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FG Orders DisCos To Resume Free Meter Distribution

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The Federal Government has given instructions to electricity distribution companies to resume the Meter Assets Providers (MAP) programme, recently slowed down by the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).
Although the DisCos’ MAP has been in existence for some years, the NMMP programme under the office of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was introduced in 2020 to bridge the wide metering gap in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
While the MAP had barely reached 400, 000 homes in 2020, FG’s NMMP intervention in Phase 0 succeeded in reaching over 800,000 homes.
Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), GarubaSanusi, said last week that Phase 1 of the  Federal Government’s NMMP was billed to begin in August, and as a result, DisCos had been ordered to resume and speed up on the MAP.
“By the end of August, meters from local manufacturers will be deployed by the DisCos. As a result, DisCos have been ordered to re-open the MAP, and customers are advised to take advantage of the window to purchase theirs if they cannot wait for the free meters,” he said.
He disclosed that 45 local metre manufacturers were currently jostling to be signed under FG’s meter providers’ programme.
Sanusi added that bids had already been submitted by the 45 manufacturers and the selection process had begun.
“Names of winners of the bid rounds will be announced as soon as the process is completed,” he said.
Phase 1 of the NMMP targets four million households.
Metering Expert and Accountant, SesanOkunade, told The Tide’s source that NERC should not have stopped the MAP from running in the first place.
“Firstly, I don’t know the reason why NERC stopped the MAP programme that was moving fine. If the programme was not stopped, we would have moved far with the metering gap because customers are ready to pay for the meters.
“Also, it would have put the DisCos on their toes and reduced the estimated billing being given to customers”, he stated.

Nonetheless, he said NERC’s order to resume the programme was a welcome development.

“It is still a welcome idea which will allow customers to pay for what is being actually consumed,” he said.

National President, Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, Barr Chijioke James, told The PUNCH that the DisCos needed to take their responsibilities more seriously.

“Customers have been paying for their meters even when it is Discos’ responsibility to meter every consumer. Even when most consumers pay, it takes some time to be allocated with meters. This is despite the presidential directive on mass production of meters and distribution nationwide to consumers. We believe Discos need to wake up to their responsibility in the power sector,” he said.

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Firms Want Solar Integration In Renewable Energy

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Non-renewable energy firms, such as Chint Global, have proposed solar integration to solve energy challenges in Nigeria.
In an interview with The Tide’s source at the “Power & Water Nigeria Exhibition and Conference, 2022” in Lagos, the Country Manager of Chint Global for Nigeria,  Michael Chen, said Nigeria had been a major target for solar power distribution.
“Egypt has about 100 million people, but Nigeria has 200 million people. However, the power generation capacity of Egypt is about 60 gigawatts while Nigeria has 13 gb watts.
“So, the capacity of power generation in Egypt is about five times that of Nigeria. Nigeria has a 200 million population, and one of the biggest GDPs in Africa.
“This will make Nigeria a bigger market for electrical equipment. This is a good opportunity for marketing and a means to contribute to Nigeria with our professional equipment and services to make this country a better place,” he said.
Chen noted that Chint Global, which is into the four industry chains of power generation, storage, transmission, distribution, and utilisation, had contributed solar power to crucial parts of the country.
“As a priority in Nigeria, our 132 kV transformer is working in TC and grid power systems. From Lagos to Ibadan, all the people are using the Chint distribution”, he said.
In his part, the Director of Solar Centric Technologies and Vice President, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, Adetunji Iromini, stressed the urgency of solar power integration in Nigeria, stated that at “although we have pushed for some intervention programmes to fast track integration, the government is yet to come to the table.”
He also talked on the escalating costs of products like diesel, saying the government now knew that it needed to onboard distributed renewable energy into solving Nigeria’s energy problem.
“So RIAN as a body is at the forefront of engaging with the government on strategies to solve the power problems in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Com

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Fake Products Controversy: SON’s DG Lied – Customs

