- Meters: Electricity Consumers to Pay through Service Charge
Contrary to the position of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) that electricity consumers in the country would be provided meters free-of-charge by their distribution companies (Discos), power consumers would actually have to pay for such through a new window termed ‘metering service charge,’ Investors King yesterday learnt.
Checks revealed that Discos’ customers can either choose to pay upfront for meters to be installed at their premises by Disco-accredited MAPs, or accept an installation by the Discos with an agreement to pay for it through their electricity bills.
NERC recently stated that the responsibility of providing meters to consumers was still that of Discos. It also disclosed that under the MAPs scheme, consumers who choose to self-finance their meter acquisition would pay the MAPs N36,991.50 for single phase meters and N67, 055.85 for three phase meters respectively.
It has so far approved the MAPs accredited by Abuja; Ibadan; Ikeja and Jos Discos to commence operations.
However, it is not clear if the new meter service charges in the MAPs scheme are different from the fixed charge the NERC in 2015 abolished and striped Discos from collecting from consumers.
Efforts to reach the General Manager, Public Affairs, Dr. Usman Arabi, and Head of Media, Mr. Sam Ekeh, of the NERC for clarification on the content of the regulation proved abortive as none of them responded to calls and text messages as at the time of filing this report.
NERC had also stated that the main objective of the MAPs would be to encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services in the power market, eliminate estimated billing, attract private investment in metering services, close the huge metering gap, and then improve the revenue generation profile of the sector.
According to it, the Discos’ metering gap as at December 2017 was 4,740,275, which it said could significantly increase upon the conclusion of a customer enumeration exercise.
Based on MAPs regulation, all Discos are expected to engage the services of MAPs towards meeting their metering targets.
It added that 30 per cent of the contracted meters to be installed by the MAPs would be locally sourced.
Also, consumers who do not have meters yet shall provide access for the provision of meters for their premises by MAPs, failure for which would result in a denial of electricity service by the Discos.
The document further said: “The distribution licensees shall include a metering service charge as a clear item on the billing of its customers provided with meters under an MSA (meter service agreement) with MAPs and shall be separate from the energy charge. The metering service charge shall be based on the outcome of the procurement process for the MAP and subject to the approval of the commission.”
It said that when this is the case, the Discos shall have rights to use data derived from customer meters for monitoring, billing planning and any other related activities, as well as to query data from the meters for audit purposes.
Further, the regulation explained that: “The metering service charge paid by all customers shall be ring-fenced in a dedicated account for the purpose of timely payment to MAPs,” adding that the MAPs shall retain the right to be paid in full the aggregated metering service charge paid by customers during the billing cycle.
Dwelling on obligations of parties under the scheme, the regulation stated that: “Upon the installation of a meter by a MAP, the customer has no obligation to pay for metering service charge through the distribution licensee at the time of payment for energy unless financed upfront in full by the customer.
“The payment for metering service charge by the customer to the MAP shall cease upon full amortisation of the meter asset over its technical life assumed in the procurement process for the MAP.”
According to it, where a customer fails to pay for metering service charge in any given month or months, the cumulative metering service charge shall be deducted upon the subsequent payment.
Equally, where a customer elects to pay for a meter asset upfront under the regulation, such a customer shall not be liable for the payment of metering service charge through the Discos.
“The amount payable to the MAP by a customer electing to pay upfront shall be the efficient cost of the meter asset and its installation cost as determined by the procurement process for the MAP conducted by the distribution licensee,” it added.
As for the obligations of the MAPs and Discos in the arrangement, it stated that after initial installations of meters, the MAPs shall repair or replace them within two working days of being notified they are faulty.
“Where a MAP fails to repair or replace a meter within two working days of a report by the customer or distribution licensee, the customer shall not be liable for the payment of metering service charge for the billing period unless such delays were as a result of inaccessibility to the customer’s premises.
“In the event of a prolonged delay in repairing or replacing a defective meter asset, the distribution licensee and MAP shall agree on an appropriate compensation to the distribution licensee for loss of revenue.
“The MAP shall install the meter at the premises of the customer within 10 working days of the receipt of full payment by the customer. The authorisation by the distribution licensee to pay for the meter shall only be issued after certifying the readiness of the premises for a safe and secure installation of the meter asset,” according to the regulation.
