The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says the Federal Government introduced the capping in the estimated billing for unmetered customers to ensure uniformity with their metered counterparts.
Commissioner in charge of Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Mr Dafe Akpeneye, said this at a web conference organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), adding that the development was temporary because no customer should pay more than their metered neighbours in the same vicinity and under a similar classification.
He also said that since the Discos failed in their responsibility to meter customers, the only option was to resort to estimation.
He said, “The issue of estimated billing came about as a bridge to manage the interests of the utilities’ interest of providing power and the customers’ interest of paying for power.
“Under an ideal situation, the meter is an assurance that the utility should get paid for what it delivers and the customer pays for what he consumes. But we have found ourselves in a situation whereby when the assets were handed over, metering wasn’t a priority when the utilities were owned by the Federal Government.
“And if you look at the Nigerian demographics, with the way the population is expanding, rapid urbanisation with new connections coming to the grid, the metering of these customers has become a problem.
“One of the key requirements is for the Discos to bridge the metering gap because the problem we had to deal with was because of their inability to do that on time. We had to balance the fact that customers receive power without meter and devise a way to make sure customers have electricity without having a meter.
“Therefore, the estimated billing methodology was introduced . But that was supposed to be temporary, certain things were not done. So, estimated billing became the number one consumer complaint in the industry.”
The NERC stated that exiting the estimated billing regime is impossible for now, adding that since it is not practicable to meter everyone at once, the practice will continue for a while until the issues are resolved.
“Because we realised that meters can’t be rolled out for everyone, something had to be done to balance it out. Some measure of fair estimation had to be put in place.
“The commission developed the capping order. What this seeks to try to create is parity between metered customers and unmetered customers. So, we have someone who lives in a duplex in a certain part of town who is unmetered and we created a scenario whereby one who is unmetered does not pay more than the metered, so that they both pay almost the same thing,” he added.
In his intervention, the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh, said the privatisation of the power sector in Nigeria remains the most ambitious of its type in Africa.
According to him, though the sector is not where it should be because of lack of investments, it has improved since it was handed over to private individuals to manage.
He said, “South Africa has 4,904 kwh per capita while Nigeria has 300kwh per capita. Now for the biggest economy in Africa, that says a lot.
“This sort of challenges prompted the bold decision to reform the power sector. So, in 2005, ESPRA was enacted and essentially was geared towards breaking the monopoly of NEPA.
“It was also to make the sector attractive. That particular action led to the unbundling to Gencos, TCN and Discos. Prior to this , electricity was generally poor. We are talking 1,500mw across the value chain.
“Post-privatisation, we have seen significant improvement and impact of privatisation of the power sector. We are just 10 years.
“There are interventions that are currently going on to correct some of the shortcomings of the privatisation exercise. Let’s not also forget that the power sector privatisation in Nigeria is perhaps the biggest privatisation programme in the continent of Africa.
“Were we rather overambitious in this privatisation. I don’t think so. Could we have taken a modulated approach to it? Maybe. But I think the decision was bold to address the lack of investment in the sector.”
In his remarks, former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, said government must strive to draw private sector investment to ensure sustainable supply of power.
He stated that with the right environment, the Discos can conveniently pay for power, as was shown by Eko and a few others at a point, adding that the bulk trading arrangement should be jettisoned once the Discos become credit worthy.
N5bn Debt: AMCON Takes Over Mansions Of Ex-Gov Abdulfatah Ahmed
The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over some houses belonging to former Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed of Kwara State over a N5 billion debt.
The property is located at No. 9A Abdulrazaq Street, GRA, Ilorin.
Jude Nwazor, spokesman of AMCON, confirmed this to Daily Trust in a telephone chat.
He, however, said the debt was a personal one by the former governor.
Nwazor said all efforts to peacefully resolve the loan had been frustrated by the former governor which left AMCON no other choice than to seek justice in court.
Ahmed, who succeeded former Senate President Bukola Saraki, governed Kwara between 2011 and 2019.
Currently, he is not holding any political office.
But some hours ago, he joined forces with some prominent Nigerians to establish a Third Force known as the Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP).
Buhari Orders FIRS To Tax Digital Transactions
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the deployment of technology to tax all digital transactions carried out across the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha disclosed this at the 17th General Assembly and 10th anniversary of the West Africa Tax Administration Forum (WATAF) in Abuja Tuesday.
The assembly is a high-level policy dialogue on taxation of the digital economy, organised by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The SGF said the President gave the order to tax authority to ensure digital transactions were taxed digitally, and the goal of their efforts was to achieve seamless digital collection and remittance of tax revenue accrued from the digital economy.
He said the President had directed the deployment of technology to good effect in revenue collection and remittance as a matter of government policy.
The SGF said this is supported by the amendment to the tax laws and empowering the tax authority to deploy technology in tax.
Mustapha said: “Our definition of what to collect- whether we call it income tax, Digital Service Tax or Value Added Tax, must address the issue of redefining who a taxable person or entity is, to accommodate the fact that digital transactions side-track the ordinary and traditional understanding of jurisdiction.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of FIRS, Mr Mohammed Nami called for collaborative efforts among African states to generate income from digital-oriented businesses.
He said: “Tax regulators and other industry stakeholders must therefore rise up to the challenge of being in a position to tap into the stream of opportunity that advancements in science and technology afford us. Science and Technology is not only about rockets going to space, it is also about effective tax collection and we must maximize it in every possible way we can.”
