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AfCFTA under threat of poor power supply as TCN MD proffers solution.

The Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Mohammed, has disclosed what should be done to solve the deteriorating state of power supply. 

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In order to allay the fears of those who feel that the poor state of power supply in Nigeria is a threat to the effectiveness of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in the country, the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Mohammed, has disclosed what should be done to solve the deteriorating state of power supply. 

The solution to poor power supply: Electricity supply has remained epileptic in Nigeria due to the lack of constant investment in the power sector by the Distribution Companies (DisCos), and according to Mohammed, this has affected the utilisation level of the TCN’s installations. 

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[READ MORE: Signing AfCTA agreement; Our concerns for Nigeria by CSL Stockbrokers]

While speaking during an inspection of TCN’s facilities in Kano, Mohammed said the Distribution Companies should be recapitalised for proper efficiency, arguing that without recapitalisation, Distribution Companies can’t rehabilitate their existing network. 

“We have proposed the recapitalisation of the Discos. That is where we believe the improvement in the Power sector lies. We are calling on all Nigerians to clamour for the recapitalisation of the DisCos. If they are not recapitalised, there is no way they can rehabilitate their existing network. 

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“So, you can see that two feeders here are out because the feeders are weak. Therefore, any time there is rain, those feeders cannot function. 

“The reason they cannot function is that they were not rehabilitated. This is what TCN is pushing for Discos to do. 

“On the capacity of power in the nation, TCN is working hard. We have not solved all of our problems. So, anywhere we have problems, we have solutions to them. “We are discouraging redundancy across the country and we have achieved a certain level of control over our frequency. We have a spinning reserve with a road network and we are doing all our best to make it work. We have a roadmap which we are following religiously.” 

He added that, “In Kano, I have discovered that most of the transformers, especially the one in Dakata area of the metropolis, are underutilised. Sometimes, you hear that TCN is not supplying DisCos with adequate electricity for distribution. In reality, it is not true. 

“If you look at the transformers in Dakata, which are 60 KV, you can see they are idle, apart from the one in the middle. None of them is taking maximum loads. 

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“One of the things we need to propagate is to ask the DisCos to invest in their network so that they will be able to take enough loads. As you can see, the implementation of transmission and rehabilitation that we are embarking upon is on course and everything is moving fine. 

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Mohammed said, “In this sub-station at Dakata, you can see that we have 30 MVA, but we are going to replace it with 60 MVA. We are through with the procurement and the installation has reached an advanced stage. 

“So, the line from Kumbotso to Dakata would be re-conducted to put high capacity of the conductor so that it can carry twice the current capacity. So, this is what TCN is embarking upon to boost electricity to the DisCos. 

“With all these efforts from our side without commensurate investment by the DisCos, Nigerians would not feel the investment we are putting in place to improve the distribution and supply of electricity to them. That is why we are asking you journalists to enlighten them to invest.” 

According to Mohammed, TCN is working towards ensuring effective power distribution and supply by the DisCos through rehabilitation, replacement and adequate maintenance of its facilities across the country. 

[READ ALSO: TCN ready to waive DisCos’ N270 billion debt, but DisCos don’t want it]

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Power threatens AfCFTA: Nigeria’s economic growth has been sluggish for years, with the private sector operators finding it difficult to operate in the business environment. One of the major factors that have been highlighted by small, medium and large corporations is the poor level of power supply in the country. 

To solve this problem, business owners often resort to spending millions of naira every month to generate their own electricity. This, therefore, contributes to the cost of doing business, and it will reflect in the production of goods and service when the AfCFTA fully takes effect in Africa. It could rob Nigerian companies of profits as their goods are likely to be snubbed for cheaper alternatives from other African countries. 

In a statement congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari on signing the trade agreement, the electricity companies, under the aegis of the Association of the Power Generation Companies, warned that the poor power supply in the country will deprive Nigeria of the benefits of AfCFTA. 

The group said Nigerian companies won’t reap the full potential of the single market “until the problems of the power sector are fully addressed. 

[READ FURTHER: TCN suspends KEDCO, withholds payment due to it]

 

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: fakoyejo.olalekan@nairametrics.com.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 now a national security threat, as 2020 fiscal deficit exceeds FRA Standards

Reports from the Addendum to the 2020-2022 MTEF/FSP reveal that the revised fiscal deficit is estimated at N4.58 trillion from N1.85 trillion

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Covid-19 Regarded As Threat To National Security With 2020 Fiscal Deficit Higher Than FRA Standards

Given the vulnerability of Nigeria to the current global economic disruption, a series of key adjustments have been made to the 2020 fiscal framework. One of such is the fiscal deficit and deficit financing strategy following revisions to projected revenue and planned expenditure.

