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NERC Denies Increase In Electricity Tariff As Consumers Kick

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says no tariff increase has been approved by the commission yet.
Mr Usman Arabi, General Manager, Public Affairs (NERC) made the clarification in a statement issued on the agency’s website, obtained bynewsmen in Lagos yesterday.
Arabi said:” The attention of the NERC has been drawn to the publication in several electronic and print media that end-user electricity tariffs have been increased following the approval of the minor review (2016 – 2018) of the 2015 Multi-Year Tariff Order on Aug. 21, 2019.
“We wish to provide guidance that the minor review implemented by the commission was a retrospective adjustment of the tariff regime released in 2015.
“This is to account for changes in macro-economic indices for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 thus providing certainty about revenue shortfall that may have arisen due to the differential between tariffs approved by the regulator and actual end-user tariffs.
“The commission, therefore, wish to notify the general public that no tariff increase has been approved by the Commission vide the order.”
He said, however NERC, in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities enshrined under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, would continue to undertake periodic reviews of electricity tariffs in accordance with the prevailing tariff methodology.
According to him, in all instances of such reviews and rule making, the commission will widely consult with stakeholders and final decision will take due regard of all contributions.
However, electricity consumer groups in the country have kicked against increasing tariff for end-user customers.
The groups, Energy Consumer Rights and Responsibilities Initiative and the All Electricity Consumer Protection Forum told newsmen in Lagos that increment in electricity tariff was unjustified based on present realities.
Mr Sural Fadairo, National President, Energy Consumer Rights and Responsibilities Initiative, noted that increasing the cost of electricity was not the panacea to Nigeria’s energy crisis.
“If they want to increase tariff because the Distribution Companies are under remitting due to debts by consumers, that will not solve the problem.
“If people are refusing to pay now because they are disputing their bills will they now pay if it is further increased? “What they need to do is to meter all electricity customers, so that we can end the issue of estimated billing.
“So, from the consumer point of view, we are totally against any increment because power generation and supply has not improved significantly in the country, “he said. Also, Mr Adeola Samuel-Ilori, National Coordinator, All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, said the increase was totally uncalled for in all ramifications.
He said: “The basis for such increase at this time can’t be justified in that consumers have not been metered and they still purchase transformers and other line materials by themselves with attendant extortion via estimated billings. “ All these are not taken into consideration and extensively dealt with before contemplating tariff increase”.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has carpeted the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal government over what it termed “astronomical rise” in the tariffs payable for electricity supply across the country.
HURIWA, a frontline rights advocacy claimed that the Buhari-led government was working “day and night” to unleash devastating economic strangulation through unsustainable reviewed electricity power tariffs on Nigerians most of whom are unemployed, hungry, sick and poor.
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the rights group warned that the multiplier effect would be felt immediately due to spike in the costs of living.
The group said the focus of the Federal government in the beginning phase of the year should not be to impose grave hardship on the populace just coming out of the seasonal festivity of Christmas and New Year but any good government should be more focused on how quality education can be delivered to millions of the children of Nigerian suffering families that would be returning to schools in the next few days.
HURIWA said: “The Federal government should be focused in this New Year on how to improve health care and on how to curb the internal corruption that has destroyed the so called schools feeding programme instead of the Federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari working day and night to unleash devastating economic strangulation through unsustainable reviewed electricity power tariffs on millions of Nigerians most of whom are unemployed, hungry, sick and poor.
“President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration should be focused on restoring security of lives and property which is the primary duty of government and for which it has failed to discharge instead of rushing to introduce the wicked policy of Electricity power hike in January of a fresh DECADE.”
HURIWA recalled that the 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) have the mandate of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to effect the tariff increase from April just as these are as follows: Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Jos Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Kano Electricity Distribution Company, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company and Yola Electricity Distribution Company.
