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Senate to probe GenCos, DisCos as Nigerian companies relocate to Ghana over power supply 

GenCos and DisCos will be probed by the Nigerian Senate over unstable power supply that has become the order of the day in the country.

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Stamp duty, Senate to probe PPPRA over non-remittance, blame systemic corruption for bad roads, Senate invites Bigi and Pepsi manufacturers, as stiff competition continues , Senate orders investigation of banks over withholding tax remittances

Power generating and distribution companies will be probed by the Nigerian Senate over unstable power supply that has become the order of the day in the country. The Senate Committee on Power will investigate the activities of the electricity companies in a bid to address their failure which is forcing Nigerian companies to move to Ghana.

Members of the Senate said the generating companies were crippled by several factors that would be unravelled by the Committee on Power. The decision to probe the electricity supply in Nigeria was raised by the Senator representing Enugu North, Chukwuka Utazi.

The power sector in Nigeria was privatised in 2013 and the supply of the electricity was divided into several categories: six generation companies; 12 distribution companies covering all 36 Nigerian states, and a national power transmission company. This was done to improve electricity in the country, however, the situation has remained the same.

NERC, power, distribution, electricity, companies, Recapitalisation of Discos

Utazi said the erratic power supply is unfavourable to the development of Nigeria. He said Nigeria can set achievable target of 100,000 Megawatts in the next 10 years by a mixture of energy sources such as natural gas, hydro, coal, wind and renewable energy.

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“The northern part of the country with vast expanse of land can tap into large solar farms while the southern parts of the country with significant reserves of natural gas and cola can generate power from same.”

He added that “Both the north and South have large water bodies that can still be dammed for hydro,” The Nation reported.

[READ MORE: GenCos to shut down over NBET’s administrative charge]

Senate outlines DisCos’ problems: Despite the fact that most components of the power sector has been privatised, Utazi said the Distribution Companies are not financially capable. According to him, the problem doesn’t lie only with generation and transmission because the Distribution Companies don’t have the technical capacity and capital needed to acquire the power required by GenCos to deliver to the grid.

The past governments were also faulted by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who berated them for not embracing new ideas that could have improved electricity supply in Nigeria.

Are companies relocating to Ghana? The unstable power supply in Nigeria is forcing companies to move to Ghana, Senator Jibrin Barau said. He said the government should invite experts that would review the power sector in order to achieve the target.

“We need to bring experts together to look at the power sector as a whole in a bid to realising these targets. Our companies are now being moved to Ghana, this is because of power.

“The Committee on Power should get everybody together. Government cannot do it alone. Let’s bring everybody together so we can find a lasting solution to this problem,” Barau stressed.

Why this matters: Power is one of the major problems small, medium and large corporations face in Nigeria. It is a major constraint on ease of doing business in Nigeria with about $12 billion spent annually by businesses and individuals on generators.

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Despite the privatisation, every business continues to provide electricity themselves mostly with petrol and diesel generators, and now renewable energy. Nairametrics had also reported that President Muhammadu Buhari’s office was expected to spend N46 million on fuelling generators this year (2019).

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: [email protected]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 20th of September 2020, 97 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths 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 57,242 confirmed cases.

On the 20th of September 2020, 97 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,609 samples across the country.

To date, 57,242 cases have been confirmed, 48,569 cases have been discharged and 1,098 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 20th, 2020 compared to 479,712 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 20th September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 57,242
  • Total Number Discharged – 48,569
  • Total Deaths – 1,098
  • Total Tests Carried out – 482,321

According to the NCDC, the 97 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (46), Kwara (12), Rivers (11), Adamawa (4), Niger (4), Ogun (4), Osun (4), Ekiti (3), Imo (3), Kaduna (3), Plateau (2), FCT (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 18,943, followed by Abuja (5,551), Oyo (3,231), Plateau (3,231), Edo (2,611), Kaduna (2,348), Rivers (2,243), Delta (1,799), Ogun (1,766), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,597), Enugu (1,234), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,025), Abia (881), Katsina (848), Osun (817), Gombe (799), Borno (741), and Bauchi (689).

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Imo State has recorded 562 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (448), Bayelsa (394),  Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (254), Adamawa (234), Anambra (232), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), 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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Economy & Politics

Godwin Obaseki wins Edo State governorship election

Incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki emerged winner in the Edo State gubernatorial election.

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Oil theft gulped $1.35 billion in first six months - Obaseki 

Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has declared Godwin Obaseki the winner of the Edo State gubernatorial election today.

Mr. Obaseki will return as the Governor of the state for a second term.

The results were declared by INEC on Sunday afternoon after the results were counted from all LGA’s on Saturday.

Obaseki had 307,955 votes, which was enough to be declared a clear winner over Ize-Iyamu’s 223,619 votes.

Obaseki took to his Twitter handle to thank the people of Edo State for their votes. He stated,

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“Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalization. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism. Congratulations to all Edo people. This is our victory!”

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Tech News

TikTok’s owner seeks $60 billion valuation in US deal as Oracle, Walmart take stakes

Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global.

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Tiktok world’s most valuable startup is worth more than $100 billion

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance is seeking a valuation of $60 billion for its video-sharing app, as Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc take stakes in the technology firm’s US operations to address the security concerns of the Trump administration.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global under an agreement that has gotten the approval of President Donald Trump.

The duo US firms would be paying a combined amount of $12 billion for their stakes if they reach an agreement with TikTok for the asking price of $60 billion.

READ: Oracle wins bid to acquire TikTok’s US operations after Microsoft offer was rejected

The final valuation had not been set as the parties worked out the equity and measures for data security.

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It was also stated that China is yet to approve the deal, although regulators are said to have expressed support for any transaction in which BtyeDance still maintains control of its valuable recommendation algorithms and other proprietary technology.

It would be recalled that President Donald Trump, had threatened to ban the ByteDance owned TikTok, over national security concerns, but which some analysts see as part of the row between US and China. This pressured ByteDance into the deal as they looked to avoid the ban by the US government.

READ: ByteDance, Tiktok’s parent company, now worth over $100 billion

The US officials had expressed concern that the personal data of as many as 100 million Americans that use the app were being passed on to the Chinese government.

ByteDance turned down the proposal of a full buyout from Microsoft Corp but rather agreed to Oracle’s offer in which the Chinese parent company will still maintain a majority stake in the technology firm.

Trump told reporters on Saturday, ‘’I approve the deal in concept. If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s ok too.’’

READ: President Trump dumps plan to force foreign students to leave the US

Trump’s new stance appears to conflict with his earlier executive order for China’s ByteDance to divest from the video-sharing app’s operations in the United States.

ByteDance is in a race to avoid a ban on TikTok after the US Commerce Department said on Friday that it would block new downloads and updates to the app from Sunday.

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According to market researcher, CB Insights, ByteDance is the most valued private start-up in the world at $140 billion. Under the proposed deal, ByteDance may end up owning as much as 80% of TikTok Global, which include the app’s operations in the US and the rest of the world excluding China. Venture firms like Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic may also acquire equity in the new business.

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