The Federal Government has traced the problem in the power sector to the sales of power generation and distribution companies to incompetent investors by the previous administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
This disclosure was made by the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while responding to questions on electricity tariff adjustment, at a meeting with Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, on Saturday, September 26, 2020.
According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mohammed said that the federal government had spent N1.7 trillion to subsidize electricity tariff after the previous administration sold and handed over to the investors, an expenditure he said is no longer sustainable especially under the prevailing economic conditions.
He pointed out that the country’s revenue and foreign exchange earnings had dropped sharply by almost 60% due to the downturn in the fortunes of the oil sector.
Mohammed said, “Before we came in, the power sector had been privatized by the previous administration, but the people they sold to them are incompetent. When we assumed power, we met the mess. Apart from the fact that the Distribution Companies (Discos), could not meter the people, they also could not pay for the electricity generated by the Generation Companies (Gencos), from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Companies.’’
“We had two options – cancel the entire sales or to get the Discos to recapitalize. We took over the debt of the Discos, which was about N701 billion, because of the effect the cancellation of the sale will have on the country and international investors. The people are simply incompetent and if we did not provide the money that means they will not distribute power to anybody,” he said.
The minister revealed that the government did not have the resources to continue along the path of subsidizing electricity tariff to private companies.
He said, “To borrow just to subsidize generation and distribution, which are both privatized, will be grossly irresponsible.’’
Going further, Mohammed disclosed that the Federal Government was providing incentives to local manufacturers of meters through the Central Bank of Nigeria, to cushion the effects of adjustment of the tariff.
He said that companies importing meters would get incentives through tax waivers.
Mohammed reiterated that in order to protect the large majority of Nigerians who could not afford to pay cost-reflective tariffs, only customers with a guaranteed minimum of 12 hours of electricity would have their tariffs adjusted as the industry regulator, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), would ensure its implementation.
The minister said that the government was also taking steps to connect Nigerians not yet connected to electricity at all, to the facility as the government is providing solar power to 5 million Nigerian households in the next 12 months under its Economic Sustainability Plan.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 25th of October 2020, 62 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria
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 61,992 confirmed cases.
On the 25th of October 2020, 62 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,824 samples across the country.
To date, 61,992 cases have been confirmed, 57,465 cases have been discharged and 1,130 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 607,435 tests have been carried out as of October 25th, 2020 compared to 603,611 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 61,992
- Total Number Discharged – 57,465
- Total Deaths – 1,1130
- Total Tests Carried out – 607,435
According to the NCDC, the 62 new cases were reported from 11 states- Taraba (18), Ogun (15), FCT (6), Kaduna (6), Katsina (4), Ondo (4), Ekiti (3), Rivers (3), Kano (1), Osun (1), Sokoto (1)
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,807, followed by Abuja (5,967), Plateau (3,594), Oyo (3,423), Rivers (2,773), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,617), Ogun (2,010), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,742), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,067), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (923), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).
Imo State has recorded 614 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403), Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (140), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
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.
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.
South-West Governors say attacks in Lagos were attempts to weaken the region’s economy
South West governors have they described the coordinated attacks in the state as an attempt to weaken the region’s economy.
Governors of the South-West states have pledged their supports to their Lagos State counterpart, as they described the coordinated attacks in the state as an attempt to weaken the region’s economy.
This was disclosed by the Chief Press Secretary of the state, Gboyega Akosile, during the visits of the Governors and the Federal Executive Council members from SouthWest to the public assets and private properties destroyed in last Wednesday’s arson in the state.
He tweeted, “Shock! This was the expression on the faces of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) members from Southwest and Governors as they toured the public assets and private properties destroyed in Wednesday’s coordinated arson in Lagos State.
“The delegation of Governors and Ministers was personally received by Sanwo-Olu at the State House in Marina, where the Lagos helmsman showed them the pictorial evidence of the violence before visiting some of the torched assets.”
At a joint press conference held after the tour, Chairman of Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, compared the scenes to a war zone, given the extent of the destruction.
According to him, the violence that resulted from the EndSARS protest left much to be desired, stressing that there was an agenda beyond the youth demonstration against police brutality.
He said, “We are deeply concerned with the ease with which public buildings, utilities, police stations, and investment of our people have been burnt despite the proximity of security agencies in those areas.
Shock! This was the expression on the faces of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) members from Southwest and Governors as they toured the public assets and private properties destroyed in Wednesday's coordinated arson in Lagos State. pic.twitter.com/TahuPIWkcQ
— Gboyega Akosile (@gboyegaakosile) October 25, 2020
What this means: From all indications, it is obvious that the South-West Governors believed that the said attack, which were rumoured to have been carried out by suspected hoodlums, were sponsored by some people to deliberately disorganize the region’s economy.
#EndSARS Protest: 80 BRT buses worth N3.9 billion were destroyed by hoodlums – LASG
The Lagos State Government disclosed that the 84 BRT vehicles destroyed by the hoodlums cost a total of about N3.9 billion.
The Lagos State Government has revealed that 27 of the burnt Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles in the Oyingbo and Ojodu Berger areas of the state cost $200,000 each, while 57 of them cost $100,000 each, all totaling about N3.9 billion.
This statement was made by the Lagos State Government on Friday, after evaluating the extent of damage made to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles.
What you should know
Few days ago, hoodlums hiding under the cover of #EndSARS protests allegedly attacked and razed the Oyingbo BRT terminal, with several buses burnt. Nairametrics reported that Primero Transport Services Ltd (PRT), the owners of BRT buses said they have lost over N100 million in 6 days due to the #EndSARS protests.
The State’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, in an exclusive interview with Punch, disclosed that:
- 23 big BRT buses were razed down, while 57 medium-size BRT buses were affected by the violence, which brings the total of the BRT vehicles destroyed to 80.
- 23 of the 80 BRT buses burnt by the hoodlums were at Ojodu, while the remaining 57 were at the Oyingbo area.
- The big buses cost around $200,000 each, while the medium-size ones cost around $100,000 each.
What they are saying
Mr. Omotosho said, “As I speak, the Governor and some of us are going around the state from one facility to the other. We are also visiting private facilities. Some of the places were the Oregun Vehicle Inspection Service office, the BRT park at Oyingbo, and the terminus at Ojodu Berger.
“I don’t know how they planned it; the hoodlums left the old buses and went for the new ones. The new ones were worth billions of naira.
“However, the cumulative losses incurred by the state are not ready yet. But it will be mind-boggling. It came on a scale beyond belief. We know that the police have apprehended suspects.”
What this means
The vehicles were purchased in dollars; So, the consistent decrease in the value of Naira is expected to edge the cost of these buses up, when denominated in Naira.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho explained that with the current foreign exchange rate, the 80 destroyed BRT buses are now valued at N3.929 billion.