By Adedapo Adesanya
Under its National Mass Metering Programme (NNMP), the federal government is set to distribute about 4 million prepaid meters in the second phase.
A statement issued by the Power Sector Working Group disclosed that 750,000 meters have been delivered to DisCos in just under eight months in the first leg of the service.
It will be recalled that the first phase (Phase 0) was launched later than expected in December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a target of one million meters across the country.
The mass metering programme is expected to drastically reduce estimated billing by Distribution Companies (DisCos) and ensure consumers are billed appropriately for the electricity they consume by installing meters free of charge in household and business premises that are currently unmetered.
“This is a marked improvement in terms of the speed of installation of meters compared to its predecessor (Meter Asset Provider – MAP program) which recorded 350,000-meter installations in just over 18 months. Essentially the Nigerian Meter Industry has increased local installation capacity by a multiple of five.
“In preparation for the Second Phase (known as Phase 1) of the NMMP, the electricity sector regulator – Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) – has conducted extensive consultations and stakeholder management, and has revised its metering guidelines. This phase will provide up to 4 million meters and shall also use a similar financing mechanism as phase 0.
“One of the key successes of the NMMP initiative is how rapidly it has increased private sector interest in investing the local meter assembly, manufacturing and installation space.
“In addition to the springing up of new factories such as the Quantum meter assembly plant in Lagos and the Smart Meter assembly plant in Kaduna, we are also seeing the refurbishment and upgrade of some metering plants that had been also fallen into disrepair such as EMCON in Kaduna.
“This development in the meter assembly space is driven by the Central Bank’s commitment to supporting local meter assembly/manufacturing as only local companies will be allowed to participate in the bidding process for the upcoming phase of the program.
“This promises to increase the job creation impact of the program which has already attained appreciable heights with over 10,000 direct jobs created as a result of phase 0 of the program,” the statement added.
The government explained that for phase 1, a central procurement mechanism to be overseen and supervised by NERC will be employed to ensure that meters are secured at the lowest possible cost, thereby reaching the goals and objectives of the NMMP.
“The commencement of the procurement process of Phase 1 has been done strategically to ensure that there is no gap in meter supply to customers as the NMMP transitions from Phase 0 to Phase 1,” it disclosed.
The federal government provided funding for the program through loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Akinwumi Adesina Turns Down Requests to Become Next Nigerian President
By Adedapo Adesanya
The President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has ruled himself out of the 2023 presidential race in Nigeria.
Mr Adesina made his position known in a statement on Tuesday after months of calls for him to join the contest after a group bought the presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him at the cost of N100 million.
In the statement, the banker emphasised that his current desire is to continue to hold the office of the president of the AfDB which he won reelection for last year.
However, he expressed appreciation for those who found him worthy of leading his country at this critical time it is undergoing different challenges ranging from economy, security and others.
“While I am deeply honoured, humbled and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to considered,” the statement read in part.
“I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development.
“I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa,” Mr Adesina added.
Less than two weeks ago, a coalition of 28 groups purchased the N100 million APC presidential forms for the former Agriculture Minister.
The coalition consists of groups such as the Youth Arise Movement, Nigerians in Diaspora, One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, women groups, farmers, and other civil society groups.
Sanwo-Olu Promises Justice for Sound Engineer David Imoh
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has promised to ensure that the late Sound Engineer killed by a mob in the Lekki area of the state last week gets justice.
The Governor gave this assurance through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement issued on Monday night.
Last week, after boarding a commercial motorcycle, an argument ensued between Mr David Imoh and the okada rider over N100 and attracted other riders, who then lynched him.
There have been calls for justice for the deceased and in the statement today, the state governor said this would be done.
He condemned the mob attack and said the police are interrogating four suspects at the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Panti in connection with the incident, while two survivors of the act are in hospital.
According to Mr Sanwo-Olu, the government will address the root cause of this and similar incidents, which have caused public anxiety, appealing to residents to remain calm as police continue to investigate the matter.
“Lagos has no room for savagery and anybody found to have been involved in this barbarism will surely face the law.
“We condemn and will not condone any kind of jungle justice, no matter who the perpetrators are,” the statement stressed.
N80bn Fraud: EFCC Arrests Accountant General of the Federation Ahmed Idris
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, is cooling off in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He is having talks with the agency, explaining what he knows about an alleged diversion of N80 billion belonging to the federal government.
He was picked up by operatives of the EFCC on Monday, May 16, 2022, after allegedly failing to honour invitations by the commission to respond to issues connected to the issue.
In a statement issued on Monday night, the anti-money laundering organisation claimed that Mr Idris, through verified intelligence, “raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.”
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja,” another part of the statement disclosed.
The AGF has been in the news lately over an audit report, which indicted some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal government of fraud.
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