Exchange Rate: NERC to increase price of prepaid meters – Newstrends
Connect with us

Business

Exchange Rate: NERC to increase price of prepaid meters

Published

on

prepaid meters

Exchange Rate: NERC to increase price of prepaid meters

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is considering increasing the price of prepaid meters once again.

This consideration comes in response to the escalating production costs faced by meter manufacturers, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Nairametrics.

These sources, who requested anonymity, revealed that manufacturers have ceased issuing invoices to Distribution Companies (Discos), in anticipation of an upward price revision by the NERC.

According to the sources, the increase in prices is directly related to the foreign exchange crisis affecting the economy, leading to increased production costs and inflationary pressures on manufacturers.

Earlier last week, NERC accused the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) nationwide of overcharging unmetered customers, resulting in a fine of N10.5 billion.

Meanwhile, an official from a Distribution Company informed Nairametrics that new applications for meters are no longer being processed, as there are indications that NERC will soon announce a new pricing rate.

The source also mentioned that the applications can only be processed once the new prices are announced, leaving many applicants without a prepaid meter.

He said,

  • “The cost of prepaid meters is going to go up soon. Meter Asset Providers have stop selling new meters as they await NERC to approve new prices.
  • “New meter applications are not being processed until the price changes are reflected.
  • So due to FX issues, the meter manufacturers have stopped sending invoices until the meter price is reviewed.”

Some customers who spoke to Nairametrics complained of not being able to get meters despite applying weeks earlier and in some cases months. Others who had paid for their meters also complained of delays in getting the meters.

READ ALSO:

Another DisCo source opined that the new applications for meters are not being processed until the cost of meters is reflective of the situation in the country. However, they stated that customers who have paid will get their meters and may not be required to pay any other cost regardless of whether a new meter cost is approved.

NERC, the sector regulator, approves the cost of prepaid meters, most of which are imported into the country as semi-knocked down units and assembled locally for use. Prepaid meters have also evolved over the years with DisCos including features that mitigate against energy theft and offering more consumption data.

Nigeria’s meter deficit is thought to be over 7 million as most customers continue to be billed on estimates.

FX Crisis limiting manufacturing performance

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has earlier reported in its ‘Manufacturing Sector Outlook for 2024’, the that average capacity utilization is expected to linger around the 50% mark due to forex-related challenges and the prevailing high inflation rate.

The report noted that forex crisis and high inflation in the country will limit its performance in Nigeria till mid-2024.

It said:

  • “Average capacity utilization will still hover around the 50% threshold as the forex-related challenges and high inflation rate limiting manufacturing performance may linger until mid-year.
  • “The sector may experience a meagre improvement in manufacturing output as forex and interest rates-related challenges are expected to subside from the third quarter.”

What you should know

With a 27 years high inflation rate of 29.90% and an incessant fall of the Naira against the Dollar in the FX market, Nigeria manufacturing industry continue to grapple with rising cost of production.

Last Increase

  • In September 2023, NERC upwardly reviewed the price of prepaid meter in a circular marked NERC/2023/020, and jointly signed by Sanusi Garba, the commission’s chairman ’and Dafe Akpeneye, its commissioner, legal, licencing, and compliance.
  • According to the circular, the commission said a single-phase meter will now cost N81,975.16 instead of the previous price of N58,661.69.
  • Similarly, the price of a three-phase meter was increased to N143,836.10 from N109,684.36.
  • At that time, inflation rate was 26.72% and $1 was around N800 in the official market.
  • Meanwhile, inflation continues to worsen as the Naira loses over 40% of its value since the last evaluation of the price of prepaid meter.
  • With a new price review prepaid meter price sight, consumers are more likely to pay over N100,000 for a single-phase meter and perhaps a N150,000 for a three-phase prepaid meter.

Exchange Rate: NERC to increase price of prepaid meters

Business

Olusegun Alebiosu named acting Chief Executive of FBN

Published

on

Olusegun Alebiosu named acting Chief Executive of FBN

FBN Holdings Plc has named Mr Olusegun Alebiosu as acting Chief Executive of the First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank), its flagship subsidiary.

