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FG Okays Independent Power to Abuja Airport

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  • FG Okays Independent Power Supply to Abuja Airport

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the contract for the provision of independent power supply (at N61 per kilowatt/hour) to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the council’s first meeting of the year presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Sirika said the contract was awarded following the structural challenges encountered in the construction of a new terminal at the airport being handled by a Chinese firm.

The minister stated, “The new terminal building at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, which is called the Chinese Building, has challenges of power, water, sewage, apron etc., that we are putting up there. So, we have to find a way of dealing with those challenges; we are putting up an independent power system at the airport, which has been approved by FEC.

“Subsequently, we will also tend to the challenges of water, sewage, apron, connectivity between the old and new airports and all the fire stations that are blocking the usage of the airport and perhaps, also the control tower that is connecting the other side of the airport.

“All these will be attended to in phases in preparation for the full utilisation of the airport.”

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the council also approved a N5.44bn contract for the rehabilitation of the 36km Ugbokolo section of the 9th Mile/Oturkpo Road that links Enugu State to Benue State.

According to him, the contract has been awarded to the firm already handling other sections of the highway and is expected to complete it in 24 months.

On the cattle colonies being proposed by the Federal Government, Sirika assured landowners of adequate compensation for their land that would be acquired.

He said the colonies would not be too different from the old practice of reserving certain areas for cattle grazing, for which the original land owners would be compensated.

He stated, “I am not speaking as an agricultural expert but growing up in the hinterlands, I know there used to be cattle routes; we call them ‘burtali’ in the local language. These were established by the Federal Government in 1914. They are designated routes where the cattle follow, feed, graze and drink water.

“When those ones were available, there was no farmer/herdsmen clash because the routes are specific, identified and mapped, and were paid for in compensation over time. But I think due to development and increase in population, these routes are either captured or converted to farms.

“The question of colony or grazing land or whatever name they are called is about the same thing really. I don’t think the government will do anything without recourse to owners of farm lands and laws of the land.”

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the issue of killings allegedly by herdsmen was receiving attention at the highest level.

He added that deployment of troops was at the discretion of higher and appropriate authorities.

Responding to reports that Buhari’s son, Yusuf, who is recuperating from injuries sustained in a power bike accident in Abuja few days ago, might have been flown to a German hospital, Mohammed said the case was “purely a private matter.”

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.

Economy

Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021

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Dangote to Sells Petrol in Naira, Plans to Commence Urea Shipment in March 2021

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said Dangote Fertiliser Plant will commence shipment of Urea in March 2021.

The CBN governor disclosed this during an inspection tour of the sites of Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals Complex Fertiliser Plant and Subsea Gas Pipeline at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.

Emefiele further stated that Dangote Refinery would sell refined petroleum products in Naira when it starts production.

This he said would save the country from spending 41 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange on importation of petroleum products yearly.

Based on agreement and discussions with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the oil companies, the Dangote Refinery can buy its crude in naira, refine it, and produce it for Nigerians’ use in naira,” Mr Emefiele said.

That is the element where foreign exchange is saved for the country becomes very clear. We are also very optimistic that by refining this product here in Nigeria, all those costs associated with either demurrage from import, costs associated with freight will be totally eliminated.

Emefiele explained that this will make the price of Nigeria’s petroleum products affordable and cheaper in naira.

If we are lucky that what the refinery produces is more than we need locally you will see Nigerian businessmen buying small vessels to take them to our West African neighbours to sell to them in naira.

“This will increase our volume in naira and help to push it into the Economic Community of West African States as a currency,” Mr Emefiele said.

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UK Budget 2021: Will Sunak’s Budget Run Into Unintended Consequences?

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Rishi Sunak’s Budget will encourage higher earners to consider their “international financial options” and will drive businesses away from the UK, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.

The warning from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as the Chancellor delivered his 2021 Budget in the House of Commons, his second since he took on the role.

Mr Green says: “The Chancellor has got an extraordinarily difficult hand to play as he tries to stem the economic damage caused by the pandemic, support jobs and businesses and, crucially, rebuild the public finances.

“Whilst Mr Sunak is being hailed a hero for the continued and unprecedented levels of support, it should also be remembered that he is – in a stealth move – dragging more people firmly into the tax net.

“He is raising taxes under the radar.

“Yes, there is no income tax rise. However, he is freezing personal tax thresholds, meaning as incomes rise and thresholds don’t, he is able to raise money by fiscal drag.”

Earlier this week, the deVere CEO noted: “Those most impacted by this stealth move will be looking at the financial planning options available to them, including international options, in order to grow and protect their wealth.”

Rishi Sunak also confirmed that corporation tax will increase to 25% from 2023, up from the current level of 19%.

Of this tax hike, Mr Green goes on to say: “Lower corporation tax helps job and wealth-creating business to survive and thrive. It also helps attract business to move and invest in the country.

“Instead of increasing taxes, Mr Sunak should have relentlessly focussed on growth and stimulus policies for businesses.  This would have been of greater help to firms, the economy, jobs and, ultimately, the Treasury’s coffers.”

He adds: “Again, this corporation tax hike is likely to serve as a prompt for businesses to consider their overseas financial options.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “The Chancellor had to perform a tough juggling act.  But stealthily dragging more people into the tax net and raising corporation tax might have negative, unintended consequences for the Treasury’s bottom line.”

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Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme

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Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme

A total of 611,231 meters have been deployed as at January 31, 2021 under the Meter Asset Provider initiative since its full operation despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other extraneous factors, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

NERC disclosed this in a consultation paper on the review of the MAP Regulations.

The proposed review of the MAP scheme is coming nearly four months after the Federal Government launched a new initiative called National Mass Metering Programme aimed at distributing six million meters to consumers free of charge.

“The existence of a huge metering gap and the need to ensure successful implementation of the MYTO 2020 Service-Based Tariff resulted in the approval of the NMMP, a policy of the Federal Government anchored on the provision of long-term low interest financing to the Discos,” NERC said.

The commission had in March 2018 approved the MAP Regulations with the aim of fast-tracking the closure of the metering gap in the sector through the engagement of third-party investors (called meter asset providers) for the financing, procurement, supply, installation and maintenance of meters.

It set a target of providing meters to all customers within three years, and directed the Discos and the approved MAPs to commence the rollout of meters not later than May 1, 2019.

But in February 2020, NERC said several constraints, including changes in fiscal policy and the limited availability of long-term funding, had led to limited success in meter rollout.

NERC, in the consultation paper, highlighted three proposed options for metering implementation going forward.

The first option is to allow the implementation of both the NMMP and MAP metering frameworks to run concurrently; the second is to continue with the current MAP framework with meters procured under the NMMP supplied only through MAPs (by being off-takers from the local manufacturers/assemblers).

The third option is to wind down the MAP framework and allow the Discos to procure meters directly from local manufacturers/assemblers (or as procured by the World Bank), and enter into new contracts for the installation and maintenance of such meters.

“Customers who choose not to wait to receive meters based on the deployment schedule of the NMMP shall continue to have the option of making upfront payments for meters which will be installed within a maximum period of 10 working days,” NERC said.

The regulator said such customers would be refunded by the Discos through energy credits, adding that there would be no option for meter acquisition through the payment of a monthly meter service charge.

“Where meters have already been deployed under the meter service charge option, Discos shall make one-off repayment to affected customers and associated MAPs. Such meters shall be recognised in the rate base of the Discos,” it added.

NERC urged stakeholders to provide comments, objections, and representations on the proposed amendments within 21 days of the publication of the consultation paper.

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