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Disco Begins Contempt Proceedings Against FG

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A Distribution Company of Nigeria (Disco), the Benin Electricity Distribution Company(BEDC) Plc, has commenced contempt proceedings against the Federal Government’s Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) in court.
The legal advisers to Vigeo Power Limited,  Majority Stakeholders of BEDC, have described the BPE as defaulters involved in the illegal takeover of BEDC.
The company in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday said the law firm of Kunle Adegoke (SAN), lawyers to Vigeo Power Ltd, said the contempt proceedings had become imperative.
The law firm said this was because the attention of its client was drawn to a publication issued by the BPE on July 13, 2022, in which the bureau laboured to justify its attempts at illegally taking over the BEDC Plc.
This, it said, was despite the orders of an injunction issued by the Federal High Court, Abuja on July 8, 2022 in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1113/2022 between Vigeo Power Limited v. Fidelity Bank Plc and 7 Ors.
“It is on record that the total shareholding of the BPE and the Ministry of Finance in BEDC is just 40 per cent, making the two of them minority shareholders which pales into insignificance in the face of the 60 per cent shareholding held by Vigeo Power Limited, our client,” the statement explained.
The law firm noted that it is sad that in a worst form of brigandage unknown to Companies and Allied Matters Act and the shareholders’ agreement dated August 21, 2013, which is subsisting among the parties, the BPE, using Fidelity Bank Plc as a front, has decided to take over a company that is not indebted to either BPE or Fidelity Bank using the naked force of state power.
BEDC’s legal advisers argued that contrary to the impression sought to be created by BPE in the publication referred to above, Vigeo Power Limited’s 60 per cent shareholding in BEDC was never collaterised in any loan transaction with Fidelity Bank Plc or any other financial institution.
It had been reported that the planned takeover of three power distribution companies by Fidelity Bank and the restructuring of two others by the Federal Government had led to an intense battle between the Discos and the government.
The takeover of the three Discos by Fidelity Bank is being backed by the Federal Government through the BPE.
The Discos had continued to launch legal battles with a view to preventing their takeover by the government and the bank.
About two weeks ago the Federal Government announced the planned takeover of Kano, Benin and Kaduna Electricity Distribution companies by Fidelity Bank Plc after the bank initiated action to take over the boards of the three Discos.
It also announced through the BPE that with the takeover of Ibadan Disco by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, the bureau had obtained approval from NERC to appoint an interim Managing Director for the distressed power firm.

The government had further stated in its restructuring notice that it was restructuring the management and board of Port Harcourt Disco to forestall the imminent insolvency of the utility. The notice was signed by the Director-General, BPE, Alex Okoh; and Executive Chairman, NERC, Sanusi Garba.

But in reaction to the announcement, the receiver/manager’s nominee of Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company had argued that it was the legal and beneficial owner of 60 per cent (controlling and managing) shareholding interests in the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.

Also, the management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc had argued that there was no legal basis for the takeover of the company following the purported activation of the call on its collateralised shares by Fidelity Bank.

By: Corlins Walter

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NTVOA Promotes 24hr-Online Operations On Faulty Vehicles

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The National Towing Vehicles Owners Association (NTVOA) has commenced consultation with security agencies and stakeholders in the transport logistics chain system on the best way to respond promptly  to rescue articulated vehicles parked along major roads and highways nationwide through digitalisation .
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) affiliate association said plans are already afoot to introduce an app designed to respond swiftly to brokendown  vehicles in furtherance to ensure free flow of traffic.
NTVOA said it will test-run the app in  Lagos when completed  due to the predominant and peculiar nature of traffic, noting that the technological device would take the form of “Uber”
In a chat with the National Secretary of NTVOA, Comrade Sylvester Afonughe in Ogun State, he noted that the move would be an all inclusive app through which security agencies will also be alerted  in line with the technological innovation .
He said the operation when completed will encourage faster response to vehicles with technical hitches to be evacuated from the roads.
The scribe sad aggressive campaigns and sensitization mechanism would be put in place to enable stakeholders understand how to use the app upon completion.
Afonughe, an engineer and the Business Relationship Manager, Moniepoint, affirmed that: “It looks tasking, no doubt, but that is what we are looking at as a union because we have already commenced consultation for the website which will operate like Uber or O Pay in nature.
He said the union is also resolved to key into the automation system as part of efforts to address human contact and to promote seamless operations in modern day transport technology.
“We are looking at how we can improve on our operations because it is what I single-handedly initiated under the stable of my organization, then the national can take it up from there.
“So many factors are also considered in this project because we are looking at 24 hours online real time operations because we cannot rule out night activities.

“Security is key here so these are the things we are looking at because we need to carry security agencies along because security must not be compromises when we kick start this project.

By; Nkemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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NIWA Provides Waterways Ambulance For Search, Rescue

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has introduced a new ambulance boat to serve the Lagos waters.
Disclosing this in a statement made available to our correspondent in lagos, NIWA said “The decision to introduce the new ambulance was in response to critical empowerment of the search and rescue team in Lagos, and as strategic fulfilment to suggestions made by the cream of maritime media at a recent parley with the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu .
“Dr. Moghalu noted that the new craft fitted with amber lights and two 175 Horse Power engines by Yamaha, with cream colour leather interior, fitted with medical equipment, first aid boxes, communication system and stretchers, will form the fulcrum rapid response to accidents on Lagos waterways.
“Rugged and built to  ferry accident victims and those who require immediate medical attention to the nearest hospital and Medical Hold Bay, the ambulance watercraft can travel at controlled timing without fear or anxieties of being buffeted by high impact waves”, it stated.

By: Nkemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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CBN Raises Savings Interest To 4.2%

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Bank customers in the country are now to be paid more interest on their savings after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reviewed upward minimum interest payable to 30 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
At its last meeting in July, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN had raised MPR to 14 per cent due to the persistent rise in inflation rate in the country.
The upward review of interest on savings was stated in a circular signed by the CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, and issued to all banks dated August 15, 2022.
With the new circular, banks are expected to increase interest rate on savings from 10 per cent of MPR to 30 per cent of MPR with effect from August 1, 2022.
Consequently, bank customers can now earn up to 4.2 per cent, which is 30 per cent of the 14 per cent MPR as against 1.4 per cent, which was 10 per cent of the MPR.
According to The Tide’s source, the circular states in part:  “It will be recalled that as part of the efforts to ameliorate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the minimum interest rates payable on local currency savings deposits from 30 per cent to 10 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
“This was aimed at stimulating growth in the larger economy following the economic slowdown occasioned by the pandemic.
“However, following the return to full normalcy and considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions, it has become necessary to effect an upward adjustment of the interest rate payable on local currency savings deposits.
“Accordingly, effective August 1, 2022, the negotiable minimum interest rate on local currency savings deposits shall be 30 per cent of MPR. This supersedes our letter dated September 1, 2020, referenced BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/13/052 on the subject.”

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