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Nigerians Should Expect Increase In Electricity Efficiency Not Tariffs- Minister of Power

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Following the rumors of possible increase in electricity tariff, the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, has indicated that the ministry is focusing on increasing electricity efficiency and not tariff.

In a statement made available to the media last weekend, Mamman said, ‘‘instead of significant hike in electricity tariff, Nigerians should expect an increase efficiency in the sector to reduce tariffs while managing headwinds from foreign exchange and inflation.’’

Mamman explained that the order issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, on the 26th of April 2021 titled “Notice of Minor and Extraordinary Review of Tariffs for Electricity Transmission and Distribution Companies” was a routine procedure.

He said the review planned by NERC is in accordance with Section 76 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005.

According to him, “the tariff for customers on service bands D & E (customers being served less than an average of 12hrs of supply per day over a period of one month) remains subsidized in line with the policy direction of the Federal Government”.

The minister said Section 76 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 provides clear guidelines for the periodic review of tariff (based on market data and submissions from licensees). The guidelines include the provision that the Commission shall give notice of activities related to tariff “in the Official Gazette, and in one or more newspapers”.

The minister’s statement added, “The Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) per NERCs regulation obtains inputs from operators in the market every six months to perform minor reviews and a major review is required every five years.’’ Mamman said the Buhari administration remained faithful to the adopted resolutions from the Joint FGN-NLC/TUC Technical Committee on Electricity Tariffs which makes recommendation for “NERC to conduct an extraordinary review of the MYTO to further review factors and align them with current evolving realities.”

The reason this recommendation was posited by the Committee, according to the statement, was to ensure that efficiencies could be derived from an extraordinary review to further reduce tariff.

Mamman said government was committed to increasing supplied energy to the grid through rapid expansion of infrastructure in the various facilities for the sector either to the DISCOS under strict terms or to the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

“Furthermore, the National Mass Metering Program is on course to reduce losses. To date more than 500k meters have been delivered to DISCOs in phase 0 of the program in 5 months (this exceeds the progress done for the entire MAP scheme). We will eliminate the metering gap during the life of the administration,” the statement said.

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EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja

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The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.

Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.

“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.

Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.

He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.

The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.

“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.

The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.

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Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea

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President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.

Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.

The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.

The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.

The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.

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Senate Passes Bills To Establish Two Federal Universities in Ekiti, Nasarawa states

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The Senate on Tuesday passed two bills seeking to establish two federal universities in Ekiti and Nasarawa States.

The bills are the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital (Establishment) Bill, 2021.

Both bills are sponsored by Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), and Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South).

The passage of both bills followed the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, said the bill to establish the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital was “necessitated as a result of the precarious health conditions faced by the resident.”

According to him, the bill to establish the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State, seeks to promote and emphasize teaching, research and extension of knowledge in the field of medicine and environmental sciences.

In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed a third bill to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards) Act.

The bill’s passage by the upper chamber followed consideration of a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Senator Oloriegbe in his presentation explained that the amendment bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the University Teaching Hospital, Lafia and Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital.

In a related development, a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Education, Kaiama, Kwara State, scaled second reading during plenary.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North).

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was considered, referred it to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

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