Electricity: Free meters distribution begins today ahead of new tariff - Newstrends
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Electricity: Free meters distribution begins today ahead of new tariff



 By Fola Raheem

Distribution of free electricity meters is expected to commence across the country today as indication has emerged that power customers may start paying new rate for electricity consumed from next week.

Already, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has through its Development Financing Department, released a framework for the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

The National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) will roll out the free meters with a simultaneous launch of the scheme in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja Disco franchise areas, according to a Presidency source.

President Muhammadu Buhari had initiated the programme to close the metering gap in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry and eliminate arbitrary estimated billing in the electricity sector.

Newstrends learnt that all arrangements for the launch had been concluded with relevant groups and authorities including representatives of the organised labour and civil society on the ground for adequate motoring and guide during the distribution.

The CBN said an analysis provided by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission put the metering gap in the NESI – based on recent customer enumeration data – at over 10 million.

“This comprises unmetered customers as well as customers with obsolete meters that need to be replaced,” it stated.

The Presidency source said the “NMMP is to roll out six million meters for all connections points on grid without meters over the next 18 to 24 months, estimating to impact 30 million consumers nationwide.

“Following Mr President’s directive on mass metering, the Central Bank of Nigeria, on October 18th, approved guidelines for funding the mass metering programme which entailed that all meters under the scheme will be locally sourced, creating thousands of manufacturing jobs through lead manufacturers such as MOMAS, MOJEC and others.”

The source also said, “The launch of the NMMP will be part of a continuous effort where all DisCos will go from location to location across the country with their respective Meter Asset Providers to install meters for all Nigerians.”

Minister of State for Power, Prince Godwin Jedy-Agba, had said out of the six million meters planned for distribution, the government would start with one million were expected to be distributed before the end of December this year.

Meanwhile, the government may have given a nod for the resumption of the collection of Service-Based electricity Tariffs (SBT) from next week.

Following a threat of strike by the organised labour, government suspended the implementation of the new electricity tariff regime in September.

But it was learnt on Friday that the labour might have backed down on the issue after the government had agreed to roll out free electricity meters.

It was also resolved that the tariffs for certain categories of power consumers should be reviewed downward.

Those in A and B bands were reduced by 10 per cent, the tariff for C band customers was reduced by 30 per cent.

For the D and E bands, there will be no increase in their tariff.

The Special Adviser on Infrastructure to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Ahmad Zakari, confirmed this during the 51st virtual Power Dialogue organised by Nigeria Electricity Hub in Abuja on Thursday.

He said since labour had accepted the new terms, the implementation would begin next week.


BREAKING: Bombing many people in Kaduna was not a mistake – Shehu Sani



Shehu Sani

BREAKING: Bombing many people in Kaduna was not a mistake – Shehu Sani

A former Senator who once represented Kaduna Central has strongly criticized the recent bombing incident in Tudun Biri village of Igabi Local Government Area, Kaduna State, where a crowd was celebrating Maulud.

The Nigerian Army, which conducted the airstrikes, claimed the shelling was accidental and targeted at bandits, resulting in over 90 deaths and numerous injuries.

During an interview on Trust TV’s Daily Politics, the human rights activist expressed his view on the incident, stating, “It’s important that the public understands the context and concept of what is happening in Kaduna as far as security issues are concerned.” He described the tragedy as a grave act of negligence that the government must take seriously.

The former legislator emphasized the history of banditry and terrorist attacks in the region, particularly in Southern Kaduna, Birnin Gwari, Igabi (where the incident occurred), and Giwa local governments. He quoted, “In all of these attacks, there has never been an incident where these terrorists were arrested and killed, or, in any way, neutralized.”

Regarding the bombing in Tudun Biri, he asserted, “This bombing at Tudun Biri could be said to be a serious negligence.” He criticized the contradictory statements from the army, saying, “First, they said it was a mistake. And secondly, they were justifying it with the fact that there were bandits or terrorists they were pursuing and so they carried the attacks there.”


The former Senator argued that there is no law permitting the pursuit of bandits into civilian areas. He added, “So, as far as I’m concerned, going by the history of this kind of things, if they were cautious, this wouldn’t have happened. If they worked with intelligence, this wouldn’t have happened.”

He further stated, “Now it’s left for the government at both federal and state levels to take action to prevent further occurrence.” He emphasized the need for an apology, stating, “But we have a history of this thing happening. And the reasons they have been giving are more like justifications. So there’s no way this was a mistake.”