This is coming after the recent resignation of the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Dr Adesola Adeduntan.

This is contained in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, signed by the holdings’ acting Company Secretary, Adewale Arogundade.

It said the appointment taking immediate effect would be subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The statement added that the announcement was in accordance with the Rulebook of The Exchange (Issuers’ Rules), which required that the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the investing public be duly notified of such development.

Alebiosu was an Executive Director/Chief Risk Officer who jointly led the transformation of FirstBank over the past eight years, and was an integral member of the team under the previous CEO’s leadership.

He joined FirstBank in 2016 and has over three decades of banking experience.

“The Board of Directors expressed gratitude to Adeduntan for his exemplary leadership in the last nine years during which he superintended the transformation and growth of the bank and wish him well in his future endeavours,” the statement added.

The new acting First Bank CEO commenced his professional career in 1991 with Oceanic Bank Plc (now EcoBank Plc).

Prior to joining FirstBank in 2016, he had served as Chief Risk Officer at Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, Chief Credit Risk Officer at African Development Bank Group, and Group Head, Credit Policy and Deputy Chief Credit Risk Officer at United Bank for Africa Plc.

He is an alumnus of Harvard School of Government and holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management.

Alebiosu also obtained a master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos and holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Continue Reading

Auto

FG to roll out 200 CNG buses, 2,500 tricycles next month

Published

on

FG to roll out 200 CNG buses, 2,500 tricycles next month

  • Targets one million automobiles 

The Federal Government says it will unveil its first set of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles and tricycles for mass transit next month (May 2024), as part of activities to mark President Bola Tinubu’s one year in office.

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, in a statement on Sunday said 200 buses and 2,500 tricycles powered by CNG would be unveiled.

He said the buses and tricycles would be rolled out with a set target of one million CNG-powered automobiles by 2027.

He said the committee led by Michael Oluwagbemi was set to deliver cheaper, safer and more climate-friendly energy vehicles.

Onanuga said the committee had fulfilled some foundational reforms to enable the new CNG and electric vehicles to deliver the future Tinubu promised.

He added that all was ready for delivery of the first set of critical assets for deployment and launch of the vehicles ahead of the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration on May 29.

Onanuga also said, “In collaboration with the private sector, the PCNGI is set to deliver 100 conversion workshops and 60 refuelling sites spread across 18 states before the end of this year.”

The Federal Government provided N100 billion, as part of the N500 billion palliative budget, to purchase 5,500 CNG vehicles, being part of the many intervention programmes to cushion the effect of increase in petrol pump price on the masses.

This included buses and tricycles, 100 electric buses and over 20,000 CNG conversion kits, with the development of CNG refilling stations and electric charging stations.

Onanuga said with necessary tax and duty waivers approved by Tinubu in December 2023, the private sector partners in the Presidential CNG Initiative (PCNGI) had responded with over $50 million investments in refuelling stations and conversion centres

He stated, “Also, a safety policy document on 80 standards and regulations that must be strictly adhered to by operators has been developed and approved to ensure CNG conversions are done safely and reliably.

“The deployment of CNG buses and tricycles and the vision to get at least one million natural gas propelled vehicles on our roads by 2027 will mark a major energy transition in our country’s transportation industry.

Onanuga also said, “Four plants owned by JET, Mikano, Mojo, and Brilliant EV located in various parts of the country are involved in the assembly of the Semi Knocked Down (SKD) components of the CNG buses.

“JET, which has received the SKD parts, is coupling the buses in Lagos and is working towards delivering 200 units before the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration.

“Brilliant EV will assemble electric vehicles. It is awaiting the SKD parts, which will arrive in due course. The electric vehicles it will produce are meant for states, such as Kano and Borno, which do not have access to CNG for now.

“They will also be available in key Nigerian cities and university campuses.

