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Confusion as NERC denies approving 50% electricity tariff increase

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  • Only some bands were adjusted – Minister

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission says it has not approved a 50 per cent increase in electricity tariff.

It said this in a statement Tuesday afternoon while reacting to an earlier report of the hike said to take effect from January 1 this year.

Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, also said the Federal Government did not increase the tariff but adjusted some bands for users to pay what they were expected to pay.

The minister stated this on Tuesday night while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.

NERC said in the latest statement that such increment was not contained in the tariff order for electricity distribution companies for January 1, 2021.

The statement read in part, “The attention of the commission has been drawn to publications in the print and electronic media misinforming electricity consumers that the Commission has approved a 50 per cent increase in electricity tariffs.

“The commission hereby states unequivocally that no approval has been granted for a 50 per cent tariff increase in the tariff order for electricity distribution companies which took effect on January 1, 2021.

“On the contrary, the tariff for customers on service bands D & E (customers being served less than an average of 12 hours of supply per day over a period of one month) remains frozen and subsidised in line with the policy direction of the FG.

“In compliance with the provisions of the EPSR Act and the nation’s tariff methodology for biannual minor review, the rates for service bands A, B, C, D and E have been adjusted by NGN2.00 to NGN4.00 per kWhr to reflect the partial impact of inflation & movement in forex.

“The commission remains committed to protecting electricity consumers from failure to deliver on committed service levels under the service-based tariff regime.”

Keyamo said, “I am the chairman of the sub-committee consisting of the Federal Government side and labour side that has been mandated to go round the country to interact and consult with stakeholders and the discos to find an acceptable and cost-reflective tariff that should be paid by Nigerians.

“We are still in the process of carrying out our assignment; we have not finished it.

“There has been no increase in tariff. What we agreed to do was to freeze certain bands. You know we have Band A, B, C, D and so on and so forth. So, in the interim, what we did was to adjust certain bands and to ensure that certain persons who are supposed to be on some bands are not wrongly put on some other bands.

“What has just been done is adjustment of certain bands but there has not been any increase in tariffs.”

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Inflow of foreign capital drops by 54% to $875.62m

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The total value of capital importation into Nigeria dropped to $875.62 million in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics has said.
According to the NBS, the figure represents a 54.06 per cent drop compared to the $1.91 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021.

It stated this in its latest report titled, ‘Nigerian capital importation (Q1 & Q2 2021)’.
In 2020, Nigeria’s capital importation plunged by 59.65 per cent at $9.68 billion – the lowest level in four years.

“The largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 62.97% ($551.37m) of total capital importation,” the report stated.
“It is followed by other investments, which accounted for 28.13% ($246.27m) of total capital imported and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which accounted for 8.90% ($77.97m) of total capital imported in Q2 2021.”
Capital importation into the banking industry dominated in Q2 reaching a total of $296.51 million, followed by financing with $205.88 million and shares with $194.59 million.
In both Q1 and Q2, brewing, fishing, hotels, tanning and weaving sectors had no record of capital imports, the report added.
Similarly, only Lagos, Ogun and the federal capital territory (FCT) recorded capital inflows across Nigeria in Q2.
Lagos emerged as the top destination of capital investment in the second quarter with $780.06 million, Abuja had $95.26 million, while Ogun had $0.3 million.
By banks, foreign firms emerged as the top capital investment in Nigeria in Q2. Stanbic IBTC recorded $310.21 million, Standard Chartered was second with $282.37 million, then Citibank ($94.15 million).
The report also stated that “the United Kingdom emerged as the top source of capital investment in Nigeria in Q2 2021 with $310.26m.”

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Nigerians experience another nationwide blackout as grid collapses

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Most parts of Nigeria experienced total blackout on Wednesday after a national grid collapse, which electricity distribution companies confirmed in separate notices to their customers.
In a public notice sent out to consumers, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company said the collapse occurred at 12.26pm but did not say how long it would last.
The notice read, “Dear Esteemed Customers,
Following a grid system outage that occurred at about 12:26 pm today, we have been unable to service our customers in Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa State as well as a significant part of the Federal Capital Territory.
“At the moment, only 20MW has been allocated to AEDC as against the over 400MW that they have been receiving in recent times.
“We urge our customers to be patient and promise that the power supply will be restored to our franchise area as soon as there is a significant improvement in our
allocation.”
In a similar notice, Eko Disco said, “Dear valued customer, we regret to inform you of a system collapse on the National Grid that’s causing outages across our network.
“We are working with our TCN partners to restore supply as soon as possible. Please bear with us.”
Ikeja Electric also sent out a message that read in part, “The current power outage is due to a nationwide system collapse that occurred at about 12:26hrs.
“Power supply will be restored gradually to various parts of the network as soon as the grid is stabilised. Kindly bear with us.”

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Niger driver kills three students, injures eight in Suleja

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Three SS1 students of the Government Secondary School Field Base Suleja, Niger State, have been killed by a vehicle that rammed into them on their way from school.
The students were trekking home on the Suleja-Kaduna road on Monday afternoon when the incident occurred.
Three of the students were killed on the spot while eight others sustained injury.
Names of the students that died were given as Abdulhafeez Musa, Kawiyat Sharafadeen and Sunday Paul.
The driver was also said to have been injured and was receiving treatment under police watch in Suleja.
Niger State Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Salihu, described the incident as painful and tragic.
She said the students were returning from school to their parents when they met with their death in a preventable accident.
To prevent future occurrences, the commissioner stated the state government would construct speed breakers (bumps) on the roads to schools across the state.

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