Stakeholders have advised the National Assembly toenact laws on effective metering system to save electricity consumers from continuous exploitation through arbitrary billing.
They made the observation on Wednesday in Lagos at the ongoing public hearing by the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on customers’ complaints for electricity consumers in South-West Zone.
Amos Awoniyi, a customer from Lekki area of Lagos, urged the House Committee to enact laws that would enforce effective metering system among distribution companies to reduce estimated billing.
He urged other distribution companies to adopt EKEDC metering model to address the challenges of estimated billing being faced by electricity consumers.
“Electricity customers are entitled to effective metering system and accurate billings but most Discos would not do that because they made more money from estimated billings.
“The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) should start sanctioning Discos on arbitrary billing and shortchanging of customers through estimated billing,’’ he said.
According to Mrs Grace Adeoye, from Victoria Island, millions of households are still groaning under the weight of ‘crazy’ bills and poor power supply, four over years after the power sector was privatised.
“Many give consumers outrageous bills without recourse to the meters. Whether the meters are functional or not, they don’t want to know.
“NERC is supposed to put its feet down and stop this estimated billing. Once it is stopped, the power firms will be forced to supply meters to everybody when they start losing revenues, “she said.
Another consumer, Alhaji Tajudeen Thompson, urged EKEDC to replace obsolete meters within its network, adding that virtually all meters installed in high density areas over 50 years ago were not functional.
In his remark, Mr Israel Famurewa, Chairman of the House Committee on Electricity Customer’s Complaints, condemned arbitrary billing by distribution companies in Nigeria.
Famurewa said that the committee had received a lot of complaints and petitions on estimated billings, crazy bills and lack of meter from electricity consumers within the South-West Zone.
“It has gotten to a stage where if the House did not do anything about it, there may be a serious breakdown of law and order where people will take laws into their hands.
“The House in its wisdom constituted this committee to interface with the consumers, the Discos and the regulatory bodies. We are to find a lasting solution to the problem of the system.
5 important things to know about trading in the stock market
As a person who is interested in the stock market, you probably know that it comes with a risk like any other financial decision.
Trading in the stock market can be a great way to gain financial success and diversify your investment portfolio. You can trade on the market on your own as well as with brokerage companies like HFM, which can become a reliable service provider in your activities.
But before you put down any amount of money, there are 5 key things you should keep in mind.
Let’s explore what is the stock market and what you should know about it together.
What is the stock market?
The stock market is a vibrant and reliable platform that ensures fair trade between buyers and sellers of securities. It allows them to discover the price of shares, serving as an indicator of economic conditions. All transactions are secure, liquid, and transparent thanks to continuous competition in the open market which safeguards fairness while providing great liquidity options.
5 things about trading in the stock market
Let’s take a closer look at some moments that are important for efficient trading in this financial market.
- Buy low, sell high
Despite the short-term downturn in oil prices, most consumers are still benefitting from cheaper fuel costs. However, any market dip is often seen as a sign of an impending bear market. In reality, though, stocks have historically been one of the best long-term investments and will likely continue to rise over time with or without intermittent corrections along the way.
- Think long-term
Trading on short-term earnings reports or data is not the best way to maximize profits as a trader. Instead, opportunities arise when a stock or sector that has been overlooked by the market shows resilience and delivers consistent returns in spite of economic conditions. An example is transportation stocks like airlines and railroads which can offer considerable gains when industry trends shift favorably.
- There is no certain metric
Professional and amateur traders alike all have their preferred methods when it comes to assessing stock values, from price-earnings ratios to dividend yields and profit margins. However, there is no single metric that can definitively distinguish between good stocks versus bad ones.
- Dividends are on your side
Dividend-paying stocks provide a degree of stability in comparison to other types of investments. However, caution must be taken when evaluating offers that seem too good to pass up – they may not hold their value as expected over time.
- Know what you need
The brokerage industry has become increasingly competitive, with firms vying to offer the best trading options. However, for most traders, their basic needs can be met by any provider. When placing an order it’s important to know what type you are entering. A market order will execute immediately at whatever price is available while limit orders only complete when within predetermined parameters.
In conclusion, trading in the stock market can prove to be a great opportunity if you make smart investments. Knowledge is key when it comes to successfully navigating the stock market, so always take the time to do your research and create an investment plan. Make sure that you understand where you want your money to go and how long you are willing to wait for a return on your investments.
