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Business News

FG may withdraw licenses of Abuja, 7 other Discos in 60 days

FG, through NERC may withdraw the licences of eight Discos over breaches of some provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act.

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Chairman NERC/CEO, Prof. James Momoh

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) may withdraw the licences of eight power distribution companies (DisCos) over breaches of some provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act.

According to the regulatory commission, the eight power firms include Abuja, Benin, Enugu, Ikeja, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt and Yola Electricity Distribution Companies.

The details: In a notice posted on its website, the power sector regulator said it intended to cancel licences issued to the eight DisCos in pursuant to Section 74 of the EPSR Act.

According to NERC, the licences of the 8 DisCos might be withdrawn due to three main fundamental reasons. Essentially, NERC stated that the listed firms had breached the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (ESPRA), terms and conditions of their respective distribution licences and the Remittance Order of the year 2019.

Under the Power Sector Recovery Plan (PSRP) approved by the Federal Government, DisCos are liable to relevant penalties/sanctions for failure to meet the minimum remittances requirement in any payment cycle in line with the provisions of its respective contracts with NBET, Market operator (MO) and provisions of the Market Rules.

[READ MORE: Power sector records N2.2 billion loss, here is why]

Highlighting the breaches, NERC stated that the remittances of the 8 DisCos to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) in July 2019 billing cycle showed failure to meet the expected minimum remittance thresholds. Basically, the commission’s notice showed that all the listed DisCos failed to meet the expected minimum remittance in July.

A look at the report shows that three other DisCos remitted 10% during the period while the highest remittance was 40%, as they all fell short of the expected minimum remittance stipulated by NERC.

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NERC

It was further disclosed that the objective of Order was to place the DisCos on a path of meeting their contractual/performance obligations to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NESI) with the recognition of tariff shortfalls arising from revenue under-recovery.

The commission also said that the failure of DisCos to comply with expected minimum remittance thresholds in the Order exposed NESI to systemic risk that threatened the sustainability of other parts of the value chain, and the ability to improve service delivery to consumers.

[READ MORE: Power Sector: 11 DisCos recorded N1.67 trillion revenue shortfalls in 5 years]

Following the breaches, the regulatory commission stated that all the DisCos must show cause in writing within 60 days from the date of receipt of the notice, detailing reasons why their respective licenses should not be cancelled in accordance of the EPSRA law.

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Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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    Business

    FG to commence construction of 4 new rail projects across the country

    The listed rail line projects include Ibadan-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Kano-Maradi and Lagos-Calabar rail lines.

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    Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transport, Nigerian railway contract with CCECC and CRRC, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, Chinese Railway Rolling stock Corporation

    The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Federal Government is about to commence 4 new rail line projects in various parts of the country.

    The listed rail line projects include Ibadan-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Kano-Maradi and Lagos-Calabar rail lines.

    This disclosure was made by Amaechi while speaking at the annual ministerial press briefing on programmes, projects and activities of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies on Friday in Abuja.

    READ: FG to fully launch E-ticketing platform for NRC next week

    What the Minister of Transportation is saying

    Although the Minister announced that the Federal Government was about to start the rail lines project, he was not specific on the exact dates the projects would start.

    Amaechi, in his statement, said, “We have awarded the following contracts and we are about to start and we have even tried to solve the financial problems. This is because we have the problem of having to hire consulting engineers.

    READ: $2 billion Kano-Maradi rail would be completed in 36 months – FG

    “The ones we are about to start include Ibadan to Kano, we are waiting for funds from China. We are about to start Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, we are waiting for the cabinet to approve consulting shares. We are also to start the Kano-Maradi and Lagos to Calabar.

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    “But one thing that is unique about these contracts is that the president early enough directed that all rail lines must stagnate at the seaports.

    “That is why there may be a bit of adjustment in the pricing of Kano-Maradi because we have to adjust it to link up to Kano-Lagos so that it can terminate at Lagos seaport.’’

    The Minister pointed out that the 185.5km Lagos-Ibadan double standard gauge line with extension to Apapa seaport was nearing completion, while the 186km Abuja-Kaduna and 302km Warri-Itakpe standard gauge lines had been completed and were functional.

    READ: FG urges contractors to complete Ebute Meta–Apapa seaports railway extension by January 2021

    What this means

    • The various rail line projects are part of the ambitious plan by the Federal Government to create a nationwide rail network that is intended to help in the country’s diversification efforts, away from crude oil.
    • Some of these rail projects will also help to decongest the Apapa ports in Lagos and serve as a route for the import and export of goods in the West African sub-region.

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    Business

    Customs Tin-Can Island Command generates N112.7 billion in Q1 2021

    This is a N21.1 billion increase in revenue compared to a revenue of N91.6 billion in Q1 2020.

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    The Nigerian Customs Service revealed that its Tin-Can Island Command has a first-quarter revenue of N112.7 billion in 2021. This is a N21.1 billion increase in revenue compared to a revenue of N91.6 billion in Q1 2020.

    This was disclosed by Mr Mba Musa, Customs Area Controller, in a statement on Friday.

    “The comparative analysis of quarter one revenue collection from 2018 to 2021 are as follows: in 2018, N76,789,721,107.42; in 2019, N78,857,106,168.27; and in 2020, N91,635,998,490.73,” the customs boss said.

    READ: Customs revenue rises by N200 billion to hit N1.5 trillion in 2020

    “This improvement is despite the twin threat to lives and livelihood posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The command has inspired their officers to continue to work hard while observing all the safety measures to achieve the best of performance.

    “We kept our lines of communication open and concerted effort was made to ensure that the supply chain is not disrupted,” he added.

    READ MORE: Customs officers must declare their assets annually – Customs boss

    What you should know: The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated a revenue of N1.5 trillion for the year 2020, a rise compared to N1.3 trillion in 2019.

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