Commenting on the recurrent bandit and terrorist attacks across the country, the former legislator argued, “Repetitive killing of civilians was not different from banditry.” He questioned the effectiveness of the security forces, quoting, “With all the trillions of naira we have spent on defence and security in the last eight years, these top-ranking terrorists are still roaming freely.”

He pointed out the inconsistency in tackling terrorists on motorcycles, quoting, “So if you don’t launch attacks on terrorists on motorcycles, who are you going to kill?” He expressed frustration with the military’s actions, noting, “But the military is killing innocent civilians. So how are they different from the bandits?”

BREAKING: Bombing many people in Kaduna was not a mistake – Shehu Sani

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2024 Hajj: NAHCON reviews guidelines on accommodation, catering services



Acting Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, (NAHCON) Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi

2024 Hajj: NAHCON reviews guidelines on accommodation, catering services

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has constituted a Committee to review guidelines on Accommodation and Catering services to enhance service delivery during the upcoming 2024 Hajj.

Acting Chairman of the Commission, Jalal Arabi, said the review would improve performance of service providers for the benefit of Nigerian pilgrims.

Arabi, who said the committee was not a new innovation, noted that it was another way to tinker with the existing mechanism in order to deliver better results.

”What we are doing now is not to introduce rocket science but just to improve on the way we are doing things.

”Like it happens in some other parts of the world, we need to be dynamic. As it is the global practice, we have to improve in our ways, to be in conformity with the international best practices” Arabi stated.

The Chairman urged the committee to approach the assignment with an open mind and a keen sense of responsibility.


According to him, the report of the committee will have great promise in influencing how the Commission will implement the 2023  accommodation and catering services in Saudi Arabia.

“As experienced staff, I have no doubt that you will carry out the assignment with utmost good faith.

”You also have the leeway to expand beyond the scope of reference, so that whatever recommendation/suggestion you proffer will enrich our knowledge as well as the betterment of the commission” Arabi added.

Responding on behalf of the committee members, Dr Aliyu Tanko, thanked the Chairman for the opportunity accorded them to serve.

Aliyu, who stated that though the task seemed daunting, still, expressed the hope and confidence in members to carry out the assignment in the best possible ways.

He said  there is an inter relationship between the assignment and the outcome of the 2024 Hajj.

Aliyu restated: ”It is a daunting task, no doubt, because whatever we do will impact on the result of the 2024 Hajj either positively or negatively. But our prayer is that our report will bear positive fruits”.

2024 Hajj: NAHCON reviews guidelines on accommodation, catering services

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Reps committee orders arrest of CBN Gov, AGF, 17 others



Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, Central Bank Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

Reps committee orders arrest of CBN Gov, AGF, 17 others

The House of Representatives Public Petition Committee has issued an arrest warrant for the Central Bank Governor, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, and 17 others for failing to appear before it to answer questions about their activities.

This came after Rep. Fred Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa) proposed a motion at the committee hearing on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Agbedi stated that the arrest warrant was unavoidable due to the attitude of the invitees.

He stated that the parliament operated on a timetable and that the CEOs were asked four times but did not react.

He said that the CEOs should be brought to appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Michael Irom (APC-Cross River) said that the I-G should ensure the CEOs were brought before the committee on Dec. 14.

Earlier, the petitioner, Mr Fidelis Uzowanem, said that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report of 2021.

He said that the report was a summary of the transactions in the oil and gas industry for 2021 which NEITI could to be challenged.

“We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together is a report is only consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry.

“It dates back to 2016 because we have been following and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.


“The 2024 budget of 27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently be funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report.

“It is basically a concealment of illegal transactions that took place in NNPCL, they have been in sync with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash core, an amount paid for crude oil production,” he said.

He added: “We also found that the cash core payment was use as a channel for laundering funds by NNPCL and we found out that NEITI was able to conceal it in its report.

“In 2021 NEITI reported that Total Exploration and Production Nigeria-Ltd was paid 168 million dollars but examination of submission by the company shows that it received 292 million dollars.

“In other words, 124 million dollars was laundered by NNPCL through Total because monies that have been officially paid to Total could not have been concealed if it were not meant for fraudulent purposes.

“Also for Chevron, the dollar payment NEITI puts forward in its report was 76 million dollars but document emanating from Chevron showed that they received as much as 267 million dollars.”

“In other words, 191 million was laundered under the cover of Chevron and NEITI concealed that; also, Nigeria Agip Company received 188milliom dollars but none of it was reported by NEITI”.

Some of those to be arrested were the Chief Executive Officer, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), that of Ethiop Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd, as well as the CEO of the Western Africa Exploration and Production.

Reps committee orders arrest of CBN Gov, AGF, 17 others


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