- FG May Offer More Public Assets for Sale
Indications have emerged that more public assets may be put up for sale by the Federal Government as the Bureau of Public Enterprises reviews the 2020 Privatisation Work Plan.
Checks by our correspondent revealed that work on the review of the privatisation work plan is ongoing.
The revised 2020 budget has a deficit of N5.37tn.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had said the Federal Government intended to finance the deficit through domestic and foreign borrowing, as well as proceeds from privatisation of public assets.
Our correspondent learnt that the BPE is reviewing the 2020 Privatisation Work Plan.
The review of the work plan was informed by the drop in the projected revenue that will accrue to the Federal Government within the year.
Director General of the BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, confirmed the ongoing review of the privatisation work plan to our correspondent on Thursday.
Responding to enquiries by our correspondent, Okoh said, “We are currently reviewing the Privatisation Work Plan for 2020 to determine the transactions that are feasible within the fiscal year in view of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 health pandemic.
“We should be ready by the end of next week.”
Although Okoh did not disclose whether the review will require putting more public assets up for sale, the need to source funds for the N5.37tn deficit in the 2020 budget may compel the Federal Government to seek more revenue from additional privatisation transactions.
Before the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic instigated the ongoing review of the 2020 Privatisation Work Plan, the BPE had targeted the generation of N266.8bn as revenue from the sale and commercialisation of public assets during the year.
The sum of N3.9bn would be expended on the transactions, leaving a net revenue of N266.8bn.
The bulk of the projected 2020 transactions are in the energy sector, where the BPE targeted N268.3bn.
The transactions from which the BPE planned to generate the N266.8bn include carry overs from the 2019 approved work plan, such as completion of sales of Yola Electricity Distribution Company and Afam Power Limited and Afam Three Fast Power.
The transactions also included the Nigeria Integrated Power Projects.
Other transactions in the initial 2020 work plan include sale of additional shares of Geregu to Amperion Power, Tafawa Balewa Square, Bank of Agriculture, Dowell Schlumberger Nigeria Limited, NMC houses, Nigeria Commodity Exchange and River Basin Development Authorities and Lagos International Trade Fair complex.
Electricity Consumers, Hoteliers, Others Kick Against Petrol Price, Power Tariff Hikes
Groups Kick Against Increase in Petrol Price, Power Tariff
The Network for Electricity Consumers Advocacy of Nigeria, the Nigerian Hotels Association, the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, Hotel Owners Forum, Abuja, and Power Up Nigeria have all kicked against the recent increases in power tariff and petrol price.
In a joint press conference held in Abuja on Friday, the groups rejected the increase and demanded an urgent reversal, saying the economic hardship imposed on Nigerians and businesses in the country by the COVID-19 pandemic would worsen if the increases in electricity tariff and petrol remains.
The speech jointly signed by presidents of NHA, FTAN, HOFA, Power Up Nigeria and read by the NECAN Secretary, Uket Obonga, the groups said it was sad that the Federal Government had chosen to compound the suffering of the Nigerian people at a time when the rest of the world are making efforts to ease the impacts of COVID-19 on their citizens.
They said, “It is sad to note that while other nations are enacting policies and taking measures to cushion the hardship imposed on their citizens by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has chosen to place an unpardonable burden on Nigerians.
“This burden is not only the electricity tariff increase but also the hike in the pump price of petrol at a time that the people are suffocating under a distressed economy.”
They added, “It is very unfortunate that the Federal Government could allow itself to be misled into believing that tariff increase is the silver bullet that will shoot the sector revenues to Eldorado.”
The groups further stated that the cause of weak revenue in the power sector had not been addressed, neither is the nation’s low internally generated revenue addressed.
According to the groups, this was not the first time power distributors companies were pushing for a tariff increase, but the past Multi Year Tariff Order reviews that ended up increasing the price of electricity did not yield the desired result.
They said, “Recall that as soon as the MYTO 2015 order came into effect on February 1, 2016, the power distribution companies began another quest for further increase.
