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Federal Govt secretly raises electricity tariff – Investigation



Chairman/CEO, NERC,Engr. Sanusi Garba,

Unknown to most Nigerians, they are now paying higher for electricity after the authorities quietly raised the tariff without notifying consumers of the product.

LEADERSHIP Friday reports that the slight electricity tariff adjustment in September points to the confirmation of plans by the federal government to withdraw its subsidy payment in the sector.

A discreet investigation by LEADERSHIP uncovered a clandestine tariff adjustment which key industry sources say was effected to gauge reactions from the public.

Though inquiry sent to Usman Arabi, spokesman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to confirm the development was not responded to, LEADERSHIP Friday’s findings show that a 2 per cent hike was effected in September.

Our source said the adjustment became inevitable as government can no longer sustain the subsidy payment.

“The hike is infinitesimal because it was not intended to draw any attention, and it is deliberate and would continue at that level so as not to choke consumers, but it will certainly be a periodic review,” our source said.

Government has claimed that its subsidy payments in the electricity sector is well over N30 billion monthly.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had, at the opening of the 14th Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) Conference in Abuja, recently, said the government expected the electricity sector to generate its revenue from the power sector market.

Speaking through the special adviser to the president on infrastructure, Ahmed Zakari, he said, “The Federal Government intends to reduce its interventions in the power sector and thus allow the electricity market to run on its own, thereby allowing the market participants to determine the course of action.”

Going by what Osinbajo said, with such consideration to scrap electricity subsidy from next year, Nigerians would have to pay more for the commodity under a new tariff arrangement to be unveiled by the federal government.

Osinbajo noted that government would be investing over $3 billion in the coming years to improve transmission and distribution infrastructure across the country.

He explained that the effort of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to reform the energy sector would ensure that it continues to play critical roles in the growth of the country’s social and economic wellbeing.

He said: “Electricity tariff reforms with service-based tariff has led to collections from the electricity sector by 63 per cent, increasing revenue assurance for gas producers and stabilising the value chain.

“It is anticipated that all electricity market revenues will be obtained from the market, with limited subsidy from next year as reforms in metering and efficiency with the DisCos (distribution companies) to improve.

“To accelerated investment in transmission and distribution, over $3 billion will be put into this sub-segment of the electricity value chain that will put us on the path to delivering 10 gigawatts through the interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria/Siemens partnership, World Bank and Africa Development Bank, and others.”

The federal government and Labour had gone into extensive discussions prior to the implementation of the Service-based Tariff in November 2020, where the electricity regulator (NERC) had promised improvement in service delivery to Nigerians.

The highest peak generation of electricity for the month of September was 4,694 Megawatts (MW), including electricity exports, and what was available for Nigerians in-country came down to 3,863MW, a far cry from the 30,000MW demand for electricity in the country

Essentially the country is providing roughly 11 per cent of the citizens’ demand for electricity despite huge government interventions in the power sector.

At the recent NERC-stakeholders’ forum, concerns were raised about the power sector moving backwards rather than forging ahead going by the too many policy inconsistencies.

Nigeria has one of the poorest supplies of electricity despite the power sector contributing 78 per cent to GDP growth for Q2 2021.

Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network (NECAN),Tomi Akingbogun,  deplored the nature of the hike, describing it as fraudulent.

He said, “This is unfortunate and deceitful. No nation can develop based on deceit. Manufacturers need to capture their costs well to make profit so as to continue to produce.

“If costs are increased and hidden, the company will lose and close down, thereby increasing unemployment and reducing gross domestic product (GDP), etc.

“NERC needs to be run by people who understand the dynamics of the economy. NERC, at present, are not fair judges.”

Akingbogun, further said, “We all noticed this some months ago, the whole country cannot be deceived.”

Also, a vendor with one of the DisCos confirmed to our correspondent that an increase was actually made last month and that customers who patronise her observed the slight adjustment.

“I am aware and customers have been confronting me, but I have to let them know that there is a little adjustment following improvements in supply. That’s what I can tell you for now,” she said.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to deploy the industrial mechanisms granted in labour laws for the defence of workers’ rights to resist increase in electricity tariff.

