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Electricity: Free meters distribution begins today ahead of new tariff

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 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.

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FG names Nwabuoku to oversee Accountant General Office  

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The Federal Government has approved the appointment of Mr Anamekwe Chukwunyere Nwabuoku to oversee the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF).

This follows the ongoing investigation of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) over N80 billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Aliyu Ahmed, Permanent Secretary (Finance), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, was quoted as saying this in a letter dated May 20, 2022.

The appointment will be pending the outcome of the investigation, according to a statement by Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

The statement also read in part, “Mr Anamekwe is expected to carry out his duty in strict compliance with extant rules and observe the highest sense of professionalism expected of an officer working at his level.

“Currently, he is director, Inspectorate Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, and presently he is overseeing the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.”

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56 people eating Nigeria like termites — Al Mustapha alleges

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Former Chief Security Officer to late military Head of State General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al Mustapha

…Says Nigerian soldiers have turned into a police

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Buhari appoints Semiu Adeniran new stastician general

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Semiu Adeniran as the Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics.

The appointment follows the demise of the former statistician general, Dr Simon Harry, on April 13, 2022, eight months into his five-year tenure.
A statement by Sufuyan Ojeifo, Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said, “Adeniran is a professional statistician of repute with bias for Demography and Social Statistics. He has over three decades of statistical hands-on experience garnered from various local and international institutions.”

“Until his appointment, Mr Semiu was the Director of Demographic and Household Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics.”

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