Buhari wants petroleum, finance ministers removed from NNPC board
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the National Assembly to remove the ministers of Finance and Petroleum from the board of the soon-to-be incorporated board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.)
The request is contained in his letter seeking an amendment to the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
He also asked the Senate to confirm appointments made for the boards of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and two other federal agencies.
These are the Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority..
The President on Sunday named a nine-member board for the NNPC Ltd headed by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume.
The President’s letter titled “Forwarding administrative structure amendments to the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 was read to Senators by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during yesterday’s plenary.
He listed three sections of the PIA that he wants to be amended as 11(2)(b) and 34(2)(b); 11(2)(f-g) and 34(2)(f-g); as well as 11(3).
The President explained in the letter that amendments to the sections were needed to make for seamless administrative structure in the Act.
He also cited unbalanced geo-political representation as a reason for his request to remove the ministers of Finance and Petroleum from the NNPC Ltd. board.
A part of the letter reads, “I wish to forward to the Senate the attached Administrative Structure Amendments of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 for your kind consideration and approval.
“Having carefully reviewed the administrative structure of both the Commission and the Authority; I would like to propose the following amendments to the PIA 2021:
“Appointment of non-executive board members: The Petroleum Industry Act 2021 provided for the appointment of two non-executive members for the board of the two regulatory institutions.
“I am of the view that this membership limitation has not addressed the principle of balanced geopolitical representation of the country, therefore, I pray for the intervention of the 9th Assembly to correct this oversight in the interest of our national unity.
“Needless to add that this amendment will provide a sense of participation and inclusion to almost every section of the country in the decision-making of strategic institutions such as the oil industry.
“If this amendment is approved, it will now increase the number of the non-executive members from two to six that is one person from each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“Removal of the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance from the board of the two institutions:
The proposed amendment will increase the membership of the board from nine to 13 that is representing a 44 percent expansion of the board site.
“This composition would strengthen the institutions and guarantee national spread and also achieve he expected policy contributions.
“The two ministries already have constitutional responsibilities of either supervision or inter-governmental relations. They can continue to perform such roles without being on the board.
“It is also important to note that administratively, the representatives of the ministries in the board will be Directors – being the same rank with the Directors in the institution. This may bring some complications in some decision making especially on issues of staff-related matters.
“Appointment of Executive Directors: The Act has made provision for seven Departmental Heads in the Authority to be known as Executive Directors. Their appointment will also be subject to Senate confirmation. This category of officers is civil servants and not political appointees.
“The Senate is invited to note the need to exempt serving public officers from the established confirmation process for political appointments.
“This will ensure effective management of the regulatory Institutions through the uniform implementation of public service rules for employees of the Authority. In the future, these positions will obviously be filled by the workers in the authority.”
Also yesterday, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said in a statement that the names of the EFCC, the Upstream Regulatory Commission, and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority board members were contained in another letter to the Senate
Adesina’s statement partly read, “Nominees for the EFCC board are George Abang Ekpungu from Cross River State (secretary); Lukman Muhammed, (Edo); Anumba Adaeze (Enugu); Alhaji Kola Adesina (Kwara); and Alhaji Yahaya Muhammad (Yobe).
“For the upstream Regulatory Commission, Isa Ibrahim Modibbo is nominated as chairman; Gbenga Komolafe, chief executive; Hassan Gambo, executive commissioner in charge of Finance and Accounts; and Rose C. Ndong, executive commissioner, Exploration and Acreage Management.
“Chairman nominee of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority is Idaere Gogo Ogan; Sarki Auwalu, chief executive; Abiodun Adeniji, executive director in charge of Finance and Accounts; and Ogbugo Ukoha, executive director, Distributions Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure.”
UNGA: Nigeria ready to reverse biodiversity loss, says Buhari
APC postpones state congress by two weeks
IPOB: There’ll be one-month lockdown in south-east if FG fails to bring Kanu to court
Customs: Vehicle tariff reduction to begin next week
CCECC completes Apapa port link to Lagos-Ibadan railway
Biden, Treasury Secretary say Republicans COVID-19 aid too small
BBNaija: Tega finally meets husband, shares photos of kisses, hugs
BOMA CURSES ANGEL IN HEATED FIGHT, CALLS HER A MENTAL PATIENT
SASKAY AND JAYPAUL KISS PASSIONATELY AS CROSSKAY SHIPPERS REMOVE HER NAME FROM GROUP
News4 days ago
Anxiety over plans to truncate inauguration of NDDC board
Business13 hours ago
Buhari wants petroleum, finance ministers removed from NNPC board
Uncategorized3 days ago
Buhari names Senator Ararume chairman of NNPC board
News7 days ago
Gbajabiamila denies comparing IPOB, Yoruba Nation agitators with Boko Haram, ISWAP
News7 days ago
NAF receives AIB report on Kaduna crash involving Attahiru
Politics6 days ago
Breaking: Fani-Kayode joins APC —Says he was led by the spirit of God – Woos Ugwuanyi, Makinde, Mohammed to join
News7 days ago
Yoruba nation support for IPOB shocking – Presidency
Politics6 days ago
Fani-Kayode: I facilitated defection of three PDP govs to APC