Equally, NLC President Ayuba Wabba had in July warned against a speculated plan to grant approval to DisCos to hike electricity tariff.

While the speculation was rife, Wabba said, “It is in the light of this that we dismiss the ongoing speculation on increase in electricity tariff as mere speculation.

“We, however, find it prudent to put you on notice should government make true the swirling speculation by approving an increase in electricity tariff, Organised Labour will be left with no option than to deploy the industrial mechanisms granted in our laws for the defence of workers’ rights.”

Wabba said that NLC had written to remind the minister that Organised Labour on September 28, 2020, through the Federal Government/Organised Labour Committee on electricity tariff, agreed to freeze further increases in tariff until it concludes its work and its report adopted by all the principals in the committee.

In his own reaction, convener of PowerUp Nigeria, Adetayo Adegbemle, said since privatisation, Nigeria has continuously bent over to the demands of the private operators without experiencing any notable improvement in the fortunes of Nigeria’s power sector, except the demands for tariff increase.

He lamented that despite all the several tariff increments, there has not been improvement in service delivery.

“The investors have not done well to keep to their end of the bargain, and the truth is that nobody trusts them enough to want to gamble on more time.

“There is no amount of money thrown at the power sector that will resolve the problems, as the power sector challenge is not a money problem,” he said.



One killed as commercial cyclists, police clash in Lagos



The clash, which occurred around 4:30pm at the Oko-Oba area of Abule Egba, was said to have been triggered by a minor accident on the Abule Egba Bridge involving a motorist and a rider.

It was gathered that police operatives who went to the accident scene to broker peace between the motorist and a mob of motorcyclists that gathered were violently attacked by the irate crowd.

The operatives were said to have defended themselves leading to the death of one of the riders.

Confirming the incident, police spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said the situation was brought under control by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and his men.


He said two suspects were arrested and that investigation was ongoing.

“We are fully aware of the disturbances in Oko-Oba area of Lagos State. Our officers have been deployed. Situation has been brought under control.

“After a minor accident involving a car and a motorcycle occurred on the Abule-Egba Bridge at about 1630hrs today, motorcycle riders in their numbers started fomenting trouble.

“Police arrived on the scene to quell the unrest. The riders violently attacked the Police.

“This resulted in the death of one of the riders. Normalcy has been restored to the area. The DPO Oko-Oba and his men are fully on ground to forestall any breakdown of law and order.”

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Insecurity: Terrorists, bandits are threats to 2023 poll, says Dambazzau



Former Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazau
  • Governors meet today on insecurity

  • Lagos stakeholders seek total ban on Okada

Former Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazau yesterday reflected on the worsening insecurity in the country, warning that terrorism and banditry may threaten next year’s general election.

He urged security agencies to intensify the war against terror and kidnapping by taking the battle to the criminals in their hideouts.

Gen. Dambazau, a former Chief of Army Staff, who delivered a paper at the yearly Public Lectures and Impact Series/Awards of the Blueprint Newspaper Limited in Abuja, lamented that terrorists were creating cells close to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

He called for the review of security strategies and reforms to combat criminality, while also warning against ethno-religious politics.

As concern mounts on insecurity, governors are expected to meet today in Abuja to deliberate on the common threat and solutions.

Yesterday, Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle signed the death penalty bill as part of measures to combat kidnappings.

In Lagos State, stakeholders who expressed worry about the security situation in the country, called for a total ban on commercial motorcycles (Okada) operators in the metropolis.

In Imo State, Governor Hope Uzodimma, who donated 10 armoured vehicles to the police, charged them to effectively maintain law and order in the state.

At the Blueprint Lecture Series to commemorate its 11th anniversary were Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni, his Kogi counterpart, Yahaya Bello, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai  Mohammed, the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, and the Sarkin Sudan of Kontagora, Alhaji Mohammed Barrau II.

Danbazzau urged security agencies to take the war against terrorism, banditry and kidnapping to criminals, who are building their cells close to Abuja.

