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States are free to generate and distribute energy, subject to NERC rules

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TCN ready to waive Discos' N270 billion debt, TCN want Discos to recapitalise, Discos investment in power sector

State governments are free to generate and distribute their own power, subject rules by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). Heavy consumers of power also have the liberty to purchase energy from sources other than Distribution Companies (DISCOs) but will have to pay a rate between N30-N80 per kilowatt. This was stated in a communique issued at the 18th power sector operators meeting.

Implications of this clarification

State governments could decide to move into electricity generation and distribution in order to enhance commercial activities in their domain. Manufacturing outfits tend to be concentrated in areas that have regular power. This in turn will boost commercial activities in the states. States will also benefit from enhanced tax revenue both from companies operating and individuals that will be employed. The states could also have an easier time running these operations as they would be able to raise the necessary financing. Distribution Companies (DISCOs) are currently hampered by several issues ranging from heavy loans due to commercial banks that funded their acquisition, poor payment by customers, and an inability to meter them. States will also have no issues with right of way when expanding or building infrastructure to do distribute or generate power.

Old problems could  come up

As positive as this news is,  the very issues that lead the Federal Government to privatize power assets could repeat themselves. Government at any level is a poor manager of business enterprises. Government owned companies tend to be badly run, and bedeviled by corruption and inefficiency. This could then lead to inefficient power supply.

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Christopher B. Pemu has a degree in Political Science from the University of Lagos. He joined Nairametrics in 2014 as News Editor and later as Managing Editor. He currently serves as the General Manager of Nairametrics. He takes pleasure in traveling, enjoys world politics and in sport, he loves watching football and tennis.

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Business

School Resumption: Parents commend Lagos Govt, request e-learning infrastructure support for public schools

Government reopening of schools has no doubt been welcomed by concerns by some parents.

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Covid-19 School Reopening: WhatsApp messages reveal fear among Nigerian Parents

Parents of students in leading private schools in Lagos, including Meadow Hall, RMS, Wellspring College, Christ College, Children International School, Alpha Soteria, and many more, are happy with the Lagos State Government’s resolution to re-open schools on the 21st of September.

72.73% of parents surveyed expressed confidence that their children’s schools are COVID-19 complaint and ready, while 27.27% are not sure the schools are ready. The above stats show that the efforts of the government in making sure the schools are well-prepared to resume during this pandemic are paying off and parents are grateful for this; however, 54% of the parents want a new session to start from 21st of September, effectively canceling the 3rd term like other state governments have done.

About 60% of the parents surveyed said that they got value for money from online schooling for their wards, but the challenges were many. They implored the Lagos State Government to work with the schools in solving these challenges, which include:

  • Contents not rich and extensive enough
  • Work overload without assessment
  • Feedback mechanism from teachers and performance ratings for the children not properly done
  • No time focused /attention per child, making lecture times ineffective
  • Some parents also said it was stressful navigating the platforms
  • The greatest of all issues mentioned was data, as many lectures were held via video streaming for hours daily

In all, the parents commended the efforts of the teachers who, regardless of the challenges, tried their best to get the children engaged during the lockdown period. They did this, even without proper warning or planning for online schooling.

Over 90% of the parents surveyed had attended public schools in the past; they encouraged the state government to do more for the public schools in this new normal digital education era, so that public school children wouldn’t be disadvantaged and lag behind.

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The parents asked that public schools be equipped with e-learning facilities, internet access for teachers, an internet library for the students, training to skill up teachers in the use of Information Technology for teaching, and laptops for the schools. They also requested that government provides low-cost funding for required resources.

In all of this, 60% of the parents surveyed said they are willing to support the government, in a bid to digitally empower the public schools in the state.

Speaking to Sobowale Temiloluwa, CEO, Intelligent Interactive Limited, a digital analytics and technology company on the survey, he said:

“There can be no progress without measurement and feedback, whilst the government is doing their bit, they need to get feedback from all stakeholders, including parents, in order to innovate and improve. The pandemic came as a shock to all, and we were all forced to go online, without adequate preparation. Having done this for months, we need to look back, see where we performed well, and where we performed poorly and improve.”

