When the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) requested for a tariff increase, a lot of its customers took to different social media platforms expressing their displeasures.
While some of them alleged that the DisCos wanted to fleece them, others actually thought it is illegal for the companies to consider such move.
Clearing the air, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission explained that it has been notified of the development. The apex regulator stated in its Corrigendum, which was published in national dailies, that the DisCos’ notice on the review is issued in line with the Business Rules of the Commission to solicit for comments from the general public on the Extraordinary Tariff Review.
On the side of the commission, the document also stated that NERC has constituted two Hearing Panels to conduct the hearing of the various applications filed by DisCos and TCN. According to the regulator, the panels will hold their sittings as per the schedule published across national dailies and all interested parties are invited to attend.
It stated, “Any person wishing to participate in the proceedings as an intervenor should forward his/her application to NERC. The request to participate shall be in an electronic copy in Microsoft Office format or by e-mail and shall include an explanation of the person’s interest in the proceeding and how the party would be affected by the outcome of the application.
“A description of the party’s concerns, observations comments and/or objections to the application and an indication as to whether the party supports or objects to the application submitted by the licensees. Such a request should be forwarded to the commission within one week of this publication.”
In its letter, which was seen by Nairametrics, Ikeja Electric, one of the 11 DisCos, explained that the increase was to ensure the company adjusts its tariff in line with the Commission’s directive that current average allowed DisCo tariffs shall be grossed-up by 50% from April 1, 2020, in order to meet the tariff shortfall funding target for 2020 by the Federal Government.
“We intend to create a new tariff class, called Bilateral. This class is being created for customers that IE has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with under a willing-buyer-willing-seller arrangement.
“In order to provide an efficient and reliable service to customers in this tariff class, cost-reflective tariffs are required to cover the cost of service delivery.”
Nairametrics earlier reported that the Power sector had set April 1, 2020, for tariff increase in line with NERC December 2019 Minor Review of Multi-Year Tariff Order 2015 and Minimum Remittance Order for the Year 2020 for the 11 DisCos. But the expected upward review drew criticism from Nigerians, forcing the House of Representatives to direct the suspension of the tariff increase.
Aside from the tariff hike demand, the DisCos want:
- the Grid Load (Energy) Allocation to the various DisCos be reviewed;
- review of Ancillary Service Charge;
- to consider a revised tariff classification and the creation of new customer classes;
- to reallocate load amongst the various customer classes with a view to ensuring that DisCos’ revenue requirement recovered through rates is fair, just and reasonable and based on the costs each customer class impose on the network; and
- to consider a gradual transition to cost-reflective tariffs (based on approved prudent expenditure) for the provision of much-needed investment in the networks.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) also demanded a review of its operating revenue to reflect its additional investment, which is yet to reflect in its Regulatory Asset Base (RAB).
Police raid FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou, ex-President, three others arrested
Spanish police raided the headquarters of F.C. Barcelona, seizing evidence and detaining four people.
Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s regional police force has carried out a search on Monday morning on all the offices of the Spanish giants, FC Barcelona and reportedly arrested four people in the process.
The raid carried out by the Police was in search of evidence in relation to the “Barcagate” social media scandal that happened in February, where the Catalan giants allegedly paid third party companies to produce disparaging contents about some people including former players that are opposed and critical of former president, Bartomeu’s administration. A similar raid was also carried out in the club last year June.
The companies allegedly hired by the Spanish giants include I3 Ventures SL, NSG Social Science Ventures SL, Tantra Soft SA, Digital Side SA, Big Data Solutions SA and Futuric SA. There were allegations made that I3 Ventures SL were behind fake social media accounts despising as Barcelona fans that produced disparaging contents about the likes of Victor Font, the club’s presidential candidate. It also attacked high profile players like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique and also former players like Xavi, Guardiola, etc.
According to reports, those arrested were former Barcelona president, Josep Bartomeu; the club’s chief executive, Oscar Grau; Roman Gomez Ponti, the head of legal services and Jaume Masferrer, an adviser to Bartomeu. The decision to arrest them was not the court’s decision. The arrests were made by the exclusive decision of the Mossos d’Esquadra. The Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona which is in charge of the case only ordered for a search.
The Catalan giants have been mired in political turmoil and debt prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and this further stains the club’s image.
The raid comes less than a week before the club’s presidential elections are to be held which is coming up on March 7. Three candidates – Victor Font, Joan Laporta and Toni Freia – are on the final ballot for the crucial vote.
In a statement, Barcelona has offered to give their full collaboration regarding the ongoing investigations.
The club stated: “Regarding the entry and search by the Catalan Police force this morning at the Camp Nou offices by order of the Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona, which is in charge of the case relating to the contacting of monitoring services on social networks, FC Barcelona have offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation.
“The information and documentation requested by the judicial police force relate strictly to the facts relative to this case.
“FC Barcelona express its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation.”
FG launches strategy for introduction of Covid-19 vaccine
The FG has launched a strategy for the phased and equitable introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine across the country.
The Federal Government has launched a strategy for the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine in a phased and equitable manner across the country.
The strategy code-named, “T.E.A.C.H”, was initiated by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, during the inauguration said the launch of T.E.A.C.H and Electronic Management of Immunization Data (EMID) will ensure the smooth rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign across the country.
What the Minister of Health is saying
Ehanire stated, “Our goal is to introduce COVID-19 vaccine in a phased and equitable manner, based on the advice of the WHO and the experience we observe other countries to have made, and ultimately vaccinating all eligible Nigerians within the next two years, to ensure herd immunity.
“We in Nigeria finally have the privilege of joining other countries to start the vaccination, which will prioritise, first those people most at risk of infection due to their exposure in the line of duty.
”Vaccination with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a critical part of the country’s strategy to counter the COVID-19 pandemic and the stop transmission of the virus. No private hospital or organisation has experience in handling this type of vaccine than the NPHCDA,” he said.
The minister also said that vaccines that were not approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would be determined as dangerous and would be seized by the Nigeria Customs Services.
The minister also noted that in less than 24 hours, the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines would arrive the country from the COVAX Facility and would be deployed.
On his own part, the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said a lot of work had been done to reduce the casualty of Covid-19 in the country’s population.
Ihekweazu, who was represented by Head of Special Projects and Partnerships at NCDC, Dr Priscilla Ibekwe said that a sister agency, the NPHCDA, was prepared to lead the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in the country and NCDC would collaborate with them to ensure a successful campaign.
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, in his introduction of the T.E.A.C.H Strategy, said it was an Indigenous approach to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine in the country.
Shuaib said that the Country has provided an e-registration link to enable Nigerians to register for the Covid-19 vaccines themselves, to obtain their pre-vaccination numbers and scheduled date
He said that the first phase of the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country would target front-line health workers, Covid-19 rapid response teams, laboratory network, petrol station workers and strategic leaders.
According to him, How COVID-19 will be rolled out, Phase 1- healthcare workers, security agents, first responders, petrol station workers, laboratory workers, and strategic political leadership.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government had announced that Nigeria would receive its first batch of 4 million AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from the COVAX initiative on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
- The COVAX Facility which is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), with UNICEF as a key implementing partner, is a global scheme to procure and equitably distribute vaccines for free, especially among poorer countries, as the world moves to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
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