Reports from the Addendum to the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), reveal that the revised fiscal deficit is estimated at N4.58 trillion from N1.85 trillion in the 2020 Budget Framework passed by NASS.

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This level of deficit is 3.29% of GDP and this is above the threshold of 3% of GDP as stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007. Section 12 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007 (as amended), stipulates that:

(i) “the estimates of aggregate expenditure and the aggregate amount appropriated by the National Assembly for each financial year shall not be more than the estimated aggregate revenue plus a deficit, not exceeding three% of the estimated Gross Domestic Product or any sustainable percentage as may be determined by the National Assembly for each financial year”; and,

(ii) “aggregate expenditure for the financial year may exceed the ceiling imposed by the provisions of (i) above, if in the opinion of the President there is a clear and present threat to national security or sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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(READ MORE: FG discloses how it will finance N5.36 trillion budget deficit)

According to the report, when the revenues and expenditures of the 10 GOEs as well as expenditures financed from project-tied loans are captured in the FGN’s budget, the aggregate fiscal deficit for 2020 will be N4.95 trillion, which is 3.55% of GDP.”

 “We believe that the COVID-19 crisis poses a threat to national security within the contemplation of the FRA 2007, and therefore the President can legitimately approve a deficit in excess of 3% of GDP.” 

The deficit will primarily be financed by new borrowings estimated at N4.17 trillion – N1.98 trillion from external (multilateral) concessional sources like the IMF, World Bank, & African Development Bank, and new domestic debts of about N593.89 billion. N126.04 billion will also be derived from Privatization proceeds, N263.63 billion from the Federal Government’s Special Accounts to fund covid-19 expenditures, and N387.30 billion will be drawn down on multilateral/bilateral loans obtained for specific development projects.

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Economy & Politics

Here is what Akinwunmi Adesina said about allegations against him

Akinwumi Adesina has denied allegations made against him by a group of whistleblowers describing them as frivolous and not based on solid facts. 

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AFDB partners DFID to unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa , AfDB invests $600 million in Africa’s renewable energy, discloses de-risk plan , Nobody eats GDP – AfDB President, Adesina tells African leaders , Africa’s Debt Problem: AfDB replies World Bank, accuses it of misleading public , The responses to allegations against me – AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina has denied allegations made against him by a group of whistleblowers describing them as frivolous and not based on objective and solid facts.

This was contained in his response dated April 8, 2020, to the bank’s ethics committee on the allegations against him.

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Nairametrics had reported the probe of the activities of Adesina, some allegations from a group of whistleblowers. Here are his responses to some of the allegations.

On the appointment of Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu. Adesina explained that she was recruited through a globally advertised, open and competitive recruitment process that was carried out by a top-notch external recruitment firm, Russell Reynolds of the UK. He disclosed that she was one of two top candidates that were recommended to him for consideration by the panel and so the allegations of single-handedly appointing her is not true.

On the appointment and promotions of Martin Fregene, the AfDB boss pointed out that he is not his brother-in-law. He said Fregene was hired as a consultant by the Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blake, to support her in the development of the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy. He admitted approving the recommended hire which was entirely within his power to do.

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(READ MORE:AfDB’s Akinwumi Adesina hits back, denies allegations against him)

On the mismanagement of the TAAT programme, he said that he did not violate the Code of Conduct. In his words, ‘’Although some staff made some mistakes in the procurement process, this is being investigated by the Bank and no findings have been made yet. There was no impropriety. The president does not get involved in contractual issues in the Bank, except in cases involving matters that may affect the image, reputation, and interests of the Bank’’.

On the appointment and promotion of Mrs Maria Mulundi. Adesina said that she worked with him prior to joining the Bank. Going further he said, ‘’She was part of my transition management team as I prepared to take office at the bank following my election as President, and she very ably led all engagements with the Bank with my transition team. All Presidents of the Bank are allowed to bring in and appoint their own Chief of Staff and advisers, to help them to implement their mandate’’.

On the contracting and appointment of Victor Oladokun, Adesina pointed out that they went to the university together and have been very close friends since then. He said that there is nothing in the Bank rules that says that being a friend of anyone in the Bank who gets recruited at the bank is against Bank rules.

