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Thread: Latest Nigerian News from Forex Forum Nigeria.

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    Nigeria generates 4,900mw peak electricity in October – FG

    The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has said that peak electricity generation reached 4,900 megawatts on October 31, 2017 being the highest peak generation in 19 months.

    The last time the peak generation was surpassed was on February 2, 2016 when it reached 5,072mw on the national grid.

    A statement issued yesterday by the Acting Director of Press (Power), Mrs Etore Thomas, said also on October 31, the capability of the 28 Generation Companies (GenCos) comprising 78 generating units reached 7,343mw which was 351mw higher than the 6,992mw reached on May 29, 2015.

    However, the GenCos have up to 13,281mw of Installed Capacity but cannot generate above 7,343mw due to some faulty units. “Many of the generating units that make up this figure cannot generate power until the current owners undertake major overhauls,” the statement noted.

    The GenCos are connected through electricity pylons managed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

    The ministry said transmission network capability has also risen to 6,700mw. It noted that 90 per cent of all the current generation capability of 7,343mw can be delivered to the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) if they are available.

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    New airport terminals require $500m extra to correct defects

    About $500 million (N152.5 billion) extra is required to fix design anomalies in the on-going airport terminal buildings in four locations in the country Daily Trust has learnt.

    The new terminal buildings, conceived by the previous administration, in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt airports, were not sited at the proper locations before work commenced.

    Daily Trust had exclusively reported that the new terminal building, located after terminal D at Abuja airport is badly located as it blocks the control tower, obstructs the fire tender and doesn’t link to the existing terminals seamlessly.
    It was gathered that the Federal Government has begun moves to obtain a $500 loan from the China Export and Import Bank to be sunk into the new international airport terminal buildings.

    In July 2013, government obtained $600 million from China EXIM Bank to build the four new airport terminals. The Abuja airport new international structural building should be ready by February 2018 according to the contractor, CCECC, but the facility will not be put to commercial use until the flaws are corrected.
    Also, the Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, had confirmed the anomalies to our correspondent in an exclusive interview. He had said the new terminal building was without proper sewage, had small apron hanger and inadequate power and water capacity.

    “The terminal in Abuja has no link to the old structure, no apron space provided. The little one that is available is obscured by the fire service. Even if you remove the fire service from there, you will only accommodate at best one large bodied aircraft.
    “Again, there is no sewage, no power etc. So it’s a huge challenge. The building itself is blocking the control tower and the tower has to be moved. So even if the terminal building is complete, it will take time for them to become operational,” the minister said.
    Both the minister and the contractor, CCECC, agree that for the facility to be put to maximum use, all the infrastructural deficits (power, water, sewage) must be provided. Also, the fire service station must be relocated as well as the control tower. The apron area will also have to be expanded to take more aircraft.
    The Project Manager, CCECC, in charge of the new terminal building, Mr. Kelvin Lee, had told legislators on oversight visit to the terminal building recently that it will take additional one year for all lapses to be fixed. He said the earliest time for the airport to be operational is December 2018 if the procurements of the needed infrastructure commence immediately.

    “I have told the National Assembly members that the water and power capacities need to be up****ed. They also need to relocate the control tower and fire stations. To commission this building, about 8MVA capacity power is needed and right now, the existing power cannot carry it and we cannot go ahead to test some of the things installed because of the low capacity of power,” he had explained.
    The Senate Committee Chairman on Aviation, Senator Adamu Aliero, who led the team on the inspection, promised legislative assistance to get the money for the terminal building to become operational.

    Investigation by our correspondent showed that government may have commenced the process of taking another $500 million loan from China EXIM Bank. The bulk of the money will be used on the Abuja terminal because it has the most issues.

    Our correspondent gathered that the Ministry of Transportation recently approached the China EXIM Bank management team which was in Nigeria on official visit for yet another $400 million loan to fix the anomalies at the Abuja airport terminal.

    It was also gathered that the China bank team didn’t refuse the loan but advised that the request should come from the presidency.

