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Power Consumers Grumble Despite Rise in Generation

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  • Power Consumers Grumble Despite Rise in Generation

The recent comments by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on the rise in power generation to about 4,000 megawatts have been greeted with condemnation by individual electricity consumers as well as different consumer groups across the country.

According to them, the rise in power generation above 4,000MW has yet to translate into physical supply of electricity to households and businesses, as they argued that Nigeria’s power situation was still very poor.

In Lagos, Cross River and Imo states, Federal Capital Territory, as well as other states across the country, the reactions of consumers with respect to power supply were the same: no electricity!

They criticised the minister for stating that electricity generation had increased to 4,000MW, despite the fact that many parts of the country were still experiencing darkness and erratic power supply.

On February 19, Fashola stated that power generation in the country had stepped up to 4,000MW in the past two weeks.

The minister stated this in Benin while inspecting ongoing works at the Aduwawa axis of the Benin-Lokoja Expressway.

For several months, power generation had hovered around 3,000MW, a development said to have been caused by the incessant vandalism of gas pipelines supplying gas to the power plants.

Fashola’s statement on the recent gains in power generation was supported by several industry data released by the National Control Centre of the power sector in the month of February.

Last week, the NCC stated that the quantum of electricity that was sent out and delivered to households and industries across the country for the first time in one year crossed 4,000 megawatts-hour/hour on February 20, 2017.

This feat, it said, was surpassed a little on February 21, adding that the quantum of electricity delivered to consumers on the two days was 4,047MWh/h and 4,217MW/h, respectively, while power generation rose to a new high of 4,652.7MW on February 19.

Reacting to the disclosures by the minister and the NCC, the National President, Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, and a legal practitioner, Mr. James Chijioke, told our correspondent that the government should be ashamed to state that Nigeria was still struggling to generate 4,000MW of electricity.

He said, “There is no improvement in power supply. A lot of consumers across the country are complaining and they channel some of these complaints to us that they stay for several days without light. Are you talking about 4,000MW for a country that wants to diversify its economy and increase its local manufacturing base?

“In fact, I’m ashamed that we are telling ourselves that we have 4,000MW for more than 150 million people, while South Africa has 40,000MW generation and evacuation capacity and the population there is about 40 million. There is actually nothing to cheer about.”

Also refuting claims of improvement in electricity supply following the rise in power generation, the National Secretary, National Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network, Mr. Obong Eko, stated that aside from the fact that power supply had been erratic, the electric current being supplied to many locations had been very low.

Eko said, “You can barely see with it, for the light of a match-stick is brighter than what we get here in my village in Cross River State. And while you are expecting them to rectify the situation, before you know it, the whole thing is gone.”

Another consumer in Orlu, Imo State, Mr. Gideon Augustine, stated that despite the poor power situation, consumers under the estimated billing system were still getting very high monthly bills from the power distribution companies.

On why the power situation was still poor three years after privatisation, the Executive Director, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, told our correspondent that the Discos only distributed what they got from the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

On complaints against exorbitant estimated bills despite the poor supply of electricity, Oduntan argued that the methodology that was adopted by the Discos was what they got from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

He said, “Talking about billing, just because you are not metered does not mean you should be using electricity free of charge. Estimated billing is a legitimate thing. They do it abroad. Whoever has no meter will be placed on estimated billing. And in the case of Nigeria, the estimated billing that we use is based on the methodology given to us by our regulator.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Samsung, Vision Care Begin Fresh CSR Activities, Earmark 12,000 Masks for Nigeria

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Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) and Vision Care, an international relief organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness, have launched fresh Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to help Nigeria mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Vision Care is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and participant of ‘VISION 2020’, a global initiative of the IAPB and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Vision Care has since conducted more than 25 Vision Eye Camps yearly and has grown into an international non-profit organisation serving 38 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Central-South America.