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Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has described the allegation against it by the Director General of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), as a fabrication.
Reacting to the allegation that customs was responsible for the influx of fake and substandard products into Nigerian markets, the Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi, said it was diversionary tactics.
In a press statement issued on Friday, Mr Bomodi said the statement by the SON DG, Mallam Farouk Salim, was a lie.
Bomodi stated that there is an existing open channel of communication between officials of SON and Customs Area Commands should the need arise for clarifications or interventions and that its officials usually partake in examinations.
“We want to state that the allegations are untrue. The Nigeria Customs Service is fully cognizant that strategic cooperation among security and regulatory agencies lies at the heart of national security, and willfully works in tandem with other security and regulatory agencies, including SON, to achieve national goals.
“Under the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS II), SON and other regulatory agencies of government are linked directly and frequently make inputs in reference to items of significance to their operations.
“At no time has NCS refused to oblige them with any request. Indeed the Nigeria Customs Service even without intervention from SON on its own directs suspicious items bordering on brand and intellectual property rights infringements to them.
“SON has access to our systems, are informed and fully participates in examinations and even go as far as collecting product samples, where necessary, during examinations for their investigations.
“Even the field inspection process chart on the SON official website shows the involvement of SON at the ports and borders during examinations.
“Therefore, this statement ascribed to the DG creates a totally false narrative and is viewed as an attempt to portray the NCS in a negative light.
“It is questionable, raises serious concerns and calls for scrutiny by discerning members of the public. It is also self-condemning, regrettable and exposes SON as being incapable of living up to its mandate.
“If after issuing certificates, participating in examinations, taking samples for further investigations and authorizing release to the NCS, substandard goods find their way into the open market the DG SON should look inwards.
“While success is said to breed opposition, the success of the NCS is not achieved by tarnishing the image of another agency just to look good or score cheap points. Our nation at this time needs every security and regulatory agency to trust and work as a team for our socio-economic wellbeing.
“We urge the DG SON and his agency not to be self-seeking, leave the path of rivalry and collaborate towards achieving national interest”, Bomodi said
While fielding questions from journalists in Lagos, the SON DG was asked how fake and substandard products find their way into Nigerian markets despite his men partaking in joint cargo examinations with the customs.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Nigeria Loses N500.6bn Over Crude Oil Sale

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Findings from various oil and gas and statistical reports have indicated that Nigeria lost about N500.6 billion from the sale of crude oil between January and May, 2022.
The Tide’s source gathered that the crash in revenue was due to the slump in the country’s oil production, which slided by 11.63 million barrels during the period under review.
The source stated that data obtained from different reports of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) showed that Nigeria produced 1.399 million barrels of crude oil daily in January, which translates to 43.369 million barrels in the entire month.
Production, however, slumped to 1.024 million barrels per day in May, according to crude oil production figures, based on direct communication, indicating a total production of 31.744 million barrels in May 2022, according to OPEC’s reports.
The difference between January and May figures implies that Nigeria’s oil production crashed by 11.63 million barrels within the five-month period.
Data from Statistica, a globally renowned statistical firm, on the monetary value of the lost oil volumes, also showed that Nigeria had been losing billions of naira monthly due to the persistent plunge in its oil production.
Also, industry figures obtained from Statistica showed that in January, February, March, April and May 2022, the average prices of Brent, the global benchmark for crude, were $86.51/barrel, $97.13/barrel, $117.25/barrel, $104.58/barrel and $113.34/barrel respectively.
This gives an overall average of $103.76/barrel for crude oil during the five-month period.
With an overall average of $103.76/barrel and 11.63 million barrels of crude lost between January and May, it implies that Nigeria’s oil revenue crashed by $1.21bn (N500.6bn at the official exchange rate of N415/$) during the period under review.
The source further revealed an indication that Nigeria’s oil production kept moving southwards since January, 2022.
This is  according to figures from OPEC reports, which showed that while the country produced 1.399 million barrels per day in January, production crashed to 1.258 million barrels per day in February.
The oil production plunge continued in March, as it dropped 1.238 million barrels per day and further went down to 1.219 million barrels per day in April, with the worst plunge being recorded in May, as the country’s oil production slumped to 1.024 million barrels per day, based on crude oil production figures obtained through direct communication by OPEC.

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