A report by the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors has shown that the Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria recorded 8% growth in their revenue collection in 2019. The eleven DisCos grossed N473 billion in 2019.
The growth in the DisCos revenue compared to that of 2018 is reportedly a new high in the electricity industry, having recorded a growth of N35 billion last year to hit N473 billion. Also, the DisCos set another record in December 2019 after collecting about N42.1 billion, while the collection efficiency for the fourth quarter set a new record of 71.4%.
DisCos disappointed by transmitted energy: Despite the revenue growth, much was not recorded in the energy transferred by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). The DisCos said energy had been flat, low and far from what they had been promised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) under the Multi-Year Tariff Order financial model.
“In the last minor review of December to January, NERC dropped its previous projection for 2020 from 123,000 megawatt-hour per day down to 96,000 MWh/day (an almost 30 per cent downward review), which is the main reason for increasing the forecasted tariff shortfall for 2020 to N534 billion (N426 billion compared to 2019 June’s minor review).
“The number of registered end-users in the Nigerian electricity supply industry keeps increasing, currently at a rate of about 75,000 new customers per month (10 per cent in 2019, resulting in more than 9.5 million customers in total),” as quoted in a Punch report.
According to the report, the energy transmitted by TCN only increased by 1% while the allowed end-user tariff remained at an average of N32.5 per kilowatt-hour average since 2016. It was disclosed that the transmitted energy last year increased from 26,385 gigawatt-hours in 2018 to 26,630 gigawatt-hours, and the energy billed rose to 21,702 GWh (an equivalent of N695 billion) from 20,852 GWh (N662 billion).
“The aggregate technical, commercial and collection loss (moving average) keeps improving and it is now at 44.6 per cent, although it is still far from Ikeja Electric’s new record (22% in December 2019).
“Nevertheless, a few Discos are showing symptoms of fatigue in their ATC&C loss reductions, with a Disco deteriorating by a moving average of 4.7 points in 2019. Hopefully, this situation will revert soon and will not follow the path of Yola Electricity Distribution Company.”
Nairametrics had reported that the Federal Government took over Yola Electricity Distribution Company after insecurity in the North-East region forced the core investor to declare a force majeure. The government has now put the firm up for sale. Yola DisCo has been projected to end the year with 70% in ATC&C losses, having not been in control of its ATC&C losses for the last three years.
Meanwhile, with almost 59.4% of the end-users unmetered, the DiscCs complained that the delays/barriers in the implementation of the Meter Asset Provider Regulation were expanding the metering gap.
FG approves N8.49billion to procure COVID-19 testing Kits, others
The fund is to procure 12 items in various quantities to strengthen the testing for COVID-19.
The federal government has approved N8.49 billion to procure 12 items in various quantities to strengthen the testing for COVID-19 by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The approval was given during the 11th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
The approval was based on a memorandum presented to the council by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.
He was joined at the post-FEC press briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; and the Minister of Environment, Muhammad Mahmood.
He explained that the approval was made to further equip the NCDC to respond appropriately to the community transmission phase of the pandemic.
COVID-19: Russia to start mass inoculation of vaccine this month as it insists on its safety
The vaccine is said to be undergoing Phase 3 trials, which is the final stage.
Russia has announced that it was going to start mass vaccination of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine this month before the completion of clinical testing. This is just as it waved off concerns by the international community and some scientists about the safety of the vaccine.
These views were made known by the Russian Health Minister, Mikhail Murashko, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, during a press briefing.
The Health Minister in his statement said, ‘’Western colleagues, who can sense the competitive advantage of the Russian drug, are trying to express some opinions that are completely unjustified in our view. This vaccine is a platform that is already well-known and studied,” he said, adding that other countries have developed antidotes under accelerated testing programs.’’
Murashko also said that the authorities plan to start inoculating medical workers and other risk groups within 2 weeks on a voluntary basis while pointing out that the vaccine will be made available to the general public from October.
Nairametrics had reported yesterday that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in a televised meeting, announced that Russia has registered the first COVID-19 vaccine in what they see as a propaganda coup amid the global race for the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease.
This announcement has raised a lot of international concerns with the German Health Minister, Jens Spahn, saying on Wednesday, that Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine has not been sufficiently tested, adding that the aim was to have a safe product rather than just being first to start vaccinating people.
He said in a radio chat that it’s not about being first but rather about having an effective, tested and safe vaccine.
Experts have expressed their concerns over Russia’s decision to grant approval before the final trials of the vaccine have been completed.
He said that as much as he will be pleased to have a good vaccine for the virus, he pointed out that the Russians are not disclosing much about this vaccine.
This vaccine which is developed by Gamaleya Institute in collaboration with the Defence Ministry and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), is said to be undergoing Phase 3 trials, which is the final stage.
However, a World Health Organization (WHO) database still lists the vaccine as still only in Phase 1 trial, which is the earliest stage.
The RDIF said that it can produce over 500 million doses of the new vaccine in a year in 5 countries, just as it disclosed that a minimum of 20 countries are currently interested in having access to these vaccines.
The WHO had earlier revealed that it is currently discussing with Russia and pointed out that in granting prequalification of the vaccine, a detailed review of data from clinical trials will be required.
FG completes 11 projects to drive Digital Economy
The government has been pushing the Digital Economy in a bid to diversify economic productivity.
The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy announced that it has completed 11 projects to drive its Digital Economy programme.
This was announced by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, during the phase 2 commissioning of Nigeria’s Digital Economy drive.
The Nigerian Government has been pushing the Digital Economy in a bid to create growth and diversify economic productivity in the nation, starting with the Digital Economy drive which was added to the portfolio of the Ministry of Communications.
Nairametrics reported last month that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also approved the creation of a Digital Economy Department, which will be responsible for promoting the digital economic agenda of the federal government. The department will renew the commission’s strategy for delivering its programmes and policies, and give the necessary push to promote the national digital economy.
The projects were launched with the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and would be operated by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST ) and The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) and would be located nationwide.
The 11 projects are:
- Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) llorin, Kwara State.
- Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) Calabar, Cross River State.
- School Knowledge Centre (SKC), Gombe State.
- Information Technology Innovation Centre, Kogi State.
- Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centre (TIKC), Delta State.
- New Neighborhood Post Office, Delta State.
- Remodelled National Mail Exchange Centre, Bayelsa State.
- e-Health/Data Sharing Centre, Bauchi State.
- Virtual Examination Centre, Borno State.
- Information Technology Capacity Building Centre, Jigawa State.
- Information Technology Capacity Building Centre, Imo State.