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Privatization of Power Sector Not a Failure—IBEDC COO

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John Ayodele IBEDC COO

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Mr John Ayodele, has disagreed with those who said the privatization of the power sector has turned out to be a failure, unlike its telecommunications counterpart.

Mr Ayodele, while addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Tuesday, said the electricity distribution company and others were making progress despite the challenges.

He said, for example, IBEDC runs a deficit of N4 billion monthly and that between January and July 2021, it has recorded 15,032 cases of vandalisation of distribution assets.

Mr Ayodele said the money paid by customers to the company also goes to generating (GENCO) and transmission companies operating in the sector as well.

He maintained that IBEDC does not have the full power to reduce the tariff, stressing that stakeholders must unanimously agree to review power tariffs in the country.

On the efforts of the company towards effective service delivery, he said the electricity distributing company, he been investing heavily in the sector.

All in the bid to improve service delivery, he highlighted that the company has added 2,632 distribution substations to its network, rehabilitated 39 dilapidated substations, replaced two failed power stations and 381 distribution transformers.

The IBEDC COO added that the company reconstructed six new 33 kilovolt (kV) and six new 11 kV outgoing feeders, rehabilitated 22 high tensions and 52 low tension overhead lines.

Mr Ayodele said the company has made progress on Asset and Customer Enumeration; an exercise that has made it possible to correctly capture the active consumer base of the company and aided the Distribution Transformer (DT) metering project.

According to him, the company has ensured that 50 per cent of IBEDC DT meters are smartly metered, adding that metering would aid management and solve problems of accountability of energy.

Also, he explained that the organisation has been working on improving occupational and safety management systems and initiated e-billing which enables effective delivery of bills to postpaid customers via SMS and Email.

Speaking on the issue of increase in tariff, he said that the increasing energy cost is driven by the impact of worsening exchange rate on gas price, the inflation evident in the economy, the constraints on the national grid and the frequent collapse of the grid.

Clarifying on compensation, the COO said many individuals and communities are not truthful about the real cost of the infrastructure provided and should have first consulted with the company to agree on the cost and structure of repayment hence the reason for non-compensation.

“The management, however, promised to work on its response system to ensure a close interaction with communities,” he said.

Mr Ayodele also responded to the allegation on the corruption of staff, saying that IBEDC has constantly been sacking employees found to be corrupt and even prosecuting them.

He advised the public not to keep quiet but report such incidences and urged all to deviate from the thinking that energy supply is a social service rather than an economic service.

He pointed that this perception was the reason why some bypassers do not want to accept meters but called for active cooperation from consumers.

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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NGA Calls for Multiple Approach to Energy Transition

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Energy Transitions

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) has called for a multidimensional approach to energy transition in Africa amid the lingering global energy crisis and increased calls for the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions.

NGA cautioned that Africa needs to be cautious and consider all the pertinent issues in transitioning from fossil fuel to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

According to the National Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr Odianosen Masade, fossil transition in developed economies has been going on for over a century, whilst Africa was expected to transition over a few decades.

“Africa accounts for the smallest share of global greenhouse gas emissions, at just 3.8 per cent, in contrast to 23 per cent in China, 19 per cent in the United States, and 13 per cent in the European Union.

“Africa is also the least industrialized of all the continents in the world, yet one of the most vulnerable to climate change,” he noted.

Mr Masade, who is the Corporate Communications Lead at Eroton Exploration & Production Company, also provided insights into challenges inhibiting Nigeria from maximizing the opportunities presented by the conflict in Ukraine, which has reduced the global supply of gas.

He disclosed that the lack of political will, as well as Nigeria’s lack of critical infrastructure, were some of the greatest reasons for Nigeria’s disadvantaged position.

“One such infrastructure that would have generated significant income for the country is the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, which will traverse Nigeria, Niger and Algeria across the Sahara desert to Europe.

“It is estimated that once completed, the $13 billion pipeline would transport up to 30 billion cubic meters (1 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per annum from Warri in Nigeria, through Niger and Algeria on to Europe,” he stated.

In July, the oil ministers of the three countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and agreed to set up a task force for the project with the aim of updating an existing feasibility study.

The idea to pipe gas across the Sahara to Europe was first conceived more than 40 years ago. In 2009, an agreement was signed by the three gas-rich countries, but progress has stalled since then.

TSGP, also known as the NIGAL pipeline, may now move closer to becoming reality as Europe attempts to cut its strong dependency on Russian gas.

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IGP Authorises Stop & Search, Raids, Others to Tackle Crime

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IGP alkali Tinted Permits

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of adequate security around schools, hospitals, and critical national infrastructures across the country.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, said the IGP has also ordered regular patrols, stop and search, raids and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality in some states of the federation.

“The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of water-tight security arrangements to cover all schools, hospitals, health workers, and critical national infrastructures around the country,” the statement added.

“The IGP has equally ordered regular patrols, stop and search, raids, and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality recorded in some states of the federation,” it further said.

Mr Baba gave the directive while reviewing the reports he received from various commands and formations on the general security situations across the country.

He tasked strategic police managers at various levels to prioritize the use of intelligence gathering networks while charging officers and men of the force to take the fight against crime to the doorsteps of suspected criminal elements with a view to flushing them from their hideouts.

The IGP also called for the cooperation of members of the public, warning police officers to be civil, professional, and humane in the course of discharging their duties.

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SERAP Begs INEC to Allow 7 million Nigerians Complete Voter Registration

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inec electoral bill

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow seven million Nigerians to complete their voter registration.

SERAP made the call in a statement on Sunday through its Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, warning that the failure of the electoral body to grant this request could attract legal action.

According to the rights group, INEC recently disclosed that out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online, only 3,444,378 completed the process at physical centres.

SERAP believes that the right to vote is also the right to be given the time and opportunity to complete the registration process so that it can be effectively exercised.

“The right to vote is not merely the right to cast a ballot but also the right to be given the time and opportunity to complete the registration process, so that the right can be meaningfully and effectively exercised,” the statement read.

“Closing the gates on eligible Nigerians and denying them the time and opportunity to complete their registration cannot preserve trust in the electoral process.

“Denying a significant number of eligible voters the time and opportunity to complete the registration for their PVCs would impair the right to vote of those affected, deny them a voice in the 2023 elections, and lead to disparate and unfair treatment of these voters,” it submitted.

The organisation noted that, “According to a report released by INEC, out of 10,487,972 Nigerians who carried out their pre-registration online, only 3,444,378 Nigerians representing 32.8 per cent, completed the process at a physical centre. 7,043,594 Nigerians carried out their pre-registration but are yet to complete the process at a physical centre.

“This represents over 67 per cent of those who began their registration process online.

“According to INEC, a total of 12,298,944 Nigerians completed their voter registration; 8,854,566 of which were persons who did their registration entirely at a physical centre.

“The over seven million Nigerians have already completed their registration online, that is, via INEC online portal by providing their biodata and required documents.”

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