“It must be noted that soon to be completed gas pipeline projects initiated by the Buhari administration and being completed by NNPCL (the AKK Pipeline) will take gas into the hinterlands of North-East and North-West where there is current paucity.”

He said over 600 buses were targeted for production in the first phase this year while a new plant on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway would assemble thousands of tricycles.

“The SKD parts manufactured by the Chinese company LUOJIA in partnership with its local partner to support the consortium of local suppliers of CNG tricycles are set for shipment to Nigeria and expected to arrive early in May. About 2,500 of the tricycles will be ready before May 29, 2024.

“Thousands of conversion kits for petrol powered buses and taxis that want to migrate to CNG are also ready with CNG cylinders.

“The Federal government intends to provide them at subsidised rates, especially to commercial vehicle drivers to bring down the cost of public transportation.”

As part of private sector collaboration, NIPCO and BOVAS are involved in offering refilling services for the CNG vehicles and also serving as conversion centres.

NIPCO is setting up 32 stations nationwide to offer the services. The company has completed the set-up of four of the CNG stations.

“Likewise, BOVAS is setting up eight stations in Ibadan, two each in Ekiti, Abuja and four in Ilorin.

“MRS is also involved. It is making efforts to announce where its refilling stations and conversion centres will be,” Onanuga added.

He also said NNPC Limited, which had launched an on-and-off CNG initiative in the past, was joining the new initiative and expected to announce the locations for CNG refilling and CNG conversion centres nationwide.

The statement said PCNGI was working with 22 other agency-partners, including the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Automotive Design and Development Council, to deliver 80 Natural Gas Vehicle Conversion and Associated Appliances Standards for the country.

He added that the vision of the President to deliver one million gas vehicles could not be possible without the private sector, including the RTEAN, NURTW and players in the downstream sector of the transportation chain and financiers.

Continue Reading

Business

Fuel price set to drop as marketers prepare loading from PH refinery @ N500/litre

Published

on

Fuel price set to drop as marketers prepare loading from PH refinery @ N500/litre

There are indications that petrol price will drop soon at filling stations across the country as marketers are set to start loading the product from the rehabilitated Port Harbour refinery.

Many marketers are expecting to receive the fuel at N500/litre, going by a new report by Sunday Punch.

Currently, Newstrends reports that imported petrol is being sold in different parts of the country between N568/litre and N680/litre, depending on the city and its distance to the deport of loading.

Already, workers at the Port Harcourt refinery are said to be set for production on the directives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

Dealers confirmed on Friday that the PHRC was almost set to start releasing products, projecting a N500/litre price for Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, from the Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers State.

They also expressed optimism that the Dangote Petroleum Refinery would crash PMS price below N500/litre when it starts releasing products. Dangote refinery is projected to start supplying petrol to the market in May, as it currently supplies diesel to dealers.

On Thursday, it was reported that operators under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, told our correspondent that they paid a visit to the Port Harcourt refinery and found out that the plant might start releasing refined petroleum products this month.

This, according to them, was because the plant had been largely completed, a development that was confirmed on Friday by the National Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu.

According to the IPMAN PRO, marketers, particularly independent dealers, have started making plans on how to purchase and load products from the refinery, adding that operators are optimistic about a price reduction from the refinery.

Asked whether the refinery has put a price on the PMS to expect from the plant, Ukadike replied, “Not yet. However, NNPC is still giving us PMS at N567.7/litre, so we want to believe that the Port Harcourt refinery should give us the product at N500/litre or less than that.”

Ukadike stated efforts were really ongoing at the plant to begin the production of petrol and other refined products, as recently announced by the NNPC.

READ ALSO:

On March 15, 2024, it was reported that the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, stated that the Port Harcourt refinery would commence operations in about two weeks.

He also stated that mechanical works had been completed on the Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna refineries, stressing that the Kaduna refinery would commence operations in December.

