Nigeria’s electricity supply capacity is to drop by about 300 megawatts (MW), the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said.
TCN stated in a statement yesterday in Abuja that the unavoidable drop in the quantity of power available for it to transmit to the distribution companies would be as a result of an expected shutdown of the Shiroro Hydro Power Plc.
The statement which was signed by the Head, Public Communication, TCN, Seun Olagunju explained that the drop will mostly affect northern states in the country.
It noted that the power plant had notified it of the imminent shut down for three days, starting from Monday, 27th to Wednesday, 29th of January 2014.
Meanwhile, power supply situation across the country has systematically worsened since the privatization process was concluded last year.
Power poll results released by NOIPolls Limited for the Fourth Quarter of 2013 have revealed that although power supply to households worsened in the fourth quarter, nevertheless 70 per cent of Nigerians are hopeful about the on-going reform in the power sector.
More findings revealed that an average of 46 per cent of Nigerians received between 1-4 hours of continuous power supply daily, while 17 per cent said they have received absolutely “no light” in their households.
These were the key findings from the Power Snap Poll conducted in Quarter 4 (Q4), 2013.
In the Fourth Quarter of 2013, the Nigerian power sector saw an achievement of a milestone as the privatisation process, initiated to reform the power sector was taken to the next level.
This involved the final hand over of 11 power distribution and five generation companies, created out of PHCN which was regulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), to their private owners on behalf of the Federal Government.
This implies that in the new era for the power sector, privately owned generating companies will sell directly to distribution companies, which finally gets power to consumers.
With the aim of monitoring the progress made so far in the power sector reforms in Nigeria, NOIPolls introduced the Power Polls in April 2013 to explore the perception of Nigerians towards the power sector reforms, the amount of power supply received daily and expenditure on alternative sources of power.
An assessment of the state of power supply in Q4 (averages of all 3 months) revealed that 45 per cent of Nigerians reported power supply remains bad or has worsened, 33 per cent indicated some improvement while 22 per cent reported no difference in power supply.
A review of the state of power for the year 2013 (12 months) shows that power was best in Q1 and worse in Q4.
Furthermore, a regional appraisal of power in 2013 reveals that the North-East zone is the most affected zone with poor power supply as it recorded the highest proportion of respondents that claimed power supply remains bad and has gone worse in three quarters; Q1(39%), Q2(61%) and Q4(59%).
In addition, the South-East zone had the best power report in first two quarters as it recorded the highest proportion of respondents who experienced an improvement in Q1 (46%) and Q2 (41%) while the best power report in the last two quarters of 2013 was obtained in the South-South zone as it recorded the highest proportion of respondents that experienced an improvement in the state of power in Q3 (47%) and Q4 (43%).
The zones are split equally along the lines of bad and improved power supply; South East (43%), North-Central (41%) and South-South (41%) are the zones whose majority have seen improvements in their power supply over the 12 months while the North-East (51%), North West (46%) and South-West (46%) are zones whose majority reported bad/worsened power supply.
A nine months review revealed a continuous decline in the duration of hours of continuous power supply received by the majority of Nigerian households from Q2 to Q4.
This is evident on the fact that there was a total 4-point decline in the proportion of Nigerians that receive 5-9 hours of power supply from Q2 (23%) and Q4 (19%) as well as a corresponding 3-point total increase in the proportion of Nigerians that receive 1-4 hours of power supply from Q2 (43%) to Q4 (46%).
Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court
The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.
Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.
The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.
It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.
They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.
According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.
The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.
However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.
Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.
The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.
Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.
He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.
More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.
Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.
The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.
Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.
World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.
The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.
“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.
“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?
“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.
“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.
“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.
The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.
“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.
Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.
It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.
It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.
“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’
“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.
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