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Electricity: BPE set to unbundle, sell transmission company

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The Bureau of Public Enterprises is looking at a suitable model to unbundle the Transmission Company of Nigeria, its Director-General, Alex Okoh, has said.

He said this on Thursday during a webinar tagged, “Financing Public-Private Partnership to Boost Infrastructure Delivery in Nigeria,” chaired by Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ahmed Zainab.

In 2013, Nigeria privatised the power sector with the distribution (DisCos) and generation (GenCos) sub-sectors sold to core investors.

Nigeria has 13,000 megawatts of installed electricity-production capacity, only about 4,500 megawatts is dispatched to the grid daily, in part because of dilapidated transmission infrastructure.

“Currently, we are looking at various strategies at reforming TCN,” Okoh said.

“That’s the only segment of the power value chain yet to be reform by BPE. We have privatised or reform generation and the PHCN legacy on generation companies and downstream privatisation.

Okoh said the BPE is considering unbundling TCN operation into components — operator and business sides.

“These are the models we are looking at, in strong collaboration with the minister of power. The next stage is the unbundling of the system itself…on whether to unbundle along regional lines or business disco franchise area,” he added.

He also said, “Very soon, we will approach the council on privatisation on what best works.”

Managing Director of the TCN, Usman Mohammed, had cautioned against reclaiming the DisCos because this would send a wrong signal to foreign investors.

Finance minister Zainab Ahmed said the government was ready and willing to discuss and inculcate viable suggestions from stakeholders.

“The webinar is to hear directly from you (stakeholders) on what areas government can invest in and deliver value for money.

“President Buhari is committed to developing the country’s infrastructure and urging local and foreign investors to invest in Bureau of Public Procurement projects in Nigeria.”

 

The TCN, one of the 18 companies unbundled from Nigeria’s defunct Power Holding Company (PHCN), manages the electricity transmission network and it is wholly owned and operated by the government.

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EFCC invites two Abia ex-commissioners over N22bn Paris Club refund

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Enugu Zone, has invited two former Abia State commissioners for finance for questioning reportedly relating to the spending of N22bn Paris Club refund.
The EFCC said Mr Philip Nto and Mr Obinna Oriaku, who served as Commissioners of Finance and Economic Development in 2014 and 2016 respectively were asked to meet with the agency’s Head Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Section for questioning.

It stated this in a letter dated May 25th, 2021, addressed to Abia Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chris Ezem.
It said the two former commissioners were needed to make certain clarifications regarding some financial transactions in the state within the period of their stay in office.
It said this was in pursuant to section 38(1) and 2 of the EFCC (establishment) Act, 2004.

When contacted, Oriaku confirmed he was invited, promising to honour it.
He said, “I want to make it clear that EFCC invitation is not a crime and cannot be misconstrued as a sentence for crime.
“As commissioner for Finance for four years, it is necessary that I will be invited from time to time to shed light on what happened while I served as commissioner.”
Oriaku said the invitation was based on a petition by one Dr Murice Walton of Mauritz Walton Nigeria Limited on how the state government allegedly held back their payment since 2017.

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We’ll complete 2nd Niger Bridge next year – Fashola

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Construction work on the Second Niger Bridge will be completed in 2022, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.
He stated this on Sunday at a forum organised by the News Agency of Nigeria to mark the sixth anniversary of the Buhari administration in Abuja.
The construction of the bridge commenced on September 1, 2018.
According to Fashola, the bridge, which will serve as a major link between the south-east and the south-west will be delivered between the second and third quarters of 2022.
He said the construction time was lost to the COVID-19 pandemic but added that the work had gone beyond the water level.
He said the project would facilitate the influx of investments to the south-east when completed.
“So, what you see currently is the final work. The sub-structure which entailed building cement structures underwater often costs a lot of money,” he said.
“We should finish the bridge next year between the second quarter and third quarter.”
The bridge is 1.6km long and furnished with other ancillary infrastructure, including a 10.3km highway and an interchange.
The bridge spans from Asaba in Delta state to Ozubulu, Ogbaru and other communities in Anambra state.
The minister added that the federal government’s investments in road building and infrastructure development have been impacting various economic activities nationwide.
Fashola said more wealth and job opportunities had been created with 850 contracts awarded and 13,000 kilometres of roads and bridges under construction and repairs across the federal highways.
He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to improving infrastructure sits squarely at the centre of the progressive ideal to improve the human condition.
“This connects many more doors and it is the most legitimate way for distributing money across board.
“One of the reasons our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is called progressives is because there is a commitment to the progressive ideals.”

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I sold about N70,000 bread daily to bandits when Kaduna students were abducted – Baker

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Hassan Magaji, a baker in the Galadimawa area of Kaduna State, has confessed to supplying bread to bandits.

Magagi, who was recently arrested by the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police, said he sold bread worth N70,000 to the bandits during the time that some university students were abducted.

It is not clear if he was referring to students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who spent over a month in captivity.

“I observed that whenever they kidnapped many people, like during the kidnap of those university students, the quantity of bread that they bought increased. During that period I delivered up to N70,000 worth of bread everyday until recently when it dropped to N50,000 again.”

“I have not benefitted much except that I married a new wife and I was able to save money to take care of two wives. To stop banditry, government should recruit more security men. We prefer police because they know the job.”

Bandits have been terrorising residents of Kaduna and its environs.

On Saturday, angry residents blocked the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna highway to protest incessant attacks.

Despite repeated assurances from government, armed gangs have been making life a hell for people.

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