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Investors Get FG’s Nod to Meter Electricity Customers

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  • 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.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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MicroStrategy Rally Crushes Short Sellers, Wiping Out $1.92 Billion

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MicroStrategy- Investors King

Short sellers betting against MicroStrategy found themselves facing significant losses as the company’s rally wiped out $1.92 billion since March.

This development comes amidst a rally that has seen MicroStrategy’s stock outperform bitcoin, causing a considerable hit to those who had taken a bearish stance on the tech firm.

According to data from S3 Partners, short sellers have been on the losing end since March, as MicroStrategy’s stock surged, highlighting the impact of the rally on those betting against the company’s success.

This loss underscores the challenges faced by short sellers in a market where certain stocks experience rapid and unexpected price increases.

The rally in MicroStrategy’s stock is attributed to several factors, including the approval of several spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier in the year.

This move by the SEC brought bitcoin, a once-nascent asset class, closer to the mainstream and fueled investor interest in companies like MicroStrategy, known for their significant holdings of the cryptocurrency.

MicroStrategy, which held nearly 190,000 bitcoin on its balance sheet as of the end of 2023, has indicated its intention to continue increasing its exposure to the digital currency.

The company’s decision to sell convertible debt to raise money for additional bitcoin purchases further bolstered investor confidence and contributed to the stock’s rally.

Analysts at BTIG noted that the premium for MicroStrategy’s stock reflects investors’ desire to gain exposure to bitcoin indirectly, especially those who may not have the means to invest directly in the cryptocurrency or ETFs.

The company’s ability to raise capital for bitcoin purchases is seen as a positive sign for shareholders, adding to the optimism surrounding its stock.

However, despite the recent rally and optimism surrounding MicroStrategy, the crypto industry as a whole continues to be heavily shorted.

Short interest in nine of the most-watched companies in the crypto space remains high, standing at 16.73% of the total number of outstanding shares, more than three times the average in the United States.

Moreover, concerns persist regarding the SEC’s stance on cryptocurrencies, with some experts suggesting that the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs may not necessarily indicate a broader acceptance of other similar products, such as spot ethereum ETFs.

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Geregu Power Plc Announces N14.46bn Profit in Q1 2024

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Geregu Power Plc

Geregu Power Plc has announced a profit of N14.46 billion for the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

This represents a 307% increase when compared to the same period last year.

The power-generating company, known for its pivotal role in Nigeria’s energy sector, disclosed its outstanding financial results in its interim financial statement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Tuesday.

This disclosure comes shortly after the firm’s Deputy Chief Executive, Julius Omodayo-Owotuga, hinted at the promising financial outlook during the company’s recent annual general meeting held in Lagos.

According to the interim report, Geregu Power Plc’s revenue surged to N50.42 billion in the first quarter of 2024, representing an increase of 254.37% year-on-year appreciation.

The company’s net finance income transitioned from a negative position to N133.61 million. This positive momentum was supported by a moderation in finance costs, which decreased from N3.141 billion to N2.29 billion as of March 2024.

Speaking to stakeholders at the recent annual general meeting, Femi Otedola, Chairman of Geregu Power, expressed satisfaction with the company’s exceptional financial performance in 2023.

Otedola highlighted the board’s decision to propose a dividend distribution of N8 per share for the 2023 financial year as a testament to their commitment to rewarding shareholders and confidence in the company’s future prospects.

The robust financial results for the first quarter of 2024 further solidify Geregu Power’s position as a leading player in Nigeria’s energy landscape.

The company’s commitment to operational excellence, strategic investments, and adherence to international standards, such as obtaining ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications from the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, underscores its dedication to driving sustainable growth and value creation.

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Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc Records N609.3bn Profit Before Tax in 2023

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GTCO Commemorates Listing on Nigerian Exchange - Investors King

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) has announced a strong profit before tax (PBT) of N609.3 billion for the 2023 financial year.

This represents an increase of 184.5 percent when compared to the previous year.

The audited consolidated and separate financial statements filed with the Nigerian Exchange Group and London Stock Exchange on Monday revealed market capitalization exceeded N1 trillion on the NGX to further solidify GTCO’s position as one of the top financial holding companies in Nigeria.

During the period under review, the group’s post-tax profit rose by 218.99 percent to N539.65 billion from N169.17 billion in 2022.

Key indicators such as loans and advances increased by 31.5 percent to N2.48 trillion, while deposits grew by 63.7 percent to N7.55 trillion.

The group’s total assets and shareholders’ funds closed at N9.7 trillion and N1.5 trillion, respectively.

Despite the challenging economic environment, GTCO maintained a strong capital adequacy ratio of 21.9 percent.

Also, the group sustained asset quality, with IFRS 9 Stage 3 loans improving to 4.2 percent in December 2023 from 5.2 percent in the same period of the prior year.

However, the cost of risk experienced an uptick, rising to 4.5 percent from 0.6 percent in December 2022, largely due to worsening macroeconomic factors.

Despite these challenges, GTCO’s pre-tax return on equity stood at 50.6 percent, while pre-tax return on assets was 7.6 percent. The cost-to-income ratio remained favorable at 29.1 percent.

Commenting on the financial results, Mr. Segun Agbaje, the Group Chief Executive Officer of GTCO, expressed satisfaction with the company’s performance amidst a challenging operating environment.

He attributed the strong performance to the successful implementation of the group’s business model across banking and non-banking business verticals.

“Also important to our success is our relentless obsession with innovation and offering great customer experiences as demonstrated by the successful redesign and upgrade of our mobile banking application, GTWorld,” he stated.

“In a landscape characterised by evolving regulatory reforms, global uncertainties, and heightened competition, we have continued to leverage our inherent strengths and capabilities to unlock significant value, creating more opportunities for the businesses and individuals we serve.

In line with its commitment to shareholders, GTCO announced a final dividend of N2.70k, bringing the total dividend for 2023 to N3.20k.

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