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ANED explains why the recapitalisation of Discos may not work

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors has said that the recapitalisation of Discos will not work unless its investors see possible returns on their investments.

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Despite Power Supply constraint, Nigeria's industrial sector shows growth prospect

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) believes that the plan by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to recapitalise Nigeria’s 11 power distribution companies (Discos) will not be successful unless investors see the possibility of regaining their investments.

ANED’s Chief Executive Officer, Azu Obiaya, disclosed this while speaking during the second day of a two-day seminar that was recently held in preparation for the Performance Improvement Plans by Nigerian Discos. He acknowledged that the recapitalisation of Discos had recently become a vital issue.

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He, however, emphasised that the refund on investments is one thing investors in the sector want to ascertain before agreeing to the recapitalisation process. According to him;

“Recently, there has been a drumbeat for the recapitalisation of the Discos.  There are two principal approaches to recapitalisation – one, we won’t mention today and the other is an investment. For the latter to occur, rational investors would need to see a pathway of recovering their investment for them to make the leap.

 “It is my hope that the PIP guidelines, if implemented faithfully, efficiently and consistently, will provide this pathway, as necessary to re-orientate the sector towards commercial viability and sustainability.”

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The decision to recapitalise the Discos was initiated by the TCN. As Nairametrics reported, the Federal Government is working in partnership with some private investors to jointly raise $4.7 billion for the recapitalisation bid.

The Federal Government will inject $1.7 billion into the DisCos, while the private investors will pay up the balance that is proportional to their 60 percent equity in the companies.

Why this matters: The Managing Director of TCN, Usman Mohammed, said that low investment in the power distribution sector is one of the major factors responsible for unstable electricity in the country. Now, there’s a solution on the way in the form of investments. However, for this to happen, those who are risking their money to make the investment must be assured that their investments must be recouped.

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This is very important because according to the Executive Director in charge of Research and Operation at ANED, Mr Sunday Oduntan, the recapitalisation process would not work because of inappropriate pricing of electricity. He explained that firm that provides capital for the sector expect returns, but how will they get that when their products are under-priced.

He further stated that criminalizing theft is a measure that states should adopt. Citing Edo and Ekiti state governments as an example, he said they are the only ones that have criminalised energy theft, by ensuring that House of Assemblies passed the bill into law.

 

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Patricia
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Hospitality & Travel

FAAN condemns fmr Gov. Yari misconduct at Kano International Airport

it is mandatory for all VIPs to comply with public health procedures to contain COVID-19 across airports.

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Lagos International Airport to get two terminals - FG 

The management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has strongly condemned the conduct of the former Governor of Zamfara State, Alh. Abdulaziz Yari, for blatantly violating the Public Health procedures (COVID-19) on travels at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the agency on Wednesday. The former governor reportedly refused to adhere to the protocols and procedures implemented by FAAN while travelling on Saturday 11th, July 2020.

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FAAN disclosed that he reportedly refused to adhere to the protocols by forcefully pushing away an officer of the Environment Department when he insisted that his luggage must be disinfected.

It stated, “The former Governor said the officer should have known he is a VIP. This irresponsible act endangers all other airport users, it is unacceptable, and as such it has been duly escalated.”

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Back story

Last week, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during Monday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, explained that it is mandatory for all VIPs to comply with public health procedures in place to contain COVID-19 across airports.

While speaking on the new procedures during this COVID-19 era, the minister said that mandatory temperature and symptoms checks will be carried out at the airport terminals and frequent washing of hands should be done at the airports.

He said, “Face masks must be worn at all times inside the airport and airplane and anyone who does not do that will not be allowed inside the airport terminals.

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“Physical distancing will be maintained at all times just as unruly passengers will not be allowed to board the aircrafts or fly as no pilot will be allowed to fly a plane carrying an unruly passenger.”

FAAN warns

Going forward, the agency warned that all airport users, especially esteemed VIPs , should respect the Presidential directive by observing the Public Health travel protocols put in place to protect all air travellers against infection and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Financial Services

NEXIM Bank issues rebuttal following explosive N50 billion fraud allegation

NEXIM Bank was established in 1991 and is devoted to diversifying Nigeria’s non-oil export base.

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Nexim Bank

Following numerous claims accusing Abba Bello, the Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) of diverting the whopping sum of N50 billion, the organisation finally issued a rebuttal yesterday in an attempt to clear its name.

A detailed statement that was signed by NEXIM Bank’s Corporate Communications Department described the accusations as false. The statement also noted that ‘a faceless organisation’ known as Citizens Committee for Corruption Free Nigeria (CCCN) had been the one behind the fraud claims.

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The statement further noted that Nexim Bank initially ignored the accusations, but felt the need to respond after those leveling accusations against the organisation showed no sign of stopping.

