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.
Nigeria Allotted $3.35bn From IMF’s Special Drawing Rights(SDRs)
Nigeria has secured about $3.35 billion as part of a historic general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This is part of the general allocation of about SDR456 billion – an equivalent of $650 billion – by the IMF Board of Governors.
This will help to boost liquidity in Nigeria that is currently battling declining revenue.
The allocation which was approved on Monday aims to boost global liquidity at a time when the world is grappling with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis,” said IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva.
Although it is not a currency, the SDR is an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement the official reserves of its member countries.
It is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members and can provide a country with liquidity. The SDR is defined by the US dollar, Euro, Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen, and the British Pound.
The amount allocated to Nigeria is as a result of the exchange rate of reference which is 0.702283 SDR to a dollar as of July 1, 2021, and Nigeria has 2.4545 billion SDRs.
“The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy,” the IMF managing director added.
“It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
According to the IMF, the general allocation of SDRs will become effective on August 23 and the newly created SDRs will be credited to IMF member countries in proportion to their existing quotas in the Fund.
It stated that about $275 billion (about SDR 193 billion) of the new allocation will go to emerging markets and developing countries, including low-income countries.
UN Chief Welcomes Historic’ IMF Liquidity Boost for Governments in Need
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate restrictions on government spending throughout the world, the UN chief on Tuesday welcomed the decision by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve a $650 billion allocation of Special Drawing Rights to “boost liquidity”.
Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement on the policy change towards Special Drawing Rights or SDRs, a type of foreign reserve asset that is IMF defined and maintained, as additional funding that could help to pay down debts.
He also underscored that economies not in need of access to cash should “consider channeling these resources to vulnerable low and middle-income countries that need a liquidity injection by replenishing the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust Fund”.
Yesterday’s IMF’s allocation makes new borrowing available to the fund’s 190 member countries, roughly in proportion to their share of the global economy.
“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis”, said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
“The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy. It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Halting debt default
The Secretary-General stressed that it is also “critical to quickly establish the proposed Resilience and Sustainability Trust at the IMF…[for] a comprehensive response and recovery, including providing more support for vaccinations and debt management and to support the efforts of developing economies in restructuring for inclusive growth”.
Last month, he urged the world’s largest economies to spearhead a global COVID-19 vaccination plan and expand debt relief to developing countries battered by the pandemic.
Bulwark against default
He also advised supporting a new $50 billion IMF investment roadmap aimed at ending the pandemic and driving a fast recovery.
As many developing countries are “teetering on the verge of debt default”, the UN chief encouraged the G20 leading industrialized nations to channel unused SDRs to the Fund’s new resilience and sustainability plan, for these nations.
“Special Drawing Rights also need to be considered as additional funding, not deducted from Official Development Assistance”, he reminded.
IMF Approves Largest SDR Allocation In History to Boost Global Liquidity
The Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) equivalent to US$650 billion (about SDR 456 billion) on August 2, 2021, to boost global liquidity.
“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis. The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy. It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.
The general allocation of SDRs will become effective on August 23, 2021. The newly created SDRs will be credited to IMF member countries in proportion to their existing quotas in the Fund.
According to the IMF, about US$275 billion (about SDR 193 billion) of the new allocation will go to emerging markets and developing countries, including low-income countries.
“We will also continue to engage actively with our membership to identify viable options for voluntary channeling of SDRs from wealthier to poorer and more vulnerable member countries to support their pandemic recovery and achieve resilient and sustainable growth”, Ms. Georgieva said.
One key option is for members that have strong external positions to voluntarily channel part of their SDRs to scale up lending for low-income countries through the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). Concessional support through the PRGT is currently interest-free.
The IMF is also exploring other options to help poorer and more vulnerable countries in their recovery efforts. A new Resilience and Sustainability Trust could be considered to facilitate more resilient and sustainable growth in the medium term.
In April last year, Nigeria collected $3.4 billion—equivalent to 100 percent of its quota— under the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument, RFI, to tackle the funding gaps created by COVID-19, especially when the crude oil market stagnated.
The financial support, approved by the IMF Executive Board on April 28, 2020, provided critical support to shore up Nigeria’s healthcare sector and shielded jobs and businesses from the shock of the COVID-19 crisis while helping to limit the decline in the nation’s external reserves.
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