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Power Liquidity Crisis: FG to commence disbursements of N600bn intervention fund 

The Federal Government will start disbursing N600 billion to key operators in the power sector very soon.

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Power Liquidity Crisis: FG to commence disbursements of N600bn intervention fund 

The Federal Government will start disbursing N600 billion to key operators in the power sector very soon. This is according to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) as reported by Punch.

Since the intervention fund got approved a few months ago, stakeholders in the power sector chain have been anticipating the disbursement in order to address the liquidity crisis in the sector.

According to the Managing Director of NDPHC, Chiedu Ugbo, power generation companies, suppliers, electricity distributors, and others would start getting the money in a few days.

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Electricity plant

“The NDPHC is very hopeful of the government’s intervention. It’s been very bad this year in terms of liquidity, but since government mentioned the N600bn payment assurance facility, we’ve been very hopeful and we’ve been managing.

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 “However, we’ve seen actionable activities on the part of government to realise that and we’ve been told that in a few days from now the payments from that fund will start. So, that hope has kept us alive and we know that government by keeping to its word, as it is doing now, we will be able to bounce back.”

[READ MORE: FG takes over Yola DisCo, investors to get N26.9 billion refund]

While speakinon the sidelines of an award ceremony and appeal fundraising event, Ugbo disclosed the projects the NDPHC was executing in different local government areas in the country. He said the company was trying to connect everyone to the grid while cleaning up networks to improve power supply.

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However, Ugbo stated the challenges the company was facing in carrying out its supposed duties. He was optimistic that with the intervention fund, the challenges would be a thing of the past.

He said, “The challenges we face have to do with community issues and funding constraints. We rely on what we generate from the sale of electricity and there is a general revenue shortage in the industry right now. But the Federal Government is rising up to that challenge and we are very hopeful that with the intervention, we will get more funds to serve Nigerians more.”

What you should know: The N600 billion facility for the power sector was approved by the Federal Government in September this year. It was scheduled to be disbursed until June 2020.

The facility, which is contained in the 2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), is as a result of the failure of the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP).

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Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 28th of November 2020, 110 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 67,330 confirmed cases.

On the 28th of November 2020, 110 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.

To date, 67,330 cases have been confirmed, 62,819 cases have been discharged and 1,171 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 756,237 tests have been carried out as of November 28th, 2020 compared to 749,136 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 28th November 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 67,220
  • Total Number Discharged – 62,686
  • Total Deaths – 1,171
  • Total Tests Carried out – 756,237

According to the NCDC, the 110 new cases were reported from 11 states- Lagos (26), FCT (23), Kaduna (20), Katsina (11), Ogun (7), Ekiti (6), Plateau (5), Rivers (4) Kano (3), Nasarawa (3) and Niger (2).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,190, followed by Abuja (6,767), Plateau (3,857), Oyo (3,721), Kaduna (3,064), Rivers (2,977), Edo (2,696), Ogun (2,222), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,794), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332),  Kwara (1,096), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,025), Osun (945), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (770), and Borno (745).

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Imo State has recorded 662 cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (491), Bayelsa (445),  Ekiti (365), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (298), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (159), Yobe (94), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), 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.

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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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Tech News

MTN, Vodacom launched 5G in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 – GSMA Report

Vodacom and MTN launched their first major 5G networks in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2020, according to the GSMA 2020 report.

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The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) 2020 report revealed that Vodacom and MTN launched their first major 5G networks in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2020.

The telecoms operators offered 5G mobile and fixed wireless access (FWA) services in several locations across South Africa – this appears to be a welcome development, as the South African government had already assigned temporary spectrum in the 3.5 GHz range in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Obviously, the proximate opportunity to be harnessed for the 5G in South Africa is to use FWA to bridge the gap in fixed broadband connectivity for homes and businesses.

According to the report, there has been 5G trial runs in almost all the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda but the possibility of mass deployment of the 5G network is still not guaranteed, as there are significant levels of unused 4G capacity. Also, the 4G adoption rate is still relatively low, creating opportunities for the operators to increase their stakes in 4G.

As a boost to mop up the unused 4G capacity, the partnership between Safaricom and Google to finance the acquisition of 4G smartphones, provides the desired momentum as low-income consumers pay for 4G devices in convenient and flexible daily installments.

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According to the report, it is expected that over the next five years, the number of smartphone connections in Sub-Saharan Africa will almost double to reach 678 million by the end of 2025 — an adoption rate of 65%.

What you should know

  • It is expected that by 2025, there will be a little below 30 million mobile 5G connections in Sub-Saharan Africa, equivalent to almost 3% of total mobile connections.
  • The mobile market in the region will reach several important milestones over the next five years: half a billion mobile subscribers in 2021, 1 billion mobile connections in 2024, and 50% subscriber penetration by 2025.
  • The achievement of these critical milestones would be predicated on the operators’ commitment in providing reliable infrastructural networks across the region.
  • Between 2019 and 2025, the operators in the region would have expended/invested about the sum of $52billion in infrastructure rollouts.
  • The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organizations in adjacent industry sectors.

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Financial Services

Stamp Duty on Nigerian Stock market transactions pegged at 0.08% from December 7

The NSE has given clarifications on the public notice released by the FIRS, itemizing contract notes at an ad valorem rate of 0.08%.

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NSE prepares to launch West Africa’s first Exchange-traded derivatives

The Nigerian Stock Exchange has given clarifications on the public notice released by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in July, itemizing contract notes at an ad valorem rate of 0.08% up from 0.075%, effective 7th December 2020.

The circular released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange reads:

“In reference to the Public Notice in the Business Day Newspaper of Monday, 20 July 2020, captioned ‘Clarification of Administration of Stamp Duties in Nigeria’ issued by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) (A copy is attached as Appendix A for ease of reference).

The Public Notice provided, amongst other things, information on dutiable instruments and the applicable flat or ad valorem rates, with Contract Notes 1 itemized at an ad valorem rate of 0.08%. As you know, this is at variance with the current rate of 0.075% administered in the Nigerian Capital Market.”

To that extent, Dealing Members of the Nigerian Stock Exchange are to note the following:

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  • Effective December 7, 2020, the Central Securities Clearing System Plc. (CSCS) will adjust its system to implement the automated deduction of the Stamp Duty rate of 0.08%.
  • Dealing Members are required to immediately engage their software vendors for the required adjustments to their technology applications, to reflect the 0.08% rate ahead of the effective date of 7 December 2020.
  • Dealing Members are required to communicate the changes above to their clients immediately, ahead of the effective date.

What you should know

Nairametrics revealed that the FIRS listed at least 50 types of transactions that are eligible for stamp duty deductions.

Some of the listed chargeable transactions include bank deposit or transfer, loan agreement, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), sales agreement, will, tenancy/lease agreement, and all receipts.

The FIRS noted that the recently inaugurated FIRS Adhesive Stamp is not the same as the postage stamp administered by NIPOST for the purposes of delivery of items and documents.

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The Stamp Duties Act, 19391 defines Contact Notes as “the note sent by a broker or agent to his principal, or by any person who, by way of business, deals, or holds himself out as dealing, as a principal in any stock or marketable securities, advising the principal, or the vendor or purchaser, as the case may be, of the sale or purchase of any stock or marketable security, but does not include a note sent by a broker or agent to his principal where the principal is himself acting as broker or agent for a principal.”

See the circular below:

Download (PDF, 566KB)

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