On the allegation that a Nigerian, Mr Ezinwa was found guilty of sexually harassing a colleague during his probation period; and despite his misconduct, I requested that his contract be confirmed, thus forcing the HR Director, Mrs Frauke Harnischfeger to resign is false. He said,

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‘’The truth is that I do not know Mr. Ezinwa and have never met him in the Bank. The President does not get involved in any staff appraisals except for Vice Presidents and direct reports. The then HR Director, Mr. David Ssegawa, evaluated the staff and there was nothing about sexual harassment. Mrs Frauke Harnischfeger was not the HR Director in 2018. The HR Director in 2018 was Mr David Ssegawa, who evaluated the staff and recommended the staff, as per the standard procedures of the Bank, to the President. Ms Harnischfeger joined the Bank in 2019, one year after a confirmation recommendation made by the predecessor HR Director’’. 

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(READ MORE: AfDB partners DFID to unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa)

On the allegation of preferential treatment for Nigeria and Nigerians, the AfDB President said that he did not introduce an organizational chart with a Nigeria Country Directorate. He said that decision was taken by the Board of Directors under the leadership of his predecessor, Donald Kaberuka.

Adesina said that the allegation on settlements for staff separations and that somehow the former Chief Economist, Mr. Celestine Monga, departed the Bank with improper payments is false. He disclosed that the Chief Economist was not dismissed while pointing out that contract non-renewal is not the dismissal of staff.

On the allegation of awards received by the President and costs borne by the Bank, Adesina said that although they were individual prizes, they brought great credit and prestige to the AfDB. He said that he brought further credit to himself and the Bank by donating these two cash awards for the establishment of the World Hunger Fighters Foundation and the Borlaug Adesina Fellows Fellowship for young African Agribusiness Innovators. He also disclosed that the expenses of the World Food Prize event, including musical entertainment (musical groups from Nigeria and the Glee Club from Purdue University (my alma mater) were defrayed by the World Food Prize Foundation.

On the resignation of Mr David Ssegawa, the HR Director, Adesina denied that he allowed him to resign when there was an investigation against him. He said there was absolutely no investigation of David Ssegawa when he resigned, nor was one contemplated.

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On the allegation of political lobbying and bribing of Heads of State to support his re-election, Adesina pointed out that the allegation essentially impugns the integrity, leadership and honesty of 16 African presidents and ECOWAS. He described the allegation as fanciful and baseless.

 

 

 

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Business News

Nigerians will now pay N50 stamp duty on electronic receipts – FIRS

“Any electronic receipt for, or electronic transfer of, money deposited with any bank or with any banker in any type of account of an amount from N10,000 upwards shall attract a singular or one-off duty of the sum of N50.” –FIRS

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7.5% VAT: Implementation to begin Feb 1 – FG, FIRS redeploys 50 directors in massive shakeup ,FIRS moves to stop tax evasion with newly launched intelligence system , FIRS boss, Nami discloses why FIRS failed to meet revenue target under Fowler, FIRS to scale up tax compliance with new policies , FIRS tighten noose on deduction of stamp duty, CIT, others , Nigerians will now pay N50 stamp duty on electronic receipts – FIRS

Nigerians will now pay stamp duties on all forms of electronic notifications acknowledging receipts of funds.

This includes SMS and messages on any electronic platform such as emails and Whatsapp messages.

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This is according to a circular that was signed by FIRS’ Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami, as seen on the tax agency’s website. Part of the circular said:

“Any electronic receipt for, or electronic transfer of, money deposited with any bank or with any banker in any type of account of an amount from N10,000 upwards shall attract a singular or one-off duty of the sum of N50.

“Stamp duty upon receipt (written, printed or in electronic form) for transactions between corporate bodies or between a corporate body and an individual, group or body of individuals, which amounts to N10,000 and above, shall be denoted by payment of N50 per receipt to the service.”

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The FIRS circular also stated that stamp duties will be paid on “POS receipts, fiscalised device receipts, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) print-outs.”

(READ MORE:Nigerians react as FIRS Chairman asks companies to pay tax before due date)

The circular went further to categorically state that all receipts, either printed or electronically generated, or any form of electronic acknowledgement of money transactions, will attract the stamp duty of N50.

The agency also clarified that it is the only body authorised to collect such duties because “the Federal Inland Revenue Service is the only competent authority to impose, charge, and collect duties upon instruments specified in the schedule to this act if such instrument relates to matters executed between a company and an individual, group or body of individuals.”

The instruments subject to charge, as listed in the circular, include; fixed duty instruments such as Power of Attorney, Certificate of Attorney, Proxy forms, Appointment of receivers, Memorandum of Understanding, Joint Venture Agreements, Guarantors form, Ordinary agreements and Receipts; and Ad-valorem instruments such as Tenancy or lease agreements, legal mortgage or debentures, Sales agreements and Deed of assignments.

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