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Electricity Theft May Attract N200,000 in Fines

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  • Electricity Theft May Attract N200,000 in Fines

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is considering a request by one of the existing 11 power distribution companies to increase the penalty for electricity theft from N50,000 to N200,000.

This is coming as the commission has said the indebtedness of Discos is a major reason why they often reject part of electricity allocated to them by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

According to NERC, most Discos were heavily indebted to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc, a development that has adversely affected the sector.

The two issues were contained in the latest minutes of the 17th power sector stakeholders meeting, which was the most recent meeting of operators in the industry.

The document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Friday showed that NERC had agreed to look into the request to increase the amount to be paid in fines for electricity theft from N50,000 to N200,000.

An official of Jos Disco also reportedly told the gathering that the firm’s collaboration with the Department of State Services and other security agencies had paid off as electricity theft in Plateau State had drastically reduced.

The official noted that over 200 high profile culprits, including corporate organisations and individuals had been identified and punished in accordingly, adding that the electricity thieves were made to pay the sum of N50,000 as penalty before being reconnected.

The minutes stated that the official “appealed that the penalty be increased to N200,000 to curb the menace of energy theft and noted that plans were underway to extend the initiative to other states within its franchise area.

“NERC agreed that the N50,000 penalty was not enough and promised to look into the matter and report back in the coming week,” the document stated.

A senior official of NERC also reportedly told participants at the gathering that the indebtedness of Discos and network capacity issues were some of the reasons why the power distributors often rejected electricity load allocated to them.

The document stated that the official “highlighted factors that affect the Discos’ ability to off-take more load.

“He (the NERC official) noted that capacity issues on 33/11kV networks and the impact of unpaid balances on the Discos balance sheets were some of the major causes of unutilised power.”

Power distribution companies often reject electricity load sent to them by the TCN despite the poor supply of electricity across the country.

For instance, in March this year, the rejection of electricity by some power distribution companies led to the collapse of about six turbines located in various power plants across the country.

Although the collapse at the time was temporary in some of the turbines, findings showed that the refusal of power load allocation by Discos resulted in unfavourable high frequency in the national power grid.

This development also made the transmission company to ask power generation firms to reduce the quantum of the electricity they were generating during that period.

The commission’s representative at the meeting also stated that NERC would engage NBET to find ways by which the Discos could draw more than their Multi Year Tariff Order allocations whenever unutilised power was available on the grid for their customers or eligible customers.

NERC, according to the minutes, also recommended that the TCN should make appropriate investment in its networks in order to address capacity challenges contributing to load rejection by Discos.

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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Company News

BUA Cement Announces 24.6 Percent Increase in Profit to N43.4 Billion in H1 2021

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BUA Cement stock - Investors King

BUA Cement Plc, Nigeria’s second-largest cement manufacturing company, on Thursday reported a 22.7 percent increase in revenue in the six months ended June 30, 2021.

Revenue rose from N101.261 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N124.278 billion in the first half of 2021.

The company disclosed in its unaudited financial statements release through the Nigerian Exchange Limited and seen by Investors King.

As expected, the cost of sales inched higher by 19.1 percent from N55.539 billion in H1 2020 to N66.158 billion in H1 2021. While gross profit expanded by 27.1 percent to N58.120 billion in H1, up from N45.723 billion.

The cement manufacturing company grew other income by 52.3 percent from N47.653 billion filed in H1 2020 to N72.6 billion in H1 2021.

Administrative expenses rose to N4.17 billion in the period under review, representing an increase of 57.9 percent when compared to N2.643 billion recorded in H1 2020.

Operating profit increased by 23.8 percent from N40.809 billion in the corresponding period of 2020 to N50.524 billion in the period under review.

Profit before income taxes rose by 26.9 percent to N49.700 billion in H1 2021 from N39.165 billion in H1 2020.

The company paid N6.3 billion in income tax in the first half of 2021.

Therefore, profit after tax stood at N43.396 billion in the first six months of 2021, an increase of 24.6 percent when compared to N34.819 billion achieved in the same period of 2020.

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Seplat Energy Appoints Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy Plc has appointed Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company, the company disclosed on Thursday.

Dr. FitzGerald will replace Lord Mark Malloch-Brown who retired from the Board of the Company on 1st August 2021.

Dr. Emma FitzGerald Profile

Dr. FitzGerald is a seasoned executive in Energy & Water, with hands-on experience in transformation through her many years of working at Shell, ranging from building its lubricants business in China to running its Global Retail network.

From 2007-2010, she was accountable for Shell’s Downstream strategy and played a key role in reshaping Shell’s renewables strategy including the creation of Raizen, a game changing biofuels JV with Cosan. From 2013 to 2018 she ran gas distribution and water & waste networks for National Grid and Severn Trent where she successfully
positioned them as sustainability thought leaders in their Industries.

Most recently Dr. FitzGerald served as CEO of Puma Energy International, a global energy company owned by Trafigura and Sonangol, which is focused on high potential developing markets in Africa, Asia and Central America. In 2020 she set up Puma’s Future Energies division to play a critical role in helping customers and communities find the right energy solutions to support the energy transition. Over the last 10 years she has served on various Boards in executive and non-executive capacities and currently sits on the board of UPM Kymmene, an international paper & biomaterials business focused on innovating for a future beyond fossil fuels.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. A. B. C. Orjiako, Chairman of SEPLAT Energy said: “The Board of SEPLAT Energy is indeed delighted to have Dr. Emma Fitzgerald on board as she brings vast knowledge in important areas such as the energy sector, renewables and sustainability. SEPLAT Energy has a great future ahead and looks forward to the enormous contribution she will make towards its continuing global success.”

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Company News

Robinhood IPO Priced at Lower End of Range, Firm Valued at $32B

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Robinhood-Investors King

Stock and crypto-trading app Robinhood has secured a $32 billion valuation via its initial public offering (IPO) and is set to debut on the Nasdaq exchange on Thursday.

According to a press release on Wednesday, Robinhood has priced its offering at $38 per Class A common stock share.

The pricing is at the lower end of the $38-$42 per share price range the company had targeted and had planned on selling 5.5 million shares targeting a $1.89 billion raise.

Net proceeds from the sale will go toward working capital, capital expenditures, funding tax obligations, hiring efforts, customer support services, among others.

Shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on Thursday, according to the release.

Earlier this month, Robinhood began unconventionally offering a portion of its IPO to users via its app — a view some consider to be a risky gamble.

Known for its zero-fee trading structure, the company has continued to endure hits to its image as well as legal and political ramifications stemming from the fallout of the GameStop saga and limitations to users trading crypto.

The company is trying to reshape that image and is reportedly working on a new feature that will help protect users from crypto price volatility while hiring a former Google alumn to improve its overall product design.

“Robinhood intends to use the net proceeds for working capital, capital expenditures, funding its anticipated tax obligations related to the settlement of RSUs, and general corporate purposes including increasing its hiring efforts to expand its employee base, expanding its customer support operations and satisfying its general capital needs,” the firm said in the announcement.

Robinhood filed the public offering prospectus on July 1, noting at the time that 17 percent of its total revenue in Q1 came from crypto trading transaction fees, which represented a big jump from the 4 percent in Q4 2020.

“While we currently support a portfolio of seven cryptocurrencies for trading, for the three months ended March 31, 2021, 34 percent of our cryptocurrency transaction-based revenue was attributable to transactions in Dogecoin, as compared to 4 percent for the three months ended December 31, 2020,” the firm said in the initial filing.

Still, the company’s CEO Vlad Tenev is staring down allegations from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority over his failure to register Robinhood Financial relating to compliance issues.

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