READ MORE: NEXIM Bank set to disburse ₦25bn loan to non-oil exporters

The intrigues: In an obvious attempt to absolve the Abba Bello-led management of these fraud allegations, the statement had attacked NEXIM Bank’s immediate past management team. The erstwhile management was dissolved in 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari due to gross incompetence. Apparently, Abba Bello was brought on board to help rescue Nexim Bank from its huge non-performing loan problem which was worsened by what the statement described as “reckless abuse of process” which led to insider related loans and an absolute breakdown of professionalism in bank’s loan administration processes.

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The statement then praised Bello for successfully re-tooling NEXIM Bank and bringing it back from the brink of failure within the 3-year period he had been in charge. The statement also noted that NEXIM Bank reported profits of N2.03 billion and N1.09 billion in full-year 2019 and 2018 respectively, as against losses of N569 million and N8.03 billion in 2017 and 2016, respectively.

“We have noted recent incessant attacks on the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) and its management in a section of the media, predominantly the social media. Most recently, a report has been trending on the social media claiming that a petition has been forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), calling for a probe of the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Nexim Bank, Mr Abba Bello, over alleged corruption and mismanagement of the N50 billion Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility (RRF), provided by the Federal Government…

READ MORE: Buhari orders probe of past administrations over $9 billion U.K judgment

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“The current management of the bank, led by Mr Abba Bello, resumed office in April 2017 to replace the erstwhile government, which was removed by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, over issues relating to gross incompetence, which had made the bank almost insolvent, with huge non-performing loans, exacerbated by reckless abuse of process, insider related loans and lack of professionalism in loans administration, amongst other issues,” some parts of the statement said.

More details: Citizens Committee for Corruption Free Nigeria (CCCN) had started a petition with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), calling for Bello’s probe over the alleged diversion of N50 billion from Nexim Bank’s coffers. Specifically, the petition had accused Abba Bello of diverting and mismanaging the N50 billion Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility which was availed by the Federal Government to assist commercial and merchant banks to provide short-term finance in support of exports.

NEXIM Bank also clarified on the N50 billion Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility, noting that the money has been used to fund about 60 projects since it was released by the Federal Government in 2018. The bank said the track records of the fund’s beneficiaries are verifiable, and that the loans were adequately secured.

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Note that NEXIM Bank was established in 1991 and is devoted to diversifying Nigeria’s non-oil export base through the provision of adequate financing.

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Tech News

Gokada Founder, Fahim Saleh murdered in New York apartment

Mr. Fahim Saleh’s body was found decapitated and dismembered with an electric saw.

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Gokada Founder Fahim Saleh murdered in New York apartment

Fahim Saleh, the entrepreneur who founded Gokada, has been murdered in his luxury New York City apartment, according to the New York Times.

Police detectives in New York disclosed that Mr Saleh’s body was found decapitated and dismembered with an electric saw. His head, limbs, and torso were said to have been found in different parts of the apartment after whoever murdered him tried to clean up the crime scene.

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The police also revealed that plastic bags were found on the scene of the murder, which they say could have been an effort to “clean up” evidence of the murder.

The casualty was identified as 33 years old, Fahim Saleh, tech entrepreneur and Gokada founder who owned the apartment. His body was found by his sister, 3:30 pm New York time after she went to check on him after not hearing from him in 24 hours, calling the police immediately after finding the body.

Police also believe his sister’s arrival may have interrupted the evidence clean up, as the electric saw was still plugged in. Police are investigating it as a case of homicide.

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READ MORE: Bike-hailing firms in talks with Lagos State to resume operations

Surveillance video showed Mr. Saleh entering the elevator with someone else in a black mask and suit, the person also follows Saleh as he enters his apartment, and a fight began between the two. Police say there is a second exit through a service entrance in the apartment.

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Fahim Saleh was born in Saudi Arabia to Bangladeshi parents before settling in New York with his family and started coding as a teenager. He founded PrankDial after graduating from Bentley University where he recorded his first success in tech.

READ ALSO: Gokada returns amidst price war, market expansion and government regulations 

He founded the bike hailing company Gokada, which began operations in Lagos 2 years ago. Gokada has raised $12.4 million according to Startup listing site Crunchbase. During their venture capital raise of $5.3 million in 2019, Saleh announced plans to expand Gokada services into a club with restaurants, letting drivers relax and get things they need from a  Gokada shop such as food.

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Gokada had to reduce operations in Lagos after the February Okada ban. The Lagos Sate Government had banned okada services in Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Lagos Mainland LGA, Yaba LCDA, Surulere LGA, Itire-Ikate LCDA, Coker-Aguda LCDA,  Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo LCDA, Ojodu LCDA, Eti-Osa LGA, Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, Iru-Victoria Island LCDA, Lagos Island LGA and Lagos Island East LCDA.

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