The regulation also provides that the cost structure of metering service charge shall cover the cost of providing the meter asset and the ongoing costs of operating and maintaining them, and would be transparent in the billing processes.
Heirs Oil & Gas Announces CEO and Board Appointments
Heirs Oil & Gas (HHOG), the leading African integrated energy company, has announced the appointment of Osayande Igiehon as Chief Executive Officer, effective May 4, 2021, together with a distinguished non-executive board, bringing together leading industry figures, with considerable global and regional experience.
Heirs Holdings Limited’s (HH) portfolio company, HHOG, completed the acquisition of OML17 in January 2021, in one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in more than a decade, with a financing component of US$1.1 billion. The transaction represents a further implementation of the HH Group strategy of creating the leading integrated energy business in Africa. Through a series of strategic portfolio holdings, HH is executing this strategy. Most recently, affiliate company, Transcorp made a US$300 million acquisition of Afam Power, increasing the Group’s installed electricity generating capacity to 2,000MW.
Mr. Igiehon, who joins from the Royal Dutch Shell (Shell), where he was previously a Vice-President with the Group in the Hague, Netherlands. He brings over twenty-seven years of experience and expertise in the oil and gas sector with Shell, where he held a series of senior management positions. Mr. Igiehon previously served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shell Gabon, where he led the successful turnaround of the operational, safety and financial performance.
HHOG is also pleased to announce the appointment of the following distinguished private sector and senior industry leaders to the Board:
- Tony O. Elumelu, CON is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
- Sally Udoma who previously served as general counsel for Chevron Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East Exploration and Production. Previously, she was general counsel for Sasol Chevron Consulting Limited and managing counsel at the London Legal Service Centre for Chevron Global Upstream and Gas. She has also served as general counsel and general manager for Chevron Nigeria Limited.
- Anil Dua is a founding partner at Gateway Partners Limited, a private equity fund specialising in dynamic growth markets including Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to this, Mr. Dua worked for over thirty-five years with Standard Chartered Bank in Asia, Africa, Europe and the US, where he held various roles including Regional CEO West Africa and Regional Head of Origination and Client Coverage, Africa.
- Ahmadu Kida Musa who previously served as Deputy Managing Director of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, has over thirty-two years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry and brings considerable expertise in Nigerian oil and gas.
- Stanley Lawson currently serves on the board of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc. He is Managing Partner at Financial Advisory & Investment Consultants Ltd. Dr Lawson previously occupied the position of Group Executive Director-Finance & Accounts at Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
- Samuel Nwanze is the Chief Finance Officer at Heirs Oil and Gas. Prior to this he was the Chief Investment Officer at Heirs Holdings responsible for investment and capital management.
Commenting, Mr. Igiehon stated: “HHOG represents an extraordinary opportunity, to create Africa’s first true integrated energy company, with a mission to ensure that Africa’s natural resources are directed toward value creation in Africa, powered by sustainable, robust and abundant African energy. I am excited to join the Heirs Oil and Gas leadership team and look forward to the opportunity to transform the energy sector, purposefully address Africa’s energy needs and improve the lives of people across Africa.”
The Chairman of the Board, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, stated: “I am delighted to welcome our new board members. We are building a role model institution for African businesses and our investment in human capital is a further strong demonstration of our intent. The regional and global expertise of our board members will serve to further drive value creation to our continent, as we execute our goal of becoming Africa’s largest, indigenous, integrated, energy company.”
CHI Limited Celebrates Its Maiden Hollandia Dairy Day
Nigeria’s leading dairy brand, Hollandia, is set to hold the maiden edition of its Hollandia Dairy Day. The event which will be celebrated on the 18th of May 2021 will provide a veritable platform to drive the national discourse on the unrivaled health and nutrition benefits of dairy consumption to people of all ages.
Set to be hosted as a conference, the theme of this year’s event is “Dairy Nourishment to Support Healthy Living”, and it focuses on the vital role dairy consumption plays in our everyday nourishment, its benefit to our overall health, and why dairy products should be included in our diets every day.
This conference, which is designed as a hybrid of the physical and virtual events, will feature presentations, interviews and panel discussions from health experts and nutritionists as they provide insights and share perspectives to guide informed decisions about dairy consumption as part of a daily balanced diet. The event is opened to the public through the brand’s multiple social media platforms.
