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COVID-19: House of Reps considers 2-months free electricity supply bill for Nigerians

The lower chamber of the National assembly is considering a bill that will allow Nigerians to enjoy electricity for two months without any charges.  

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CBN Cashless Policy: Reps eye reversal, Finance Bill: Reps to hold separate hearing today , 40% of Nigeria’s national budget must be voted to capital expenditure - Gbajabiamila , Why Reps will probe Glo, 9mobile, others, House of Representatives postpones President Buhari’s $22.79 billion loan request indefinitely,COVID-19: House of Reps to consider bill for 2-months free electricity supply

Amid the economic effects of the lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, the lower chamber of the National assembly is considering a bill that would allow Nigerians to enjoy electricity supply for two months without any charges.

This was disclosed by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila. According to him, the issue had been raised during the meeting of the National Assembly and the special ministerial task force set up by President Muhammadu Buhari. The task given to the group was to give advice on the general economic outlook, stimulus plans and packages to save the Nigerian economy.

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In a tweet on his official handle @femigbaja, he noted that engagements are ongoing with the electricity distribution companies to work out the details of this stimulus package, which is expected to touch every household in Nigeria.

“At a meeting today, between @nassnigeria and the minister of finance, @ZShamsuna and her team, I disclosed that @HouseNGR is considering a second stimulus bill that will provide Nigerians with free electricity supply for two months to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he wrote.

(READ MORE: Reps to probe Telcos’ CEOs over alleged $30 billion foreign exchange fraud)

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He stated that the bill, which will be considered by the House of Representatives immediately after the break, will boost the economy through the informal sector and benefit all Nigerians.

The proposed Stimulus Bill, which will be the second to be considered by the Green Chamber, is to be tabled immediately the House reconvenes from its ongoing break, declared due to the pandemic, he noted.

The resumption date of the National Assembly, earlier slated for April 7, was extended by one week in compliance with the government’s 2-week stay-at-home policy.

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READ MORE: Power: Liquidity crisis, same old story in 2020?

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Why is this necessary

Explaining the necessity for the proposed stimulus bill during the meeting, the Speaker said electricity, being a commodity consumed by every household, has a greater effect on the people and that since more Nigerians are in the informal sector, the effects would be more felt by the economy.

“It is one thing that will touch every household. As I said earlier, when we engaged, I discussed with the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) that packaged whatever they would require, if the government can give them, for us to allow for two months free electricity for Nigerians, they would be able to guarantee it. 

“When you are saving people their electricity and the fact that they now have stable electricity for two months, you are also saving the monies that would go into the payment of those bills at least for two months.

The task force headed by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmad, met with the National assembly on Saturday, the second time in 10 days, to discuss more stimulus packages for Nigerians.

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via ruth.okwumbu@nairametrics.ng

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. MOSES SILAS KAJANG

    April 11, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    You are doing a great job by encouraging and motivating young people to bring their dreams to reality. Of a truth you are making an ample contribution to the nation. Is a labour of love. May GOD reward you richly. I will love to know you better.

  2. Precious

    April 17, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Dey said no payment of nepa bill for 3 months,due to Corona virus ,but nepa people are collecting nepa money here at 1st gate jakonda lekki lagos

  3. Precious

    April 17, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    2 months,

  4. Olawale

    April 27, 2020 at 10:15 am

    NEPA are still collecting money from us oooo.

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Economy & Politics

Output cut: Nigeria leads in OPEC non-compliance with 50 unsold cargoes of crude

Nigeria and Iraq were reported not to have kept to their commitment to the huge production cut deal that had promised to reduce output by 9.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.

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Petroleum Industry Bill to be passed by mid-2020, says Sylva, FG discovers crude oil in north, says there’s more , OPEC, non-OPEC countries to meet as Saudi, Russia price war affects Nigeria’s budget, FG considers fuel price reduction, OPEC deal: Nigeria to generate additional $2.8 billion revenue as FG reacts

As opinions continue to differ on whether OPEC will extend its current oil output cut beyond June, available information has shown that not all members of the oil cartel complied fully with their agreed quotas for the month of May. This is despite the fact that the oil output by OPEC member countries reached its lowest in almost 20 years.

Available data from oilprice.com showed that OPEC members cut their output by 5.91 million barrels per day from the April level, producing 24.77 million barrels per day. This figure also showed a 4.48 million barrel per day of the agreed output cut, thereby representing a 74% compliance level.