    Top ministry officials say, the ministry has approached the presidency over the matter and the presidency may have built the loan into the $5 billion external borrowing plan submitted to the National Assembly. The proposed 2nd runway at the airport will also be built from the facility when obtained.

    Sen. Sirika had assured that government will do everything to put the new terminal building to use. We “will do everything possible to put them to use as soon as possible,” he said.

    The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, also told our correspondent in an interview last week “I have said to the minister of state, Aviation, we need to put that facility to use even though he argues about the issues of apron, water, power and others that will take about another $500 million, as I hear.”
    He however said the full brief over the matter hasn’t come to him so he could not speak further on it.

    Our correspondent reports that, the new international terminal building at the Abuja airport is among the four that will be concessioned by the Federal Government when the concession plan manifests. But if the terminal is not put into proper shape, no concessionaire may be interested in it.

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    Customers bought more meters than Discos in 3yrs

    As the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) plans to roll out a new metering regulation, Daily Trust reports that customers bought 410,796 meters between 2013 and 2016 under the previous arrangement - the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiative (CAPMI).

    Our reporter analyses the success of CAPMI and the pitfalls government must check in rolling out new plans, so the power operators don’t shift the metering to their customers.

    The 11 electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) vested with the installation of meters and other investments in the distribution section of the power sector, only provided 201,756 units of meters during the period.

    Over the last four years, following the handover of the DisCos to core investors, majority of the end-user electricity customers remained unmetered and are therefore billed on the basis of estimate of energy consumed rather than actual consumption.

    While the customers bought 51 per cent more meters than the DisCos when the CAPMI scheme operated from 2013 to 2016, the DisCos had actually committed to providing 1.640 million meters annually which would have been able to reach 4.92 million electricity customers.

    Metering data from NERC showed that as at July 31, 2017, the number of metered customers stood at about 3.451m representing just 46 per cent of the total customer population of 7.476m on the billing platform of the DisCos.
    However, 4.025m customers are still left without meters. If the distribution firms had met their metering targets of 4.92m in the three years, there would have been an excess of 895,000 meters left.

    The metering progress has been proved to be very slow from data advanced by NERC. The DisCos only installed 201,756 units in the three-year period. This is just about 12.3 per cent of their annual target of 1.640m meters. Electricity customers helped them to install a larger 410,796 meter quantity, representing 25 per cent of the target.

    The combined figure only represents 37.3 per cent of the ambitious annual target they had set out for themselves since 2013.

    The total installed meter during the period was 612,552 units which is 1.27m meters less than was expected in just one year.

    The regulatory commission, which is expected to roll out a new plan to boost the implementation of meters shortly, had recounted how it rolled out the CAPMI in 2013 to tackle the many complaints against estimated billing method.

    The estimated billing practice, referred to as excessive or crazy billing, is regarded by most consumers as arbitrary, subjective and non-scientific. This has consequently resulted in customer dissatisfaction, apathy and public outcry and increasing incidence of electricity theft, it said.

    NERC said it discontinued the CAPMI scheme in September 2016 and directed the DisCos to commence the full implementation of their metering schemes in accordance with their five-year metering rollout obligation under the Performance Agreements signed with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in their Capital Expenditure (CAPEX).

    On why the DisCos cannot meet their metering targets, spokesman for the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Barrister Sunday Oduntan, told our reporter recently that the CAPEX set by NERC in the DisCos’ tariff plan was not enough to meet the metering target and also finance other investments like transformer installation.

    He had severally said the DisCos’ hands were tied and that until there was intervention, the investment in metering could be a huge task.

    NERC in its consultation paper confirmed this position as it admitted that “the capping of CAPEX by the commission as a basis for managing spike in end-user tariffs was partly detrimental to the attainment of the required level of metering in the industry.”

    However, the commission said the main constraint remains the inability of the DisCos to raise adequate financing for their capital investment requirements.
    Hurdles as NERC ends estimated billing by 2020

    In its consultation paper, NERC said the new process of metering customers would ensure the estimated billing is phased out by year 2020. However there are more hurdles in metering with expected new entrants and the replacement of defective meters.