According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, 2019, Nigeria has low dairy consumption levels per head – 15 to 20 liters per capita consumption. This is partly attributable to the low purchasing power of the average Nigerian household, who rank milk and dairy products as non-essential luxuries and prioritize other staple foods such as rice, beans, and yam.
By provoking the conversations and stimulating public action/intervention, Hollandia aims to drive consciousness for dairy consumption and its importance to achieving optimum health, and to get many more Nigerians drinking, using, and consuming dairy products.
The past year has presented unprecedented shocks and disruptions, including a global COVID-19 pandemic. As communities throughout the world look for ways to minimize the risk of COVID-19, maintaining and boosting good health is top of mind for many. Dairy foods such as milk and yogurt contain essential nutrients, including Vitamins A and D, Zinc and Protein, which support immune function.
The Hollandia Dairy Day Conference is a public interest initiative created to highlight the importance of dairy in everyday nutrition and healthy living in Nigeria.
Nokia Launches Blockchain-Powered Data Marketplace For Secure Data Trading and AI Models
Nokia today announced the launch of the Nokia Data Marketplace as-a-service to facilitate secure sharing of data and AI models, enabling digital transformation and data monetization for enterprises.
As data volumes continue to surge, AI and machine learning are increasingly crucial in business decision making. Nokia Data Marketplace is designed to help enterprises and communications service providers (CSPs) use data in strategic decision making, by providing real-time access to massive trusted datasets.
The new service also enables enterprises and CSPs to become data marketplace providers themselves, by monetizing data exchanges between customers or business ecosystem participants.
Nokia Data Marketplace ensures trusted data exchange and authorization mechanisms. This enables a wide range of vertical use cases, including electric vehicle charging, environmental data monetization, supply-chain automation and preventative maintenance powering numerous vertical segments, including transportation, ports, energy, smart cities and healthcare.
Friedrich Trawoeger, Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Services at Nokia, said: “Our customers need secure and trusted access to data for effective business decision making. With Nokia Data Marketplace, enterprises and CSPs can now benefit from richer insights and predictive models to drive digital ways of working and tap into new revenue streams.”
Nokia Data Marketplace accelerates AI initiatives through federated learning. This approach, combined with orchestration capabilities, facilitates the collaborative development of highly accurate machine learning models for analytics use cases. It also meets the growing demand for a platform that can efficiently apply AI and machine learning algorithms to in situ data.
Nokia Data Marketplace complements Nokia Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING), which offers global IoT connectivity and vertical applications. For example, Nokia WING’s asset tracking solution is enriched by Nokia Data Marketplace’s blockchain to provide secure and automated data exchange and transactions between logistics’ ecosystem partners for faster turnaround.*
Kaladhar Voruganti, Senior Fellow, Office of the CTO at Equinix, said: “Nokia Data Marketplace combined with Equinix data centers allows organizations to share data and algorithms globally at more than 240 metro edge locations. Our Metal platform augments this to provide secure, proximate, on-demand infrastructure to enterprises and government agencies. Sharing and processing of data close to its point of creation mitigate issues related to latency, compliance, and network backhaul cost. These neutral and secure edge locations are connected via high-speed and secure networks to data sources spanning across public clouds, private enterprise data centers and data brokers.”
Wouter van Neerbos, Chief Executive Officer at Marlin, said: “Through automated data exchange among shipping participants, Nokia brings us the transparency and operational efficiency required in our global marine supply chain. This reduces waiting time for shipping participants in the marine ecosystem, enables faster turnaround for ships, and reduces our costs.”
Justin van der Lande, the Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason, said: “Data is the energy needed to run all future business; critical to their success in creating the best AI-based insights and needs access to the largest data sets. Data sharing between enterprise partners is vital in building complete data sets. Facilitating data sharing using a secure platform, such as Nokia’s blockchain-based Data Marketplace, accelerates enterprises’ building of new data sets and creates richer business partnerships for them.”
Nokia is leading the development of security, privacy, and trust mechanisms as part of a consortium that was recently awarded the DEDICAT 6G project by the European Union. Nokia Data Marketplace inclusion in this project focuses on creating an AI and blockchain-enabled security framework and trust management platform for IoT applications running on B5G (Beyond 5G) networks.
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