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Nigeria and Iraq were reported not to have kept to their commitment to the huge production cut deal that had promised to reduce output by 9.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Iraq was able to achieve just 38% compliance of its agreed output cut for the month of May, while Nigeria, which achieved a much lower compliance of the agreed output cut, recorded 19% compliance of what was agreed. Saudi Arabia showed the highest compliance, recording 96% of the agreed output cut.

Some have attributed the noncompliance of some members of OPEC to the agreed output cut, to the contractual obligations and commitment to buyers, given the short timeframe between when the agreement for the output cut was made and its implementation.

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Meanwhile oil exports from Angola and Congo remained steady at high prices on Friday, while Nigerian oil fared lower amid huge inventory of unsold cargoes.

Nigeria continues to face some difficulty in the oil market, primarily due to sluggish demand from Europe; it has around 50 unsold cargoes of crude oil yet to be sold for the months of June and July.

Meanwhile, India has become one of the few buyers for the Nigerian oil. Indian oil firms bought about 5-6 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil last week and has bought about 2 million barrels as at Thursday this week.

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Business News

President Muhammadu Buhari reshuffles NNPC’s board of directors

Note that the former board included the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari as a member. Stakeholders have since expected the President to reconstitute a new board to take over.

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President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on Monday, receives update and recommendations from PTF

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstitution of the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) after the expiration of the tenure of the current board.

The newly constituted board members are expected to serve for a tenure of three years, effective immediately. They will take over from the last board, whose 3-year tenure officially ended in 2019. Information about this development is contained in a State House press release that was published on the official twitter handle of the Nigerian Presidency on Saturday morning.

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READ MORE: Construction of ICT Parks nudges Nigeria into digital transformation

READ ALSO: CBN and NIPOST open pilot microfinance branches

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The newly constituted NNPC board is made up of six members from each of the geo-political zones in the country. The members include the following individuals:

  • Mallam Mohammed Lawal, representing the North West
  • Dr Tajudeen Umar from North East
  • Adamu Mahmood  Attah from North Central
  • Senator Magnus Abe from the South-South
  • Dr Stephen Dike from the South East, and
  • Chief Pius Akinyelure from the South West geo-political

READ MORE: Boko Haram: A protracted battle yet to be won?  

Of the six members, three are returning members on the board – Chief Pius Akinyelure, Mallam Mohammed Lawal, and Dr Tajudeen Umar from North East.

Note that the constitution of the new board is considered a welcome development, as it balances the representation of the six geo-political zones on the board. The previous constitution of the board was faulted for not being “balanced”.

READ ALSO: Full text of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 58th Independence day broadcast

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Note that the former board included the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari as a member. Stakeholders have since expected the President to reconstitute a new board to take over.

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Around the World

Zoom’s market valuation hits $50 billion mark, thanks to COVID-19

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

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Zoom

Zoom Video Communications’ shares surged to record highs on Friday, as bullish runs in the last hours of trading helped the company to close with a market capitalization of more than $50 billion. The stock gained about 9.7% to jump to $179.48, thereby giving it a market value of $50.6 billion. 

Note that this is the first time Zoom’s valuation is reaching this high level since it became a quoted company. The tech giant, which owns popular video conferencing software “Zoom”,  has gained more than 160% this year. This is because investors are betting that the surge in Zoom users amid the COVID-19 pandemic, would eventually translate to long-lasting revenue growth.

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READ ALSO: How VCs are encouraging terrible business practices by founders

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

Following the significant jump in the company’s valuation, the net worth of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Eric Yuan, also rose significantly by more than $800 million on Friday. He now has a net worth of $9.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

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Meanwhile, in reaction to Zoom’s overnight success, Gennie Gebhart, a researcher with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said she hoped Zoom would change course and offer protected video more widely. It should be recalled that some users of the app had raised security concerns back in April, as Nairametrics reported

READ ALSO: Did Satoshi Nakamoto cause the panic sell-off in Bitcoin market

Meanwhile, Zoom has recruited Alex Stamos, a former chief security officer at Facebook, and other top security experts to help deal with the security issues which led to some top companies banning its use. While discussing efforts being made to deal with the security challenges, Stamos told Reuters:

 “At the same time that Zoom is trying to improve security, they are also significantly upgrading their trust and safety. The CEO is looking at different arguments. The current plan is paid customers plus enterprise accounts where the company knows who they are.” 

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