    While 46 per cent of electricity customers in Nigeria have meters now, the customer base is expected to grow by nine per cent annually as outlined in the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2015 model. It is also projected that there should be 300,000 to 500,000 meters yearly above the DisCos’ commitment to cater to this.

    The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has urged the commission to expedite action on the metering regulation so that customers can begin to heave a sigh of relief from the many estimated billing issues.

    Speaking to the commissioners last week at his ministry when they presented copies of the Eligible Customer Regulation, Fashola said, “Much as we welcome this (Eligible Customer Regulation), I think the regulation that everybody is waiting for is the regulation on meter.

    “It will be a good thing if you can complete that before this month is over and let us see then how quickly that can stimulate licensing of meter suppliers,” he said.

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    Budget funding, our biggest problem – Udoma

    Funding is the greatest challenge the current administration is facing in implementing budgets, the Minister of Budget and National Planning Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma has said.

    Speaking yesterday at the public presentation of the 2018 Appropriation Bill in Abuja, the minister told the stakeholders that the government is constrained in implementing key projects in the past due to the revenue shortfall.

    “The primary problem of this country is revenue, what we have is revenue problem and that is why we are doing everything possible to increase our revenue collections.”

    He said the federal government is expecting available revenue of N6.6 trillion for the year which is 30 per cent above the 2017 projection of N5.0tr.
    Udoma explained that the collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Company Income Tax (CIT) will drop by 14 and 2 per cent respectively in 2018 compared to 2017. He explained that in 2017 the government was able to collect the outstanding payments of the two taxes but there is no such provision in 2018 hence the reduction.

    Majority of the of the projects in 2017 capital expenditure have to be rolled over to 2018 due to the paucity of fund, saying that 2017 capital budget was meant to be funded by loans from intentional development partners.

    He said N450 billon released as at the 31st of October 2017 was only for the four month after passing the budget in May 2017.

    Minister of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachukwu while fielding questions said FG will continue to explore oil in the Northeast because of its obligation to ensure that any part there is any visible sign of oil for exploration, it will follow through.

    He noted that the contribution of oil to 2018 budgetary revenue expenditure expectation is almost 60%, “So a huge amount of responsibility still lies on oil.

    Also the speaking, the Minister of finance Kemi Adeosun said issue of tax payer’s apathy must be addressed if the nation must move forward.

    She said there are about 69million Nigerians currently working in one form of economic activity but only 14 million pay tax in the country.

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    Inflation drops to 15.91% foodstuff prices crash in October – NBS

    Inflation rate dropped to 15.91 per cent in October from 15.98 per cent recorded in September 2017 even as foodstuff prices crashed in the same month.

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that this is the ninth consecutive disinflation (slowdown in the inflation rate) in headline year on year inflation since January 2017.

    Analysis of the report showed that on a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.76 per cent in October 2017, being 0.02 per cent points lower from the rate of 0.78 per cent recorded in September.

    This represents the fifth consecutive month on month contraction in headline inflation since May 2017.

    The Food Index increased by 20.31 per cent (year-on-year) in October, down marginally by 0.01 percentage points from the 20.32 per cent recorded in September.

    Daily Trust observes that this represents the fifth consecutive disinflation in month on month inflation since a 2017 high of 2.57 per cent in May 2017, and October 2017 also represents the lowest recorded month on month inflation since September 2016.

    The average prices of diesel, petrol and kerosene soared in October even as inflation rate declined to 15.91 per cent in October from the 15.98 per cent recorded in September 2017.

    Three separate reports released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the average price paid by consumers for automotive gas oil (diesel) increased by 9.28 per cent month-on-month and 7.85 per cent year-on-year to N201.96 in October 2017 from N184.80 in September 2017.

    Meanwhile, the Diesel Price Watch report showed that states with the highest average price of diesel were Jigawa (N222.08) Zamfara (N218.75) and Adamawa (N217.50).

    States with the lowest average price of diesel were Cross River (N190.29), Delta (N190.06) and Borno (N189.69).