 The NNPC boss had disclosed this during a press briefing after he appeared before the Senate Ad-hoc Committee investigating the various Turn Around Maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

He said, “We did a mechanical completion of the refinery that was what we said in December. We now have crude oil already stocked in the refinery. We are doing regulatory compliance tests that must happen in every refinery before you start it, and I assure you that this Port Harcourt refinery will start in the next two weeks.

“Completing the mechanical work means that you are done with the rehabilitation work, now you have to test to see how it works. Of course, we have also completed the mechanical work on the Warri refinery. It is also undergoing regulatory compliance; processes that we are doing with our regulator and this will soon be completed and it will be ready.

“Kaduna refinery will be ready by December. We have not reached that stage in Kaduna, but we promise Kaduna will be delivered by December.”

Kyari had also told the Senate that over 450,000 barrels of oil had been stocked into the Port Harcourt refinery.

Meanwhile, Ukadike also told our correspondent on Friday that marketers were putting in place measures that would enable them to purchase products in bulk, going by the fact that the Dangote Petroleum Refinery did not sell less than one million litres when it commenced the sale of diesel.

“So when they resume at Port Harcourt refinery and they key into what Dangote has done by selling in bulk, it means that we the independent marketers particularly in the South-East should be able to have a company that can be able to buy up to four/five million litres from the refinery.

“We are also planning to reach NNPC Trading to see whether they will be able to send 20,000 metric tonnes of PMS to our depots, strictly for independent marketers.

READ ALSO:

“From every indication, the Port Harcourt refinery is almost set to start releasing products. The government has told us that the plant will start production, at least by the end of this month. So we don’t want to be caught unprepared, for instance, if they say we should pay for two million litres and we can’t be able to pay,” the IPMAN official stated.

Ukadike also stated that oil marketers were discussing with their banks, adding that the financial institutions “are ready to fund such bulk allocations so that we can be able to distribute it nationwide because we have the reach.”

The Port Harcourt Branch Chairman, IPMAN, Tekena Ikpaki, had earlier told our correspondent that the management of the Port Harcourt refinery had assured dealers that the plant would begin operations soon, as operators in Rivers State were set to take product from the facility.

Dangote may crash prices

The oil dealers are also awaiting the potential entry of PMS from the Dangote refinery into the domestic market, with hopes that the company would crash the price of petrol below N500/litre.

The anticipation stemmed from the manners in which the Dangote refinery recently crashed the price of diesel to N1,200/litre in March when the cost of the commodity was around N1,600. The refinery later crashed the price of diesel to N1,000/litre.

The National President, IPMAN, Abubakar Maigandi, said the refinery might sell petrol at N500/litre or below.

Linking this to the rebound of the naira against the dollar, Maigandi told one of our correspondents that the product might be sold at a relatively cheaper price.

READ ALSO:

While saying the refinery is yet to begin the sale of petrol, the IPMAN president noted: “We are happy the price of diesel is coming down, thanks to Dangote refinery. As for petrol, the sale has not started. We hope petrol too will come down to like N500.

“But if the dollar continues falling, it may go back to the normal rate”.

However, the Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria said the PMS from the Dangote refinery would be sold at the import parity rate.

The Executive Secretary of MEMAN, Clement Isong, said, “I expect the price to be at import parity. Why (will it go down to N500 or low)? Petrol pricing is at the international price. It is based on an international reference. You buy petrol based on a willing-seller, willing-buyer basis,” Isong said in a telephone conversation.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group Aliko Dangote, has hinted that in few days diesel will be sold at N1000 nationwide, adding that profiteers overtime have benefitted from the astronomic rise.

Dangote made this disclosure in Gombe while fielding answers to journalists shortly after attending nuptial ceremony.

He said, “Some persons have held the business for a very long time; they were profiteering but we decided that we can afford to sell it at N1000 which is 60 per cent drop. Areas like here (Gombe), Borno, Bauchi it was selling for N1,700 – N1,800 but right now in the next few days, you will not buy diesel for more than N1000 anywhere in Nigeria.”

Fuel price set to drop as marketers prepare loading from PH refinery @ N500/litre

PUNCH

Continue Reading

Trending

Skip to content