Connect with us


Int’l, Bilateral Electricity Consumers Fail to Pay N4.71bn Bill to Nigeria, NERC Reveals



Power - Investors King

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has disclosed that ten international and bilateral power consumers that get supply from Nigeria have failed to pay for the electricity they have consumed for the last six months.

Figures released by NERC pointed out that these special power consumers are owing Nigeria about N4.71bn.

According to findings, these 10 international, bilateral and special power consumers of Nigeria failed to remit the sum within a period of six months notwithstanding the huge profits they have been making in their respective organisations.

Making these disclosures n its first and second quarter reports of 2022, NERC also identified the debtors to include Odukpani-CEET, Paras-SBEE, Ajaokuta Steel, and Mainstream/Inner Galaxy.

Other debtors are Mainstream/KAM Industries, Mainstream/KAM Integrated, KAM Steel Shagamu, NDPHC/Sunflag, North South/OAU, and Mainstream/Adefolorunsho Ventures.

The commission further stated that the indebtedness by the power firms were to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc and the power Market Operator.

According to the electricity regulator, in the first quarter, moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited failed to pay N0.45bn, while Odukpani-CEET did not remit $3.42m.

NERC, while commenting on remittance by special and international customers stated that its summary indicated that Ajaokuta Steel Co. Limited and its host community didn’t pay for the electricity that was supplied to them.

The commission said, “no payment was made by the special customer – Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and the host community, in respect of the N0.38bn and N0.07bn market invoices issued by NBET and MO respectively in 2022/Q1.”

“In the same period, bilateral customers, Paras-SBEE, Transcorp-SBEE, and Mainstream NIGERLEC received invoices of $2.72m, $2.74m and $4.61m from the MO and each remitted $2.72m (100 per cent), $2.74m (100 per cent), and $4.52m (98 per cent) respectively.

“Odukpani-CEET received an invoice of $3.42m from the MO during the period but no payment was made by this customer. The non-settlement of market obligations by this category of market participants should push MO and NBET to activate relevant safeguards for remittance shortfalls.”

In the second quarter, the commission said Paras-SBEE did not pay $2.39m; Odukpani-CEET, $2.03m; Ajaokuta Steel, N0.34bn; while seven other bilateral customers did not remit N0.37bn.

A summation of the total debt in dollars during the six-month period was $7.84m (N3.55bn at the official exchange rate of N453.1/$), while the total debt in naira was N1.16bn, hence the cumulative indebtedness of all the debtors stood at N4.71bn

Similarly, in the section on remittance by international, special and bilateral customers in the second quarter, the NERC pointed out that, “international customers, Transcorp-SBEE and Mainstream-NIGERLEC received invoices of $2.42m and $5.56m respectively from MO and made remittances of $2.42m (100 per cent) and $5.54m (99.64 per cent) respectively in 2022/Q2.”

“These customers had 100 and 98 per cent remittance performance respectively to the MO in 2022/Q1. However, no remittance was made to the MO by Paras-SBEE and Odukpani-CEET for invoices of $2.39m and $2.03m respectively,” it added.

NERC acknowledged that Paras-SBEE had 100 per cent remittance to the MO in 2022/Q1, but stressed that no remittance was made by Odukpani-CEET in 2022/Q1.

The commission added that, “bilateral customers including Mainstream/Inner Galaxy, Mainstream/KAM Industries, Mainstream/KAM Integrated, KAM Steel Shagamu, NDPHC/Sunflag, North South/Star Pipe, North South/ OAU, Mainstream/Adefolorunsho Ventures received invoices of N505.68m, N24.19m, N117.23m, N153.03m, N19.54m, N18.36m, N22.39m and N35.2m respectively from the MO in 2022/Q2.”

Meanwhile, Investors King gathered that NERC has been making efforts to get the debts settled.

It could be recalled that the lack of payment of electricity bills by consumers has become a source of worry for regulators.

Most Nigerians who are yet to be metered had always invented illegal means of evading remittance of their bills. To curb this, NERC has been increasing availability of meters to consumers and ensure that era of estimated billing is erased.

Continue Reading


IMF Report: Nigeria’s Inflation to Dip to 26.3% in 2024, Growth Expected at 3.3%



IMF global - Investors King

Nigeria’s economic outlook for 2024 appears cautiously optimistic with projections indicating a potential decrease in the country’s inflation rate alongside moderate economic growth.

The IMF’s revised Global Economic Outlook for 2024 highlights key forecasts for Nigeria’s economic landscape and gave insights into both inflationary trends and GDP expansion.

According to the IMF report, Nigeria’s inflation rate is projected to decline to 26.3% by the end of 2024.

This projection aligns with expectations of a gradual easing of inflationary pressures within the country, although challenges such as fuel subsidy removal and exchange rate fluctuations continue to pose significant hurdles to price stability.

