As a respite to the huge metering gap currently experienced in the country, FBNQuest Merchant Bank has announced plans with Kairos Investment Africa and New Hampshire Capital for a national meter asset finance and management SPV (“MAPCo”).
This is aimed at attracting long term finance for the mass roll-out of prepaid smart meters to millions of electricity consumers in Nigeria who currently are not metered by the electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
This is according to a report by the African Media Agency.
With an estimated metering gap of more than eight million nationwide, the plight of unmetered consumers continues to deteriorate especially as regards indiscriminate and unfair estimated billing. This plight has been a perennial issue that heralded the privatization of the power sector. Therefore, in response to the aforementioned issues, the present regime of President Muhammadu Buhari announced plans to ensure that the 8 million metering gap is closed within a two- year period.
Owing to a deficit of about $1billion in financing the metering gap, the Nigerian Electricity regulatory body issued the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulation in 2018.
This was aimed at increasing private participation in providing smart meters and other metering services to electricity consumers which will require about US$1billion.
Under the MAP regulation, the cost of providing prepaid meters has been unbundled from retail electricity tariffs.
To get a prepaid meter, an electricity consumer can either pay the full cost of the meter outright, or can opt to pay a fixed monthly meter service charge over a 10-year period, so as to cover the cost of the meter and on-going provision of metering services by the MAP.
It is this MAP regulation that liberalized the process and enabled the private sector to bankroll the metering gap. This is in addition to FG’s one-year waiver of the 35% import levy on prepaid meters which previously constrained the regulation.
Why it matters
Bridging the metering gap in the power sector will improve revenue collection by DisCos, improve consumer satisfaction and lead to an overall reduction in the collection and commercial losses in the electricity distribution sector.
In addition, it will also bring increased transparency to revenue collection by DisCos and is the first step towards a total phase-out of electricity subsidies.
What they are saying
Commenting on the proposed deal Odion Omonfoman, the chief executive officer of New Hampshire Capital said “MAPCo is proposed to be a key component of the Nigeria Power Sector Recovery Program (PSRP) to put the power sector on the path of sustainability and improved electricity services to Nigerians. The SPV will support the mass roll-out prepaid meters to unmetered electricity consumers and also enable MAPs provide smart metering solutions to Discos and their consumers using the Meter-as-a-Service (MaaS) business model.”
Mr. Oluseun Olatidoye, the Head, Capital Markets of FBNQuest Merchant Bank stated, “the MAPCo SPV will enhance the long term viability of Nigeria’s power sector by leveraging on the depth of the Nigerian capital markets and offer investors unique access to long term investment opportunities through securitization of future receivables backed by the prepaid meter assets. FBNQuest is delighted to be one of the sponsors of this very important SPV in the power sector.”
Ewaen Imohe, CEO of Kairos Investments Africa noted, “the SPV will create and issue financial securities that are backed by prepaid meter assets in the power sector. Given the stable and long useful life of the underlying pool of prepaid meter assets backing the financial securities, we anticipate that there will be a lot of interest from long term investors looking to diversify their investment portfolios. We are proud to be partnering with New Hampshire and FBNQuest on this very important initiative.”
FG says Apapa traffic will end by first quarter 2021
The FG has assured Nigerians that the gridlock in Apapa will soon be a thing of the past by the first quarter of 2021.
The Federal Government has revealed that the perennial traffic in Apapa and its environs is expected to end come to an end within the first quarter of 2021.
This disclosure was made by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, on Friday, November 27, 2020, when he received the National Advisory Committee set up by the presidency on African Continental Free Trade Area at the council’s head office in Lagos.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Bello said that the council has put in motion, machinery to put an end to the perennial gridlock that has brought to a halt, business and socio-economic activities in that axis.
He also said that the sorting out of the gridlock and other issues in the ports and along that corridor would ensure the utilization of the benefits in the AfCFTA to the country.
The NSC boss said, “We have a deficit on infrastructure, issues in rail, road, connectivity between our ports and the hinterland and elsewhere in Africa. I am an optimistic person and that is why I want to say that by March, the first quarter of 2021, the gridlock in Apapa will disappear.’’
“This is because we are approaching it in a scientific angle, first we have to make the ports digital and contactless, no need to go to the port to make the payment or other transaction, all these will be online,’’ he said.
Bello promised the Nigerian Ports Authority would deploy electronic call-up system to manage traffic, customs on e-customs, provisions of scanners.
What you should know
Apapa which is a commercial/industrial hub in Lagos and most importantly has the largest seaports in the country, has been under intense gridlock as all entry/exit points leading into and out of the area are under lockdown due to construction work, which is at different levels of completion, around that corridor.
In order to restore sanity on the Apapa axis, following the total collapse of law and order due to indiscriminate parking of heavy articulated vehicles, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a Presidential Taskforce headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Comrade Kayode Opeifa as Vice Chairman.
The Presidential Taskforce restored some level of normalcy on the axis with the disappearance of trucks and tankers on the bridges and roads on Ikorodu road, Iganmu road, Eko Bridge and other axis leading to Apapa.
However, there have been serious concerns among stakeholders and residents in the area over the ability of Lagos state government to sustain normalcy following the withdrawal of the presidential task force.
Exited N-Power beneficiaries to apply for CBN empowerment options
A portal to enable Exited N-Power beneficiaries apply for CBN empowerment options has been launched by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development has launched a portal enabling exited N-Power beneficiaries to apply for CBN empowerment options.
This was disclosed by the Ministry in a social media statement on Friday evening.
Nigeria’s University lecturers union, ASUU, calls off 8-month strike
ASUU called off its eight-month long strike that has grounded academic activities in the public universities.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called off its eight-month-long strike that has grounded academic activities in the public universities. The union took the decision after it agreed to accept government’s total payment of N70 billion.
The was disclosed by ASUU via its Twitter handle on Friday after its meeting with the Federal Government’s team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.
It tweeted, “The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has shifted ground on FG’s offer. The Union insisted that payment of outstanding salaries must not be done as through the IPPIS platform as promised, if strike would be suspended.”
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#JUST IN: The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has shifted ground on FG's offer.
The Union insisted that payment of outstanding salaries must not be done as through IPPIS platform as promised, if strike would be suspended.
Wait for more details#ASUUANDFG
— Official_ASUU (@ASUUNGR) November 27, 2020
This is a developing story….