- Investors Get FG’s Nod to Meter Electricity Customers
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Monday declared that investors interested in providing meters for electricity customers were free to do so, provided they obtained the required clearance from the industry regulator.
According to the minister, power distribution companies do not have the monopoly of metering electricity consumers, noting that the Discos have not been able to meet the demand for meters due to funding challenges.
The minister, who disclosed this at the 18th power sector stakeholders meeting, further explained that nothing in the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act gave electricity distribution companies the exclusivity of metering in the sector.
He said, “While it is true that Discos have the obligation to meter customers, the law does not vest the monopoly of meter supply in them. Anybody who qualifies under the safety regulation by Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency and under the licences issued by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission can supply meters to customers under conditions by law.
“In other words, meter supply is an open but regulated business. You need the licence from NERC to undertake it. You need to comply with testing and safety standards of NEMSA to produce, install or import the meters; but it is not a monopoly for Discos.”
The minister also stated that the Discos could access a loan, which had been provided by the Federal Government in order to get meters for power users.
He said, “Another action which took place recently in the sector was the FEC approval of the component that frees the Federal Government of the judgement debt of N119bn and releases N39bn towards the supply of meters to the Discos.”
Fashola said he had been receiving enquiries from the public on whether state governments could produce their own power and stressed that all the state governments needed was to get the right licence from NERC.
The minister also said power generation companies could apply to NERC to build their own distribution assets, which some Discos could not fund.
He pledged his support to any state government intending to play in any of the power sector value chain.
Fashola said, “The mini grids are also consistent with our policy of incremental power to provide access to communities that have not been served or those who are under-served.
“Within the Discos licence, a new licence can be granted by NERC because no monopoly was intended by the law unless it is exclusively stated in the licence. I have gone through the law and I have not seen any exclusivity granted to anybody.”
According to him, three states have already obtained licences for mini grid development from NERC and the sector expects to receive more.
On the performance of the sector, Fasola said there was improvement in the generation of power, and attributed the development to the increase in gas to power.
He said the rise in gas supply was due to relative peace in the Niger Delta region and the increase in rainfall, adding that over 6,000 megawatts of electricity was available but the Discos could not take it.
Fashola said, “From August 10, 2017, our peak availability of power which can be put on the grid was 6,863MW, while the transmission capacity has risen to 6,700MW. Unfortunately, we cannot put all of that power on the grid because the Discos cannot take it all.”
According to him, the Discos could not take all the power because of their aging assets, limit to credit facilities and foreign exchange.
The minister also said that the Federal Government had commenced the disbursement of the N701bn electricity intervention fund to beneficiaries.
Earlier, Fashola had inaugurated a 15MVA transmission injection sub-station in Dakata, Kano, to stabilise power supply to over 100 industries, including 10,000 residents in the area.
Meanwhile, Ikeja Electric has said electricity theft by some consumers is affecting the ability of Discos to provide improved services, including the deployment of free prepaid meters, to all customers.
The company said in a statement on Monday that it had embarked on a network-wide operation of naming and shaming persons involved in energy theft as part of efforts to curb such activity within its network.
“This will be done through newspaper publications, other traditional and conventional media platforms. This is in addition to the penalties and fines levied for revenue loss due to energy theft; arrests and prosecution of persons involved in meter tampering, bypass, shunting, illegal hook-ups and other forms of illegalities affecting the company,” said the Head, Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric, Mr. Felix Ofulue.
Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others
Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.
“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.
“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.
The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.
Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.
Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”
Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director
Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria
Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.
According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.”
Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.
The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.
“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.”
It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.
The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.
However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.
On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth. 🇳🇬🙏🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) March 1, 2021
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