He said:” From the recent attacks on the Abuja-Kaduna train; the Shiroro mining site; the Kuje prison; military patrol in Bwari; and the attack on soldiers deployed at Madallah checkpoint, it is evident that Boko Haram insurgents are gradually establishing cells close to the Federal Capital, specifically in the neighboring states of Kogi, Kaduna and Niger.

“Terrorists are inching closer to the seat of power. So, also the motorcycle bandits whom had almost taken control of the Abuja-Kaduna Road; and to some extent, the Abuja-Lokoja Road, and Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road.

“These roads or highways must be constantly dominated by security activities, and the terrorists and/or bandits must be pursued with adequate firepower aimed at eliminating them.

“It is clear that the violent activities of these groups are designed to make citizens uncomfortable, in addition to embarrassing and discrediting the government.

“To elicit emotions, raise tension, and influence public opinion against the government, the terrorists would normally post video of their helpless victims and/or activities.

“They extort money as ransom from family members of their victims, and sometimes they even murder their victims after payment.

“They make deliberate efforts to put the government on panic mode, leading to closure of schools, businesses, and other public activities.

“This situation will encourage their audacity. From now on, we should take fight to wherever they are, put pressure on them and make them very uncomfortable, where the opportunity avails itself, eliminate them.

“We must live our normal lives, and not allow some violent gangs to make us live miserable lives, full of uncertainties.

“As we are preparing for the 2023 elections, we are also thinking about the possibility of attacks or disruptions of the election processes by these violent groups.”

He added: “The security threats against the 2023 politics are not limited to the activities of the terror groups in the North, but also the proscribed IPOB in the southeast, which has not only been terrorizing the people of the region, especially while enforcing their illegal sit-at-home orders, but also killing and destroying properties of northerners seeking livelihood in the region.”

The former COAS, who made recommendations to address the security challenges, said the welfare of military personnel is paramount, regretting that the Police and the military are currently being overstretched right now.

He also advised the military to put their differences aside and work together as a team in tackling the security challenges.

Danbazzau said: “The reforms of the security sector in line with the current and future security challenges are inevitable, and there are no options other than to carry them out.

“The sooner we commence the process, the better. I believe that this should be the very first item on the agenda of the government coming in May 2023.

“Aside the issues or factors earlier mentioned, the reasons why these reforms are necessary are that firstly, there appears to be no synergy among the security agencies in terms of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration while carrying out their activities, rather they operate in silos with no role convergence; they hoard information; and are reluctant to share intelligence, as if they are in competition.

“Secondly, there is poor security governance, making accountability and transparency almost impossible; and thirdly, there is duplication of efforts, leading to wastages of resources.”


Dambazau urged Nigerians not to focus on ethnicity and religion in making their choices in 2023 general elections.

He said with over 60,000 abandoned projects in Nigeria, which is estimated to cost about N12 trillion, Nigerians should be more interested in poverty reduction; food security; youth unemployment; improved power sector and others..

He defended the choice of ex-Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State as the running mate to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

He said Shettima was a product of merit and not religious factor.

He listed factors that could influence 2023 politics, including zoning, restructuring debate, ethnicity, religion, widespread insecurity and socio-economic challenges.

Dambazau delivered a paper in Abuja at the Annual Public Lectures and Impact Series/ Awards of the Blueprint Newspapers Limited.

He expressed concerns that 2023 politics has started with the mundane issues, which have led to insecurity and instability.

He said: “It is apparent that we have started 2023 politics with the mundane issues that brought us to the level of insecurity and instability we are today.

“We have more than enough challenges or issues confronting us. Rather than directing our energy on religious or ethnic controversies, we should be more interested in such issues as poverty reduction; food security; youth unemployment; improved power sector; quality and affordable healthcare services; and improved education system.

Dambazau however, defended the choice of ex-Governor Kashim Shettima as the running mate to the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He added: “If it(religion) were, he could have picked from the Northwest, where about 90 per cent of the population is Muslim.

“When strategising for winning elections, all factors are put on the table for consideration. Tinubu’s choice of Kashim Shettima could not be by chance. Kashim Shettima had in the past demonstrated leadership as a two-term Governor of Borno state under the stress of insurgency, violent extremism, and terrorism.”

