The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to take over Yola Electricity Distribution Company (Yola DisCo), as the Nigerian Senate approved the sum of N26.9 billion as a refund for the acquisition of the company by private investors.
According to Punch, the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations has recommended the payment of N26.9 billion in its report on the 2020 Appropriation Bill scheduled for consideration and adoption.
Specifically, the provision is listed as Item 188 under the Capital Supplementation component of the 2020 Budget.
FG makes U-turn? An earlier report published on Nairametrics disclosed that Transcorp Power Consortium and Quest Electricity Nigeria had won bid prices for the Afam Electricity Generation Company at N105.3 billion and Yola Electricity Distribution Company at N19 billion respectively.
The National Council on Privatisation announced that it approved Transcorp Power Consortium as the preferred bidder for the Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited, and Quest Electricity Nigeria Limited as the preferred bidder for the re-privatized Yola DisCo.
It is expected that the private investors would make necessary investments to improve generation and distribution networks, as well as customer service.
This latest disclosure means the Federal Government of Nigeria has decided to take over the full possession of Yola DisCo in an attempt to fix the problems currently ravaging the distribution companies in Nigeria.
Abuja Disco, others run for safety: While the Federal Government may be taking over Yola DisCo, for now, license withdrawals of other distribution companies still looms.
In a recent publication, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) disclosed it might 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.
According to NERC, the licences of the 8 DisCos might be withdrawn due to three main fundamental reasons and these include breaching the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (ESPRA), terms and conditions of their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.
Meanwhile, the distribution companies are jittery over the move of the government. On Wednesday, according to a report published by Punch, the Abuja DisCo (AEDC) told lawmakers in the National Assembly that it had complied with the demands of the NERC to avert the cancellation of the Disco’s licence by the NERC.
The Managing Director, AEDC, Ernest Mupwaya, stated this while making a presentation and responding to questions from the lawmakers who were on oversight function at the headquarters of the DisCo in Abuja.
AEDC also reportedly told the chairman and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation that it had invested N19 billion as capital expenditure on its distribution network.
BREAKING: CBN retains MPR at 11.5%, holds other parameters constant
The CBN voted unanimously to keep the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), at 11.5% and other parameters constant.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has voted unanimously to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 11.5%
This was disclosed by Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele while reading the communique at the end of the MPC meeting on Tuesday 26th January 2021.
Other parameters such as Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Liquidity ratio, and asymmetric corridor remain unchanged.
Highlights of the Committee’s decision
- MPR retained at 11.50%
- The asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR
- CRR was retained at 27.5%
- While Liquidity Ratio was also kept at 30%
More details shortly…
FG says N10 billion disbursed funds not only for Covid-19 vaccines
FG has clarified that the N10 billion it earlier disbursed was not only for the development of Covid-19 vaccines.
The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has said that the N10 billion it released for vaccine development is not only for the production of Covid-19 vaccines.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, representing the Finance Minister during a meeting with the National Assembly Joint Committee on Health on Monday, reported by NTA.
Following the announcement of the disbursement of the sum of N10 billion to the Ministry of Health for the development of Covid-19 vaccine, the Joint Committee scheduled a meeting with the Ministers of Finance and Health for clarifications on the funds.
“The joint committee is invited to note that N10 billion has been released, to the Federal Ministry of Health under the budgetary vote referenced in above,” Akabueze said.
Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on health, said the Committee wanted to know what the use of the funds was for and urged against the implementation of a lockdown.
“We got to see that what was released was in line with what was already there, for preparing the country for all other vaccines arrangements
“So our economy, we only need to live with covid, we cannot with due respect, contaminate Nigeria with a lockdown, it will badly affect our economy,” Oloriegbe said.
The committee also said the total aim is to see how Nigeria can develop its capacity towards the development of vaccines,
The Joint Committee, therefore, resolved that the Minister of Health who was absent at the meeting should appear before it on Tuesday for a breakdown on the proposed use of the funds.
What you should know: Nairametrics reported last week that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, announced the sum of N10billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight the coronavirus.
Investing in digital economy, infrasture crucial to mitigate impact of COVID-19 pandemic – World Bank
Investing in digital economy will be crucial to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and foster a sustained recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The World Bank has asserted that investing in the digital economy and infrastructure will be crucial to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and foster a sustained recovery and foster a sustained recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This is according to the World Bank In Africa report – #AFRICAN CAN.
The report noted that in a time of Covid-19, dominated by lockdowns and social distancing, investing in the digital economy and infrastructure will be crucial to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and foster a sustained recovery.
It argued that the adoption of digital technologies by governments, households and firms in Sub-Saharan Africa still lags behind that of other regions in the world.
The report, therefore, maintains that government intervenes to reduce the cost of devices and services, avoid disconnections for lack of payment, and increase bandwidth will be key, considering that the road to economic recovery is projected to be long and arduous.
What they are saying
The report states that:
“The road to recovery will be long and arduous and will require policies and investments that focus on connecting people to job opportunities, which can help end extreme poverty, particularly post-COVID-19.”
What you should know
Even though the World Bank did not suggest the form that the policies and investments would take in the report, the Bank, in a separate report — flagship report – Global Economic Prospects – as reported by Nairametrics on the 19th of January, 2021, has argued that productivity-enhancing structural reforms are required for quick economic recovery.
The Bank suggests these productivity-enhancing reforms encompass promoting education, effective public investment, sectoral reallocation, and improved governance. Investment in green infrastructure projects can provide further support to sustainable long-run growth while also contributing to climate change mitigation.
According to the report:
- Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050.
- It is a diverse continent offering human and natural resources that have the potential to yield inclusive growth and wipe out poverty in the region, enabling Africans across the continent to live healthier and more prosperous lives.
- With the world’s largest free trade area and a 1.2 billion-person market, the continent is creating an entirely new development path, harnessing the potential of its resources and people.
- Knowledge is essential for governments to make better policies and institutions to make more effective decisions, thus, governments should pay attention to research and analysis.
According to World Bank’s Flagship report – Global Economic Prospects.
- Investment is projected to shrink again this year in more than a quarter of economies – primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where investment gaps were already large prior to the pandemic.
- Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to rebound only moderately to 2.7% in 2021 – 0.4% point weaker than previously projected, before firming to 3.3% in 2022.