NASS Asks CBN To Extend Deadline On Old Naira Notes By Six Months
The two chambers of the National Assembly have asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for acceptance of the old Naira notes.
The House of Representatives and the Senate in separate resolutions on Tuesday asked the CBN to extend the deadline till 31 July.
House of Representatives
The decision of the House to ask for the extension followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Sada Soli (APC, Katsina) during plenary.
Moving the motion, Mr Soli said banking and other financial institutions are struggling to cope with the rush by citizens to change their old currencies to new notes. He said the shortage of new notes is creating panic.
“Banks and POS outlets are struggling with the shortage of the redesigned new Naira notes ahead of the CBN deadline of January 31, 2023, consequently making it difficult for them to comply with the CBN directives as regards availability of the new notes for customers.
“Despite several concerns and appeals by the National Assembly, the Governors Forum, the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, and a host of other stakeholders in the country for the CBN to extend the period for the currency swap of the new Naira notes as well as review of the cashless policy, the CBN has remained adamant on the given deadline,” he said.
He stated that the CBN should instead phase out the old currency within a longer period, like a year adding that the policy must get the buy-in of the people for it to work.
He informed his colleagues that traders in Katsina State have started rejecting the old notes.
Speaking in support of the motion, Ahmed Jaha (APC, Borno), said the CBN has been making efforts in Borno State to swap the old notes for new ones, however, the efforts are not enough to meet the deadline.
He stated that the activities of Boko Haram insurgents have shut down banking operations in most parts of Borno State.
“I just came back from my constituency yesterday; I want to use this opportunity to commend the CBN for taking certain steps to address this issue in my constituency. As I am talking to you, CBN staffs have been in my constituency since yesterday. They went there with some amount to swap the little currency with people. It is a very good move but I also realised that the amount taken there is not enough to swap the available old currency.
“For the past 10 years, my constituency is (has been) operating without a single bank branch. People transact in cash,” Mr Jaha said.
FG Rakes In N11.5trn From Company Tax Under Buhari
A data report has revealed that the Federal Government under the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has made N11.5trillion from taxes paid by companies and business organizations.
The data from Company Income Tax (CIT) reports, which was published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) between 2015 and 2022, showed CIT collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service stood at N1.3tn when the President assumed office in 2015.
This amount dipped by 26 per cent in 2016 when the country’s economy went into recession due to a significant drop in oil prices.
It started an upward trajectory between 2017 and 2020, as the government generated a total of N5.3trillion during this period.
Companies Income Tax is a tax on the profits of incorporated entities in Nigeria. It also includes the tax on the profits of non-resident companies carrying on business in Nigeria.
The tax is paid by limited liability companies, inclusive of the public limited liability companies, and is commonly referred to as a corporate tax.
The CIT rate is 30 per cent for large companies (i.e. companies with gross turnover greater than NGN 100m), assessed on a preceding year basis (i.e. tax is charged on profits for the accounting year ending in the year preceding assessment).
According to the data, the highest contributors to the CIT were the manufacturing, Information Communication Technology and financial services sectors.
Also, a critical evaluation of 2022 CIT records showed a significant hike in taxes paid by companies across the board.
From the data, tax from firms in the information and communication sector rose by 158.51 per cent from N51.05bn in the third quarter of 2021 to N131.97bn in the corresponding period in 2022.
In the same vein, manufacturers paid the most taxes during the period in review, as the Federal Government increased the number of taxes collectable by the Federal Inland Revenue Services from 39 to 61 items.
Some of the new taxes as contained in the schedule to the taxes and levies (Approved list for collection) Act (Amendment Order), 2015, include: national information technology development levy, economic development levy, environmental (ecological) fee or levy; inter-state road taxes; mining, milling and quarrying fee; infrastructure maintenance charge; social services contribution tax, and wharf landing fee where applicable.
Others are entertainment tax, produce sales tax, property tax (where applicable); fire service charge; slaughter or abattoir fee, where state finance is involved, among others.
Further checks revealed that CIT paid by manufacturers increased by 52.3 per cent from N91.2bn paid in the third quarter of 2021 to N138.9bn in the corresponding quarter of 2022.
The scenario has created room where it appears the productive sector was being overburdened by taxes because of the government’s inability to widen the tax bracket and capture more taxpayers.
By: Corlins Walter
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