performance of 70.8 per cent during the quarter.

On remittance to NBET, it stated that out of the total invoice of N205.18 billion issued by the agency to Discos, it was expected to receive N160.13 billion but it got only N109.45 billion during the quarter.

“Overall, the total Disco remittance performance to NBET was 68.34 per cent of the expected market remittance for 2021/Q4 compared to 65.08 per cent (N100.16 billion remitted against an invoice of N153.90 billion) in 2021/Q3,” the NERC stated.

It added, “During 2021/Q4, Eko and Jos Discos surpassed their MRT to NBET by 32.64 per cent (+4.87 billion) and 0.86% (+0.03 billion), respectively.”

For the remittance to the Market Operator (MO), the commission stated that the total invoice from MO to Discos in 2021/Q4 for which a 100 per cent remittance was expected was N50.58 billion.

It said, “However, only N39.75bn was received from all the Discos, which means that the MO remittance performance for the quarter was 78.59 per cent.

“This represents a 2.58 percentage point increase compared to 76.01 per cent (N41.53bn remitted against an invoice of N54.64bn) recorded in 2021/Q3.”

On remittances by special/international customers, the report indicated that in 2021/Q4, the NBET and MO issued invoices of N380.62 million and N82.53 million, respectively to Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited but as was in the previous quarter, no remittance was made by this special customer.

“During the same period, MO issued an invoice of $13.11 million to bilateral customers (Paras-SBEE, TRANSCORP-SBEE, Mainstream-NIGELEC & Odukpani-CEET) but no remittance was made (payment of $6.22m was made in 2021/Q3 against invoice of $11.52m),” the regulator stated.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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SERAP Drags FG to Court over $23m Abacha Loot

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By Adedapo Adesanya

A suit has been filed against the federal government by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) over the recently recovered $23 million looted by ex-Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

In a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1700/2022 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the group is asking the court to “direct and compel President Buhari and Mr Abubakar Malami to release and widely publish a copy of the agreement on the Abacha loot with the US.”

In a statement on Sunday by SERAP Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is joined in the suit as respondent.

The United States government had in August signed an agreement with the federal government to repatriate the $23 million Abacha loot to Nigeria. It was in addition to the $311.7 million Abacha loot repatriated from the US to Nigeria in 2020.

“The Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations impose transparency obligations on the Federal Government to widely publish the agreement on the $23 million Abacha loot,” SERAP argued in the suit.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement with the U.S. would allow Nigerians to scrutinise it, and to monitor the spending of the repatriated loot to ensure that the money is not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.

“The repatriated $23 million Abacha loot is vulnerable to corruption and mismanagement. A substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 may have been mismanaged, diverted, or re-stolen, and in any case remain unaccounted for.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement would ensure that persons with public responsibilities are answerable to the people for the performance of their duties, including the management of repatriated loot,” SERAP said.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Atinuke Adejuyigbe, said the Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their government’s activities.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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Lagos to Severely Punish Those Behind Mushin Collapsed Building

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The owner of the building that collapsed in the Mushin area of Lagos State and others would be “severely punished,” the state government has promised.

On Friday, it was reported that a 3-storey building on 2/4 Oye Sonuga Street, Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos collapsed, killing four people and injuring others.

In a statement issued yesterday, the new Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, said the state government would go after whoever is indicted in the incident, hinting that an investigation has commenced to unravel what happened.

During a visit to the scene of the unfortunate incident, the Commissioner directed that the adjoining building be pulled down for safety reasons, adding that efforts are on to rescue those who might have been trapped in the rubble.

He disclosed that the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory have been directed to unravel the cause of the collapse.

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NNPC Opens Talk with Financers on Gas Projects

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has established talks with the United States Finance Corporation and the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) to seek financing for its multi-billion-dollar gas projects.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, disclosed this at the Nigerian International Economic Partnership held in New York as part of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Mr Kyari said: “Inclusion (in energy transition) means we need to be supported. We are already talking to the US DFC, and the EXIM so that they can give us financing and funding for our gas projects, and this is very critical so that we can have that flexibility to move forward and at the back of this.

“I’m sure some of you may be aware that today, we are getting a grant to build baseline carbon emission studies in our country by the United States Government. This is very helpful in the sense that President Muhammadu Buhari, has also asked that we need to be supported. Currently, the major source of financing we are having is from the African Exim.”

Nigeria’s transition to net zero by 2060 requires enormous investments in gas projects which have been positioned as the country’s major transition fuel.

Mr Kyari said Nigeria is looking for opportunities to leverage the gas resources in the country to provide the possibility required for the energy transition.

It will cost $410 billion to transit, according to the federal government, and huge gas projects like the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NNPC, ECOWAS Commission, and Morocco to deliver pipelines along the African corridor will gulp billions of dollars.

“We are embarking on massive infrastructure and to see how we can deliver the Morocco gas pipeline which will pass through some countries to provide a number of securities including bringing people out of poverty and increasing gas supply in the domestic market,” Mr Kyari said.

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