“They flagrantly disregarded the provisions of the MYTO path and energy charges contained therein, as the Discos went ahead to choose which tariff rate to use in determining bills given to the customers.
The groups argued that the incessant request for tariff increase had become a hypothetical exercise rather than the solution to the sector’s revenue problem.
“We, therefore, wish to state categorically that we reject the September 1, 2020 tariff increase as ordered by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission,” they said.
They added, “We call on the Federal Government to rescind the increase because we note that there is nothing put on the ground to cushion the effect of the dual increase of the end user tariff and the pump price of petrol.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved power distribution companies (DisCos) to start collecting 87.9 percent of the recently raised electricity tariff from consumers in the first half of 2021.
This was disclosed in the latest tariff review documents forwarded to the 11 power distribution companies in the country. Also, DisCos were approved to start collecting 100 percent of the new tariff from the second half of 2021.
Nigeria’s Electricity Consumers to Start Paying Full Rates from H2 2020
Electricity Consumers to Pay Full Rates from July 2021
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved power distribution companies to collect an average of 87.9 percent of the recently raised electricity tariff from consumers in the first half of 2021.
In the latest tariff review documents issued to the 11 power distribution companies, power distribution companies had been approved to collect 100 percent of the new tariff from July to December 2021.
The approved new collection rates for the Discos means that Nigeria’s electricity consumers would be required to pay higher tariffs starting from the second half of 2021.
This is coming despite Nigerians kicking against the increase implemented on September 1, 2020. Nigerians have declared the numerous increases by President Muhammadu Buhari as anti-people policy, saying the administration continues to compound the people’s burden despite COVID-19 negative impacts on them.
A few numbers of Nigerians have staged protests to compel the administration to revise increases on Value Added Tax, pump price and electricity tariff because of the ongoing economic uncertainties and weak macroeconomic data after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the inflation rate rose above 13 percent, unemployment rate hits 27.1 percent and general plunged in economic activities and earnings of the Nigerian people.
However, the approval means DisCos will collect an average of 88 percent tariff in the first half of 2021 and up it to 100 percent in the second half of 2021 as contained in the NERC’s directive.
Shipping Companies Lost 1,382 Containers to Bad Weather Yearly – Report
World Shipping Council Says 1,382 Containers Lost Year
A recent report by the World Shipping Council has estimated that about 1,382 containers are lost at the sea yearly due to bad weather and other unforeseen circumstances.
In the report titled ‘Containers lost at sea – 2020 update’, the council attributed the disappearance of over 1,382 containers to severe weather, rough seas, ship groundings and structural failures as some of the problems which can result in containers being lost at sea.
The report said it used a survey-based system to calculate the losses made by shipping companies over a 12-year period.
It said, “Upon review of the results of the 12-year period (2008-2019) surveyed, the WSC estimates that there were on average a total of 1,382 containers lost at sea each year.
“With 12 years of data, it is particularly interesting to look at the trend of three-year averages, reported in each of the survey updates.
“In the first period (2008-2010), total losses averaged 675 per year and then quadrupled to an average of 2,683 per year in the next period (2011-2013).
“This was due in large part to the sinking of the MOL Comfort (2013) that resulted in a loss of 4,293 containers and further impacted by the grounding and loss of M/V Rena (2011) resulting in approximately 900 containers lost.
“Nevertheless, the next period (2014-2016) was marked by another vessel sinking with the tragic total loss of the SS El Faro (2015) with the loss of 33 crew members and 517 containers.
“Even with that, the three-year average annual loss for the period was 1,390, about half of the previous period. The downward trend continued into the most recent period (2017-2019) when the three-year average annual loss was almost halved again to 779.”
The WSC, therefore, encouraged governments and other stakeholders to improve container safety and reduce containers lost at sea.
This, it said could be achieved by making adjustments to the Safety of Life at Sea and revising the International Organisation for Standardisation standards for container lashing equipment and corner castings.
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