On public schools he said:

“In the new normal, everyone needs access to the internet, and these resources must be provided, else, the public school children will lag behind. However, this Government cannot do it alone, parents that have benefited from the public schooling system in the past must also support the government to achieve the task of empowering all children with access to digital tools for education.”

“Many global technology giants in Nigeria and Globally, are supporting governments with grants and tools to aid e-learning, the government can reach out to these top companies for help and partnerships. But it must be known that digital education has come to stay, and there must be moves to scale up, so we can meet up with the demands of this new normal period,” he concluded.

Below are the results of the survey conducted:

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Business

Lagos shuts 3 container terminals, hotel in Amuwo Odofin, seals 17 buildings in Lekki

The government has moved to seal illegal terminals and unapproved structures in the state.

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Lagos issues ultimatum to Tank Farm Operators over planning permit, Lagos seals 27 residential and commercial buildings in Lekki, LASG Seals 19 more Buildings in Banana Island over planning permit

The Lagos State Government has moved to stop activities of the illegal container terminals with the sealing up of 3 illegal locations along Festac Link Bridge, Amuwo Odofin. This also includes the one used for batching sand underneath the bridge, among others.

The state government, in its continued clampdown on illegal structure, sealed off 17 buildings at Oniru Estate, Lekki and several others along Oniru Beach. It also sealed the Festival Hotel and a 9-floor serviced apartment illegally renovated in Amuwo Odofin.

This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, while supervising the sealing off of the facilities, in the company of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Ganiyu Adele Ayuba, and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Arc. Foluso Dipe.

Salako noted that the existence of container terminals and docks must be controlled in order to forestall abuse of the physical environment and ensure environmental sustainability.

He explained that the container terminals, some of which also operated unapproved docks, are located indiscriminately in apparent contravention of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning Law 2019 which stipulates that prospective developers must obtain Planning Information and Planning Permit as necessary conditions for locating such facilities.

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While ordering the removal of the container trucks along Festac-Mile 2 link-bridge, the Commissioner said that the State Government would not condone the existence of illegal terminals or similar facilities across the metropolis in view of their impacts on the infrastructure and natural resources of the State.

Salako urged anyone interested in setting up such facilities to approach the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development for Planning Information, which would give informed advice on approvable locations, and also obtain a Planning Permit from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA).

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 18th of September 2020, 221 new confirmed cases and 1 death were recorded in Nigeria.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 56,956 confirmed cases.

On the 18th of September 2020, 221 new confirmed cases and 1 death were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,609 samples across the country.

To date, 56,956 cases have been confirmed, 48,305 cases have been discharged and 1,094 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 482,321  tests have been carried out as of September 18th, 2020 compared to 479,712 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 18th September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 56,956
  • Total Number Discharged – 48,305
  • Total Deaths – 1,094
  • Total Tests Carried out – 482,321

According to the NCDC, the 221 new cases were reported from 18 states- Lagos (59), Abia (46), FCT (22), Gombe (20), Plateau (17), Rivers (11), Bauchi (7), Benue (6), Ekiti (6), Imo (6), Kaduna (4), Kwara (4), Ondo (4), Ogun (3), Osun (3), Bayelsa (1), Edo (1), Kano (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 18,827, followed by Abuja (5,526), Oyo (3,226), Plateau (3,192), Edo (2,611), Kaduna (2,326), Rivers (2,220), Delta (1,799), Ogun (1,758), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,594), Enugu (1,234), Ebonyi (1,035), Kwara (1,013), Abia (881), Katsina (845), Osun (810), Gombe (799), Borno (741), and Bauchi (689).

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Imo State has recorded 557 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (447), Bayelsa (394),  Jigawa (322), Ekiti (313), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (250), Anambra (232), Adamawa (230), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (73), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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