Power distributors have received approval to collect an average of 87.9 per cent of the recently increased electricity tariff from consumers across the country in the first six months of 2021.
Latest tariff review documents issued to each of the 11 distribution companies by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission also showed that the Discos had been empowered to collect 100 per cent of the new tariff from July to December 2021.
The approved new collection rates for the Discos means that consumers would be required to pay higher in the coming year, especially in the second half of the year.
Although the increase in electricity tariff on September 1, 2020 had been kicked against by various groups, some of the power firms had already commenced its implementation, as they explained that not all classes of power users were affected by the hike.
The approval to collect an average of 88 per cent tariff in the first half of 2021 are contained in the NERC’s various orders in the matter of the Extraordinary Review of Multi Year Tariff Order 2015, which were issued to the 11 Discos.
In the orders to the Discos, which are jointly signed by NERC Chairman, James Momoh, and a commissioner, Dafe Akpeneye, the commission stated that the new tariff took effect from September 1.
The NERC explained that the approval was given after it considered the key indices used in evaluating the tariff increase applications of the power firms.
Meanwhile, the registration portal for the N75bn Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take schemes of the Federal Government will be opened on Monday, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, has said.
According to her, the project, which will run for an initial period of three months, will be opened for 1.7 million entities and individuals across the country.
The minister said this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday by the Assistant Director, Information, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa.
Katagum explained that the Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take schemes were at the core of the N2.3tn stimulus package of the Federal Government.
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Some Individuals Encouraging Illegal Refiners, Group Alleges
A Niger Delta group, under the aegis of Domestic Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria (DROAN), has alleged that some individuals and organisations are negotiating and encouraging illegal refiners to continue with the unwholesome business.
National Chairman of DROAN, Mr Godwin Sunday, stated that while addressing journalists last Saturday at the end of their meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
Sunday also alleged that some stakeholders were negotiating with some illegal refiners for percentage with a promise not to expose them, thereby encouraging them to go back to the creeks to continue with the illegal business.
He, therefore, appealed to the Federal government not to further delay the promise of establishing modular refineries in the Niger Delta, as well as integrating illegal refiners into the mainstream of the Petroleum sector.
He stated: “We are concerned that some individuals, agencies, organisations are setting up task force and committees with the sole aim and intent of aiding and abetting illegal oil refining, theft and pipeline vandalism.
“Government at all levels should investigate the activities of these individuals and organisations. We condemn it in its totality. We also call on the entire people of the Niger Delta to condemn this unpatriotic act.
“And we are appealing to the Federal Government to fulfil its own promise of establishing modular refineries in the nine states of the Niger Delta and integration of illegal refiners (kpo fire boys) into the mainstream of petroleum sector to curb further environmental degradation, pipeline vandalism, illegal refining, and youth restiveness.
“On our part we have fulfilled our promise that we will not go back to the creeks and we have stopped illegal oil refining. So we expect that in no distant time, government should also implement those things it promised us”
Sunday, however, hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for removing subsidy on petrol products, noting that at 60 years, Nigeria should not be importing petroleum products from other countries.
“We salute the courage of the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to bring the petrol subsidy regime to an end. We are appealing to Nigerians to support this decision of the government. If at 60, we are still importing petroleum products, it is very bad. It is unacceptable to us.
“We believe that better days are ahead because the subsidy money will now be channeled into other key sectors like education, health and infrastructural development”, he noted.
FG Aggressively Developing Gas-To-Power Infrastructure – Kyari
The Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, says the Federal Government is aggressively pursuing other gas development initiatives to improve Nigeria’s current utilization of alternative fuels as well as stimulating gas demand and power generation in the country.
Kyari, who made this remark at the virtual Businessday Future of Energy Summit, also said the NNPC was making concrete efforts to expand natural gas resource exploration.
He assured that the NNPC would capitalise on its experience on key players in the industry to grow production efficiently, leveraging technology acquisition, and project financing across the value chain.
This is as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, hinted that the abundance of natural gas resources in Nigeria has made the gas transition initiative a low hanging fruit waiting to be harnessed.
Sylva said the transformation initiative clearly indicated that natural gas has come to play a significant role in the dominant future energy source for use in Nigeria from the medium to the long term.
“The summit has been so aptly themed harnessing Nigeria’s energy potentials for the future. Energy encourages national economic growth and there is no gainsaying that Nigeria remains one of the most blessed countries on the face of the earth with a plethora of mineral and energy resources waiting to be harnessed,” Sylva said.
He added: “In this regard, the Buhari-led administration carved out some strategic priorities for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in order to foster the sustainability of the Nigerian economy, enhance energy availability, create well paid jobs and take millions of Nigerians out of poverty.”
According to him, to drive and stimulate investment in the natural gas sector, the NNPC is focusing on the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMP), which covers infrastructure, sectoral development, and requires framework.
Kyari noted that collaboration was key in all of these efforts, adding that NNPC has a succession planning in place to provide adequate energy infrastructure in tandem with the expanding population growth and also in alignment with the objectives of the government to encourage economic growth.
“NNPC is committed to supporting sustainable legislation that would bring about a transformation to the industry, promote transparency and accountability across the value chain. We remain committed to driving Nigeria’s gas sector development.
The Managing Director, Nigeria LNG Limited, Bayo Ojulari, stressed the need for the Federal Government to prioritize development towards gas, since the country has ridden on the back of oil for more than 50 years, but added that the country must now fly on the wings of gas in its quest to leapfrog to the next level.
“We cannot achieve much without infrastructure. We are also very glad to hear some of the infrastructure development the Federal Government is embarking on to harness the natural resources we have in the country,” he said.
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