Since 2015, SHIN has worked with Vision Care in the yearly Eye Camp as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to provide free cataract surgeries to Nigerians who cannot afford the payment. SHIN has been sponsoring the eye surgeries of Nigerians on a yearly basis.

In 2019, SHIN sponsored the eye surgeries of at least 115 Nigerian patients and 224 outward patients as part of its CSR in Nigeria.

Since it started the programme, SHIN has sponsored the eye surgeries of 572 Nigerian patients, 1,593 outward patients and has also donated glasses to 99 patients.

Due to outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the yearly Eye Camp for 2021 had been called off to adhere to Federal Government’s measures in response to the virus.

Consequently, SHIN and Vision Care came up with a fresh CSR initiative this year to donate 496 bags of rice (25kg) and 12,000 reusable face masks to three states in the country to fulfill their commitment of contributing to the society.

The items will be delivered later this month.

The three states that will benefit from the donation are Lagos, Kano and Bayelsa states.

Out of the 496 bags of rice, and 12,000 facemasks, Lagos will receive 96 bags of rice and 200 masks.

SHIN also stated that Kano State will receive 200 bags of rice and 5,000 masks, while Bayelsa State will get 200 bags and 5,000 masks.

“This is an additional CSR activity from SHI in addition to SHIN’s donation of 5,000 COVID-19 test kits from Korea. The washable masks that the head office has purchased from Korea are certified to retain its effectiveness against COVID-19 transmission for up to 50 washes,” SHIN said in a statement.

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Senate Summons NICON, AIICO, Others Over N17.4bn Pension Remittances

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The Senate Public Accounts Committee has summoned the management of the NICON Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance and other insurance companies over their alleged failure to remit N17.4bn pension fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.

The Senate hinged the summon on the 2016 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation which unraveled the alleged non-remittance of N17.4bn pension fund to PTAD.

Appearing before the panel on Monday, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, informed the lawmakers that PTAD took over the assets and liabilities of the defunct pension offices without a formal handing over.

She said, “On taking over, the directorate wrote all underwriters to make returns and remit whatever amount that was in their custody into a CBN dedicated account.

“Some of the underwriters responded to the request while some did not.

“The bank certificate of balances, accounting statements, three years financial statements and policy files requested by the federal auditor were not handed over to PTAD at the time of consolidation.

“It is worthy to note that we discovered that N17.4bn which comprised of cash, securities and properties from the nine insurance underwriters was unremitted as a result of the letter PTAD sent to them.

“These figures represent the claims by the underwriters with regards to their indebtedness.

“In order to ascertain the true position of legacy funds in custody of underwriters, the directorate appointed a consultant in 2018 who carried out forensic audit of nine out the 12 insurance underwriters and produced a final report on the recovery of the legacy funds and assets for PTAD.”

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Sterling Homes Plans To Reduce Housing Deficit

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Sterling Homes Limited has said it is committed to working with the government through private public partnership to reduce housing deficit in all the geo-political zones in the country.

The Managing Director, Mr Kunle Adeyemi, said this during an event on the company’s rebranding organised as part of its 10th year anniversary in Lagos on Friday.

During the event, the company while expressing commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, unveiled its new logo with colours to define its mission and objections.

We want to be present in all the six geo-political zones on Nigeria by providing affordable luxury homes, excellent torch. So for us, there is a need for us to rebrand and have a new direction and vision.

“We want to partner with the government on the present housing deficit; we want to embrace a public, private partnership with the government to reduce the deficit in every geo-political zone.”

The managing director said that one of its unique selling points was its after sales services which was top notch.

He said it ensured that its customers were taken through the journey of actualising their dreams of becoming home owners.

While noting that everyone deserved to have a comfortable home despite the economic situation, he said it had designed a structure payment plan with zero interest in some cases to help intending home owners.

He said it also had provisions for high breed options and developing areas to accommodate various income levels.

Before the end of the year, he said, Sterling Homes would be establishing new presence and projects in other regions.

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