President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, approved the implementation of the proposed cost-reflective electricity tariff for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
However, residential areas classified as “poor” will not be affected by the increase in tariff, TheCable understands.
Also, Buhari has approved a one-year waiver of 35 per cent import tax for prepaid meters.
In January, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had announced that there would be an upward review of electricity tariffs across the country from April 1.
However, it directed electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to suspend the proposed tariff increase in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, the national assembly had persuaded the DisCos to defer the plan till the first quarter of 2021 because of the pandemic on energy consumers.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan had maintained that consumers should be properly metered before the tariff hike is implemented.
With the approval of the president, the new tariff regime is expected to kick off on September 1 and to be reviewed quarterly.
This is said to be a requirement for the approval of a proposed $1.5 billion World Bank loan for the power sector.
According to the new tariff via a NERC order dated December 31, 2019, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) residential customers R3 that were paying N27.20 per unit will now pay N47.09 and N63.42 by next year.
For the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) customers, the R3 category paying N26.50 per unit will now pay N36.49 per unit and later N58.
Meanwhile, Buhari approved a one-year waiver of 35 per cent import tax on prepaid meters to facilitate increased provision to consumers for accurate billing.
The approval was as a result of the request by Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, to fast-track the deployment of prepaid meters under the meter asset providers (MAP) scheme.
In a statement, Yunusa Abdullahi, special adviser to the minister on media and communications, said the application of the levy on imported meters has created a significant challenge to the smooth implementation of MAP scheme.
“The 35 per cent levy was imposed on the recommendation of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to encourage local production, as well as protect investments in the local assembly of electricity meters,” Abdullahi said.
“An important feature of the MAP regulation is a gradual up scaling of the patronage of local manufacturers of electricity meters with an initial minimum local content of 30 percent with the potential of significant job creation in the area of meter assembly, installation and maintenance.
“Even though the 35 percent was in existence since 2015, the MAP regulations by NERC in 2018 to bridge current electricity metering gap did not factor the 35 percent levy in arriving at the regulated cost of electricity meters to end-users (consumers).
“This is to immediately bridge the gap between the demand for electricity meters and local supply. It is also envisaged that this will provide protection for local electricity meter manufacturers and the opportunity to ramp local capacity in the production of meters.”
FG Does Not Understand Paystack And Flutterwave, Only How To Borrow Money from CBN – Chidoka
Former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, on Saturday said the Federal Government does not have a grasp of how technology start-ups make money.
Mr Chidoka, who is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, was speaking at The Platform, a televised event hosted by the Senior Pastor of Covenant Nation, Poju Oyemade and which seeks to spark conversations that can aid national development.
“What is the average age of our cabinet,” Mr. Chidoka said. “Our cabinet does not reflect Nigeria. They cannot understand Paystack, they cannot understand Flutterwave. They cannot understand Kobo360.
“They don’t know how to tax them. The tax authorities are taxing their revenues, because they think that all the money received by Kobo360 is revenue. No, it is money they are receiving as an aggregator.
“So we need young people like you to be the Chairman of the FIRS. That’s what we need. We need people who understand.
“We can’t help them. Mr. President cannot understand it. The APC government does not understand it. They are too old to understand it. What they understand is borrowing money from the Central Bank.”
Mr. Chidoka explained that the relatively new crop of technology innovators are part of a new Nigeria he described as ‘Naija’.
“We need to unlock Naija,” he said. “It is not the responsibility of the structuralists. They are deceiving us, to make us keep looking at that day when we will change our constitution and El-Dorado will come. No, they are planning how they will take over in that new El-Dorado. “
NIN: BLS International Seals Biometric Services Deal For Nigerians Living In UK
A partnership deal has been struck between outsourcing service provider BLS International and data and digital enrolment services firm Files Solutions Limited to help Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offer biometric enrollment services to Nigerians residing in the United Kingdom, BLS said in a press release.
There are an estimated 205,000 Nigerians in the UK, with about 97,000 of them living in London.
Per the three-year deal, BLS will enable NIMC to enroll the biometrics and biographical data of the Nigerians for the issuance of national identification numbers (NINs) as part of a digital identity database enrolment program which is also ongoing back home.
According to the BLS announcement, its center in London will soon begin handing out NINs, as well as the General Multi-purpose Cards (GMPCs) which will be used by Nigerians abroad for various purposes including passport issuance, voter registration, and the opening of a bank account, among others.
The biometrics-backed NIN is also mandatory for certain services in Nigeria such as for delivery of driver’s licenses and registration for entrance into public universities.
Shikhar Aggarwal, joint managing director for BLS International, expressed delight after the deal was concluded, saying the company looks forward to offering streamlined services for NIMC.
“We are delighted to support the initiative by National Identity Management Commission, Nigeria by assisting them to streamline their identity management services for Nigerian citizens. Our domain expertise and tech-enabled services will help in seamless roll out of the project and making it successful. We are delighted by strengthening our footprint with newer partnerships serving global as well as local client governments,” said Aggarwal.
As part of this ID services management process, helplines, an email contact address and a website will be put at the disposal of users in the days ahead, the announcement says.
This activity is not new to BLS International, as it has executed identity management and verification projects for the governments of Canada, Afghanistan and Egypt.
Meet The 23-Year-Old Nigerian US Private, Commercial Pilot
Meet Miracle Izuchukwu, 23-year-old Nigerian born Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot (candidate) and Flight Attendant at American Airlines.
She recently joined the elite group of 7% of females and 1% of black female Pilots in the world.
“I who grew up in a society that did not encourage young girls to dream big, career-wise. I remember watching lots of TED Talks to give myself more insights on possible careers that might interest me…to no avail,” said Miracle.
In 2019, she had an encounter with an Airline Pilot while working as a customer service rep. He opened her eyes to the possibility of becoming a Pilot. A few weeks later, she went on a discovery flight that sealed it for her.
“I came home that day, called my father, and told him I was considering becoming a Professional Pilot.
He said, and I quote: “if he gets on a plane and sees a woman as the Pilot, he would get off the plane” words cannot explain the pain and confusion I felt. I needed that validation,” she narrated.
“What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender?
In a world that wants us to whisper, I choose to shout,” concluded Miracle.
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