- Discos’ Collections Rise to N831bn in Two Years
Electricity consumers who are hooked on to the national grid paid N831 billion to the Distribution Companies (Discos) out of about N1.3 billion worth of electricity that was sent to their homes and offices between the second quarter of 2017 (Q2 2017) and first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2019).
According to the records obtained, the 10 Discos were Abuja, Benin, Eko, Enugu, Ibadan, Ikeja, Jos, Kaduna, Kano and Port Harcourt. Yola Disco which is now under the management of the federal government having gone back to it on account of a force majeure earlier declared by its private operator, was not covered by the report.
It showed that between the period – Q2 2017 and Q1 2019, the Discos received 52,185 gigawatt hour (GWh) of electricity from the grid and billed their customers for 40,901 GWh of electricity sent to them.
The total worth of the billed electricity to the consumers, the report showed was N1.3 trillion for the period, but N831 billion was realised. It explained the Discos within the period, improved on their revenue collection efficiency, which rose from 62 per cent in Q2 2017 and Q1 2018, to 66 per cent in Q2 2018 and Q1 2019.
“The total energy collection (across the 10 Discos) increased by N61 billion more, as compared to the previous 12 months (+16 per cent). This is mainly due to improved performance (+12 per cent), as well as the incremental energy received (4 per cent). In this quarter, in general, Discos have increased their revenue collection,” the report obtained from the Discos trade association – Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) showed.
“Overall, the ATC&C (Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection) keeps reducing and reached a new low in February 2019 (47.2 per cent) versus a starting point of 56 per cent, on set of privatisation,” it added.
According to it, in Q1 2019, energy received increased for five Discos but decreased for the other five Discos which were not named in the report.
It equally stated that between 2016 and Q1 2019, the Discos’ average revenue collection efficiency has improved from a low of 47.8 per cent to 68.4 per cent.
“Overall, the amount of revenue collected increased immensely (+16 per cent), as well as energy billed (+7 per cent), which summarises that the performance improvement of Discos is not only due to the benefit of receiving more energy (+4 per cent),” it added.
Furthermore, showing the distribution, the report noted that between Q2 2017 and Q1 2018, the total energy billed by Discos was 19,741GWh which was equivalent to N628 billion, and from which N385 billion was collected. Between Q2 2018 and Q1 2019, the total energy billed was 21,160GW, equivalent to N672 billion, and from which N446 billion was earned.
For Q1 2019, it said the total amount of energy billed was 5,576.8GWh, equivalent to N176.5 billion, and from which N114.6 billion was also collected from consumers.
Based on a moving average, it explained that since July 2016, there had been a gradual rise in both energy received by Discos and, consequently, in the energy billed.
It further stated: “Although the retail tariff has remained unchanged since Feb 2016, the revenue collection has been increased continuously, up by almost N40 billion in March, compared to the average of N24 billion per month in 2016. This is a consequence of improved Disco performance.
“The energy received by ANED´s members have increased by 7 per cent in the last quarter compared to the previous one and in some Discos the increase is above 10 per cent.”
While calling for an improved rapport with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on proactive energy management, the Discos in the document stated: “It is important to better understand the reasons behind these variations to avoid decreasing scenarios, while in parallel, there is an urgent need to improve the energy management communications between TCN and Discos on daily basis.
“Until this operational coordination is completed, Discos might face erratic scenarios that negatively affect the evolution of their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), under their PIPs (Performance Improvement Plans).”
India, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria’s Major Export Markets -NBS
India, Spain and the Netherland top Nigeria’s export markets in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020 report showed that the United States and China trailed the three.
However, the NBS revealed Nigeria exports mainly crude oil and natural gas during the period under review.
It, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.
“The major export to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”
The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.
“This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.
The NBS, however, noted that the index was negatively affected by animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products.
Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy
The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.
Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.
The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.
According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.
Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.
The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.
He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.
‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.
Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.
‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.
Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.
Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.
The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.
Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.
According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.
The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.
He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.
France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership
France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.
Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.
A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.
“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”
It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.
It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.
It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.
It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”
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