HURIWA specifically gathered that consequent upon the NERC directive, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) residential customers R3 will now pay N47.09 per unit as against the current N27.20, while Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) customers in R3 category will pay N36.92 per unit instead of N26.50. Commercial customers C3 category will start paying N38.14 per unit instead of N24.63 and industrial customers of the IKEDC D3 category who are currently paying N25.82 per unit will henceforth pay N35.85 per unit.
HURIWA recalled that by the hike, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company residential (R3) customers who currently pay N27.11 per unit will start paying N48.12 per unit just as the National Electricitu Regulatory Commission said the order was pursuant to Section 32 and 76 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act aimed at providing a cost reflective tariffs that ensures prices charged by licensees are fair to consumers.
However, disagreeing with the explanation offered by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission for the current hike, HURIWA said that the “decision by the Electricity regulator to capitulate to the Machiavellian type selfish hike demand by the private operators of the weak, incompetent and inefficient electricity power supply subsector was against public interest and therefore will endanger public good and should be voided or resisted if government fails to listen to the voices of the people.”
HURIWA reminded the president that the voices of the people is the voice of God and if he wants to get the pulse and the heartbeats of the real people, then he the President should disguise himself as a commoner and drive to one of the rural markets in any part of the Federation so he can dissect properly the monumental dimension of mass poverty afflicting millions of Nigerians.
“HURIWA believes that the import of any public policy must be grounded on the utilitarian satisfaction of the greatest percentage of the population of the good people of Nigeria. Any public policy churned out specifically to enrich some privileged elitist class to the detriment of millions of the good people of Nigeria hasn’t met the constitutional threshold because of the centrality of the need for all government’s actions, policies and projects to be people centred and to benefit public good. The astronomical hike in the purchasing prices of the virtually non available and the erratic electricity power to less than 40% of the Nigerian population is directly offensive to the overall public good. In section 14 of the Nigerian Constitution the Federal Republic of Nigeria is legally created to be patterned as a State based on the Principles of democracy and Social Justice. Subsection 2(a) of section 14 provides that ‘Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this constitution derives all its powers and authority. Just as subsection 2(b) of section 14 states that ‘the security and Welfare Of The People Shall Be The Primary Purpose Of Government.
“HURIWA believes that this is the most reckless policy to be imposed wickedly on the Nigerian people who are currently going through some of the most primitive and painful economic adversity in about 40 years. For a federal government to introduce such a callous tariff hike in the beginning of a new year either shows the government officials as Shylock Machiavellian and mean hearted selfish politicians who are insensitive and irresponsible to such an extent that the only policy they have brought UP to wish Nigerians a happy New year is to impose a strange but strangulating electricity tariffs without first and foremost ensuring that the distribution companies in the power electricity sector who got licences to distribute ELECTRICITY carry out their businesses in compliance with best global practices. The distribution companies lack transparency and acountability just as they are wayward in terms of corporate social responsibility to the people of Nigeria.
“These DISCOS are known to have been lavishly gifted with billions of Naira of Public fund by the Central Bank of Nigeria to improve their services but in the last five years it is evident that even the few Nigerian families who enjoy intermittent electricity power supplies are victims of price extortion through irregular billing methods without proper metering standards. Most electricity customers still don’t have meters to be able to accurately reconcile their consumption. Why is the Federal government through the National Electricity Regulatory Commission not concerned about decisively tackling the challenges associated with metering by the DISCOS rather than being so unnecessarily fixated with over exposing the marginalised electricity power consumers to untold hardships and further impoverishment in the hands of the profiteers masquerading about as licenced Distributors of Electricity power to NIGERIANS? Also why the hurry to increase the tariffs for services that are poor and inefficient? The Federal government must be compelled to reverse this anti people policy that will only increase mass poverty and will not in any away address the disturbing phenomenon of mass unemployment that became worst under the current Federal administration since the last 5 years?. Nigeria had only a year ago become the World’s capital of poverty with over 90 million people being absolutely poor. So how will they generate the money to pay these extremely hifh costs of electricity power supply which is so few and far between.”

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UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers

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As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.

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Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0

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Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment

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The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.

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