“We are also aware that Borno state is one of the northern states that have been hard hit by the impact of Climate Change, resulting in land degradation. With the insecurity challenge in Nigeria, including climate-related conflicts, the choice of Kashim Shettima to leverage on his crisis management experience was apt.

“At the level of personal relationship, it is an open secret that Shettima had shown loyalty and support for the presidential aspiration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. “While it is not expected that everyone agrees with such strategic decisions, no one can also deny the candidate his right to make his choice, of course, after due consultations with party stakeholders, and this is applicable to all our fifteen or so candidates.”

Dambazau listed issues that may shape 2023 politics, especially the presidential race by 15 candidates.

He said: “So, what are the likely issues or factors that could influence the 2023 politics? Firstly, the politics of zoning the presidency between North and South, that re-emerged when the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum insisted that for the 2023 presidential elections, the parties must produce candidates from the South, to which the Northern Elders Forum opposed.

“As a matter of fact, the zoning controversy was further reduced to the level of ethnicity with the agitation of what was termed “Igbo presidency”, meaning that 2023 was the chance of the Igbo ethnic group to produce the next president after Buhari.

“The development of critical infrastructures is also a key area of concern, and although the APC government under Buhari has done remarkably well by completing many of the projects it met in 2015, in addition to new ones it originated, there are however approximately 60,000 abandoned projects in Nigeria, estimated to cost about N12 trillion. And what can we do to mitigate such waste? These are only a few critical areas the 2023 politics should focus attention on, not religion and ethnicity.”

The ex-minister said tackling insecurity should be on the front burner in 2023.

He said the security problems could affect 2023 poll because “some communities would still be displaced and the terrorists would likely continue attacks on soft targets.”

“While the government records significant success in tackling Boko Haram in the North-East, the Northwest caught the insecurity virus with several incidents of banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnapping for ransom. Banditry is multifaceted with a variety of events and activities, but unlike the Boko Haram insurgency, which is ideologically driven hoping to establish a state, the bandits have not shown such territorial ambition.

“It is a complex combination of violent business entrepreneurship through kidnapping for ransom, cattle rustling by the criminal gangs, and attacks on rural settlements.”

Dambazau said the nation must address its population explosion, especially what he described as the “youth bulge.”

“The UN had projected that by 2050 the population would double to a little over 400million which also means that the young population would also double. The extent to which this human capital is developed, and its well-being adequately taken care of, is of utmost importance. The youth  bulge is a matter of serious security concern now and in the future. What are our plans for the youth? This is a relevant question for 2023 politics.

“If we do not have positive plans for them in terms of poverty reduction, accessible and quality education, employment opportunities, skills acquisition, healthcare services, shelter, and other aspects of human development, there are readily available criminal and terror organizations that would easily recruit them for their violent activities.”

Buni said: “The theme “2023 Politics, National Security and Nigeria’s Stability” is very apt in view of the security threats that usually accompany National elections and the already existing security challenges that have bedeviled our nation.

“The success or otherwise of the 2023 elections hugely depends on us the politicians, the political parties, candidates and their supporters, and of course, the political umpire the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“The need for peace to conduct the elections and to have good governance and development cannot be overemphasized. It, therefore, becomes obvious for all of us to make sacrifices and consider national interests above personal interests for a free and peaceful election in 2023.

“As patriots, with the zeal to ensure the unity of Nigeria, there is no election or interest of any single individual that is worth sending Nigeria to war.”

The Nation

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Appeal Court frees Kano singer sentenced to death by Sharia ruling



Yahaya Sharif Aminu

The Court of Appeal in Kano State, on Wednesday, discharged and acquitted 22-year-old Yahaya Sharif Aminu sentenced to death by a Sharia court over alleged blasphemy.

Umar, in his ruling said: “Section 38 of 1999 Constitution provides that every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to change his religion or belief.

“This is the judgment of the court, the appellant is discharged and acquitted,” Umar declared.

The Sharia Court had sentenced the musician to death by hanging for blasphemy.

The 22-year-old was convicted based on Section 382 (b) of Kano penal code of 2000 after he was accused of committing blasphemy against the Prophet in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.


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