In tandem with the inflation forecast, the IMF also predicts a modest economic growth rate of 3.3% for Nigeria in 2024.

This growth projection reflects a cautious optimism regarding the country’s economic recovery and resilience in the face of various internal and external challenges.

Despite the ongoing efforts to stabilize the foreign exchange market and address macroeconomic imbalances, the IMF underscores the need for continued policy reforms and prudent fiscal management to sustain growth momentum.

The IMF report provides valuable insights into Nigeria’s economic trajectory, offering policymakers, investors, and stakeholders a comprehensive understanding of the country’s macroeconomic dynamics.

While the projected decline in inflation and modest growth outlook offer reasons for cautious optimism, it remains essential for Nigerian authorities to remain vigilant and proactive in addressing underlying structural vulnerabilities and promoting inclusive economic development.

As the country navigates through a challenging economic landscape, concerted efforts towards policy coordination, investment promotion, and structural reforms will be crucial in unlocking Nigeria’s full growth potential and fostering long-term prosperity.

Continue Reading


South Africa’s March Inflation Hits Two-Month Low Amid Economic Uncertainty



South Africa's economy - Investors King

South Africa’s inflation rate declined to a two-month low, according to data released by Statistics South Africa.

Consumer prices rose by 5.3% year-on-year, down from 5.6% in February. While this decline may initially suggest a positive trend, analysts caution against premature optimism due to various economic factors at play.

The weakening of the South African rand against the dollar, coupled with drought conditions affecting staple crops like white corn and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East leading to rising oil prices, poses significant challenges.

These factors are expected to keep inflation relatively high and stubborn in the coming months, making policymakers hesitant to adjust borrowing costs.

Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, reiterated the bank’s cautious stance on inflation pressures.

Despite the recent easing, inflation has consistently remained above the midpoint of the central bank’s target range of 3-6% since May 2021. Consequently, the bank has maintained the benchmark interest rate at 8.25% for nearly a year, aiming to anchor inflation expectations.

While some traders speculate on potential interest rate hikes, forward-rate agreements indicate a low likelihood of such a move at the upcoming monetary policy committee meeting.

The yield on 10-year bonds also saw a marginal decline following the release of the inflation data.

March’s inflation decline was mainly attributed to lower prices in miscellaneous goods and services, education, health, and housing and utilities.

However, core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, remained relatively steady at 4.9%.

Overall, South Africa’s inflation trajectory underscores the delicate balance between economic recovery and inflation containment amid ongoing global uncertainties.

Continue Reading


Discontent Among Electricity Consumers as Band A Prioritization Leads to Supply Shortages



In Nigeria, discontent among electricity consumers is brewing as Band A prioritization by distribution companies (DisCos) exacerbates supply shortages for consumers in lower tariff bands.

The move follows the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) decision to increase tariffs for customers in Band A, prompting DisCos to focus on meeting the needs of Band A customers to avoid sanctions.

Band A customers, who typically receive 20 to 24 hours of electricity supply daily, are now benefiting at the expense of consumers in Bands C, D, and E, who experience significant reductions in power supply.

The situation has ignited frustration among these consumers, who feel marginalized and neglected by DisCos.

Daily Trust investigations reveal that many consumers in lower tariff bands are experiencing prolonged power outages, despite their expectations of a minimum supply duration.

Residents like Christy Emmanuel from Lugbe, Abuja, and Damilola Akanbi from Life Camp are lamenting receiving less than the promised hours of electricity, rendering it ineffective for their daily needs.

Adding to the challenge is the low electricity generation, forcing DisCos to ration power across the grid.

As of recent records, only 3,265 megawatts were available, leading to further difficulties in meeting the demands of all consumers.

The prioritization of Band A customers has been confirmed by officials from DisCos, citing directives from the government to avoid sanctions from NERC.

An anonymous official from the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company highlighted the pressure from the government to ensure Band A customers receive the required supply, even if it means neglecting other bands.

Meanwhile, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has denied reports blaming it for power shortages to Band A customers. General Manager Ndidi Mbah clarified that recent outages were due to technical faults and adverse weather conditions, outside of TCN’s control.

Experts have criticized the DisCos’ prioritization strategy, arguing that it neglects the needs of consumers in lower tariff bands. Bode Fadipe, CEO of Sage Consulting & Communications, emphasized that DisCos cannot ignore the financial contributions from these bands, which sustain the sector.

Chinedu Amah, founder of Spark Nigeria, urged for optimized supply across all bands, emphasizing the importance of improving service levels for all consumers.

As discontent grows among electricity consumers, calls for fair distribution of power and equitable treatment from DisCos are gaining momentum.

The situation underscores the need for regulatory intervention to address the concerns of all stakeholders and ensure a balanced approach to electricity distribution in Nigeria

Continue Reading