The proposed increase in electricity tariff by the Distribution Companies (DisCos) has experienced a setback, as the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) claimed it would affect unmetered customers.
During a public hearing on extraordinary tariff review application organised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, said increasing tariffs would not result into efficiency as claimed by the DisCos.
Nairametrics had reported that the DisCos plan to increase electricity tariff in April 2020. According to the DisCos, the tariff increase would cater for revenue shortfalls in the sector and enable the electricity firms to acquire needed equipment that would improve power supply. The hike in electricity tariff is also expected to increase charges for power supply.
But Irukera said, “If you are going to promote efficiency, the only way to promote it certainly cannot be by increasing tariffs. There is absolutely no question about the fact that increasing tariffs will not in itself necessarily promote efficiencies.
“So long as you have fewer people paying for what most use, you will not find a cost-reflective tariff. The answer cannot be burdening those few (who pay their bills) with more. What about metering? There is still a vast majority of bills that are paid today by estimation; 55 per cent of consumers are still unmetered.”
DisCos will exploit unmetered customers: Irukera argued that the tariff can’t be increased as the majority of homes in Nigeria remain unmetered. He explained that every time DisCos record a revenue shortfall, unmetered customers would be the ones to pay for it.
Irukera revealed that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) was promised by the DisCos in 2015 that they would meter more aggressively but that hasn’t been the case, as the metering gap still exists.
“They said that over the next three years, they would meter approximately 4.5 million customers. And that gave us an annual target of about 1.6 million meters.
“How can we even find a cost-reflective tariff when more than half of your collection is based on estimation or assumption? Every time there is a revenue shortfall, those who are not metered would pay for it. And that is why estimated billing has now become another word for arbitrary billing,” Irukera said during the public hearing.
Nigeria to fix irregular power supply in 40 years- Senate
The four decades is needed due to underfunding and the FG’s failure to fix the challenges of electricity generation.
The Nigerian Senate has said that it will take Nigeria 40 years to fix irregular power supply.
This was disclosed by the Senate Committee on Power on Tuesday after the Minister of Power and his team made a presentation to the Committee, according to Guardian.
The four decades wait, according to the lawmakers, is due to underfunding and the Federal Government’s failure to fix the challenges of electricity generation.
The committee was astonished by the submission of the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, that of the N165billion required for capital projects in 2020, N4billion was given as bribe of which only N3billion was cash-backed.
In lieu of this, the Committee dismissed claims made by the minister over raising hope on early provision of constant power supply, while Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, painted a gloomy picture during the ministry’s budget defense.
A member of the Committee, Danjuma Goje, expressed concern that based on Abdulaziz’s presentation, N165billion was proposed, but the ministry gave N4billion in envelope, insisting that it would take 41 years to deliver constant electricity when N165billion is divided by N4billion.
Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that it will take nothing less than $100 billion to enable stable power supply in Nigeria.
What they are saying
Mr. Danjuma expressed pessimism over hopes of stable power supply in the country. He went as far as stressing that even if ongoing projects are being completed there is still no hope for stable transmission of power in the country.
Mr. Danjuma was quoted as saying: “Going by the minister’s presentation that transmission gas increased from 5000 to 8000 megawatts, it is not enough. When dishing out figures, we should bear in mind that capacity, transmission, and distribution have increased and that Nigerians, manufacturers, and industrialists want to see stable electricity.”
#EndSARS: ECOWAS calls for protesters to remain peaceful in their demonstrations
ECOWAS has called on protesters to be peaceful in conducting their protests.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called on protesters to be peaceful in conducting their protests and urged Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of protests.
This was disclosed in a statement by the organization on Tuesday and comes on the heels of statements by other International bodies and personalities, who have expressed worry over the nature of brutality meted on protesters, especially after the Lekki shootings.
— ECOWAS-CEDEAO (@ecowas_cedeao) October 27, 2020
“ECOWAS Commission notes with concern that demonstrations by Nigerian youth calling for Police reforms, particularly the abolition of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police force, accused of misconduct by those demonstrating, have turned violent,” they said.
The body said it recognizes the right to peaceful protests and also called for protesters to be peaceful, due to the rising reported cases of lootings post protests during the curfews.
“While ECOWAS recognizes the right of citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and protests, it also wishes to stress that those rights should be exercised in a nonviolent manner.
“In this regard, ECOWAS calls on all protesters to remain peaceful in the conduct of their demonstrations. It also urges the Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of the protests and act professionally.”
The tone of ECOWAS’ message is different compared to the rest of other stakeholders including the statement of the Lagos State Governor, House of Reps Speaker, and the Vice President, who all acknowledged that the protests were peaceful and the protesters were attacked and that the violence from the curfews was not done by the protesters but by hoodlums.
The ECOWAS message is also the first statement by West Africa’s most important regional body since the #EndSARS protests started in the first week of October.
Kano State presents N147.9 billion budget for 2021 fiscal year
Governor Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as Kano State’s proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as its proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year before the Kano State House of Assembly today.
Presenting the budget tagged “Budget for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development,”Governor Ganduje said the budget is in furtherance of his administration’s vision for diversification of the state sources of revenue which will engineer development in the future.
Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported the drive and optimism by Kano State government to boost its Internally Generated Revenue. This might probably explain why IGR increased by almost 10% between 2020 allocations and proposed estimates for 2021.
What you should know: The breakdown of the budget verified by Nairametrics showed the following key highlights:
- The total budget increased by approximately 7.0% from N138.279 billion in 2020 to N147.935 billion in 2021.
- Capital expenditure for the periods under view increased by 10.93% from N60.485 billion to N67.095 billion.
- Recurrent expenditure also increased from N77.79 billion to N80.839 billion, indicating a 3.92%. increase for the periods under view.
- Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) increased by approximately 10% from N24 billion to N26.395 billion during the period under view.
- A breakdown of the budget showed that the Education sector has over N37 Billion representing 25% of the total budget while the health care delivery service has over N25 Billion representing 17% of the total budget.