- DisCos Warn of Nationwide Blackout
Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) yesterday warned that total darkness was imminent across the country as the huge debt burden owed the power firms takes toll on their operations.
The burden of distribution, according to the companies, has become unbearable due to the refusal of electricity consumers to pay their bills.
Electricity consumers across the country are owing electricity distribution companies over N100 billion.
The Executive Director, Advocacy and Research, Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr. Sunday Oduntan who spoke during a customer consultative forum in Jos, Plateau State capital accused the Nigerian Army of leading the debtors’ lists.
Some of the customers from Jebu Bassa, the host community of the Third Armored Division, had challenged the DisCos to explain the rationale behind constant electricity supply to the military barracks and the lack of it at their community.
“We tend to wonder why we the host community don’t have light, but our tenants in the barracks have constant light and we were told that soldiers in the barracks don’t even pay light bill, is it that the companies are afraid of them to cut their supplies as you do to other consumers?
Responding, Mr. Oduntan said: “Almost all the military barracks in Nigeria, not only that of Third Division, do not pay electricity bill and that is the major challenge before the DisCos.
“Military barracks across the country are owing us over N800 billion; they are the leading debtors to the the DisCos.
“We have put the total debt owed us by all categories of consumers across the country, and out of that debt, the military alone is owing over N800billion.
“It is not that we are afraid of cutting supply to the barracks, but for security reasons, we cannot cut electricity supply to the barracks. Part of the reason is because, the armouries are being maintained by electricity, to the extent that if there is no supply for a day, the armoury may explode and its explosion can endanger the lives of military and civilian population around the barracks.
“But then, the inability of concerned government agencies to pay up this debt may eventually force the DisCos out of business and there would be total blackout across the country.
“This is imminent because at the moment, we are heavily indebted to banks and electricity generating companies (GenCos) as well as those who supply gas and diesel to us. No bank will give us credit facilities to continue to distribute electricity because we have been unable to pay for our loans.”
Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd
The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.
The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.
The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.
The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.
Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.
The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.
Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.
This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.
Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.
On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.
“Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”
The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.
“There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.
“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”
Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020
Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.
EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.
“If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.
The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.
It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.
It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.
“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”
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