    Similarly, a separate report showed that the average price per litre paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene increased by 3.39 per cent month-on-month and decreased by -6.59 per cent year-on-year to N273.44 in October 2017 from N264.48 in September 2017.

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    ‘Nigeria’s foreign revenues not channelled through TSA’

    Despite the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Nigeria’s foreign revenues are not channeled to the federation account through the platform, a House of Representatives panel heard.

    The panel also heard that only the local component of Nigeria’s earnings goes to the federation account through Remita, which is the platform used for the TSA account.

    The panel, which is investigating the status of TSA chaired by Abubakar Nuhu Danburam (APC, Kano), was appalled at the revelation during a session with officials of SystemSpecs, the company that developed the Remita platform.

    The lawmakers also heard that despite the TSA, some government agencies still post monies in bulk instead of on transaction basis.

    Responding to questions from members of the panel, the Executive Director of SystemSpecs, Deremi Atanda, said as far as they are aware, Nigeria’s foreign revenues are not recorded on the Remita platform because they are not posted there.

    Also, the managing director of the company, John Obaro, while answering a question, said Remita has all the processes needed for daily reconciliation of transactions.

    At this point, Danburam sought to know if foreign transactions too could be monitored and the SystemSpecs Executive Director said “as at today, we are not aware that the Accountant General gave directive for the activation of the foreign component of the TSA.”

    Members of the panel wondered why over two years after, foreign transactions are still not captured via TSA.

    The committee chairman, Danburam, raised concern about the agencies that post their monies in bulk, saying it could be subject to anomalies and that reconciliation could be difficult.

    Asked how much the company has received so far, as part of its commission for the transaction, the SystemSpecs officials promised to provide the documents on that.

    They, however, said immediately after the controversy that heralded the implementation of the TSA in 2015, they returned all the amounts they had collected and did not receive anything for over one year.

    “Unfortunately, as we speak, it has not been fully sorted out,” Atanda also said.

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    2018 Budget: 71 top projects to gulp N737bn

    The Federal Government has proposed N737.05 billion for the execution of 71 top projects in seven ministries.

    A Daily Trust analysis of the 2018 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly last week Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari, has identified the top projects that will, if fully implemented, consume over 30 percent of the N2.43 trillion earmarked for the 2018 capital expenditure.

    The beneficiary ministries are Power, Works and Housing; Health; Water Resources; Education; Niger Delta; Transport and Agriculture.

    In the power ministry, the Federal Government wants to execute six top projects, including N9.8bn for the Mambilla Hydro Power Project; N12bn counterpart funding earmarked for transmission lines and substations; N10.15bn for rural electrification access programme in federal universities; N2.8bn for the construction of 215MW LPFO/Gas Power Station, Kaduna; N4bn for Kashimbilla Transmission; and N2.56bn for Fast Power Programme Accelerated Gas and Solar Power Generation.

    Under transportation, the Federal Government wants to execute seven top rail line projects, including N162.28bn as counterpart funding for railway projects such as Lagos-Kano (ongoing), Calabar-Lagos, Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri), and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri.
    Under Works, government is targeting 32 key projects, with N10bn for the Second Niger Bridge and about N295bn for the construction and rehabilitation of 31 major roads nationwide. These include the Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan Dual Carriageway; Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani Road; Abuja-Abaji Road; Kano-Maiduguri Road; and Enugu-PortHarcourt Dual Carriageway.

    In housing, government earmarked N35.41bn for the Federal Government National Housing Programme.

    Under health, seven top projects are to be executed amounting to N21.6bn.
    The budget proposed N6bn for Strategic Joint Venture Investments in selected Tertiary Health institutions with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) getting N8.9bn for procurement of RI vaccines and devices; N3.5bn for counterpart funding; including global fund, health and GAVI; N1bn for Health Emergencies and contagious diseases outbreaks (e.g. Meningitis, measles, yellow fever, monkey pox, etc). N1bn is earmarked for Midwives Service Scheme and N1.2bn for Polio Eradication Initiative.

    Under water resources, government intends to spend N56.6bn on four major projects; viz N3.5bn for Zobe Water Supply Project-Phase I & II; N2bn for Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH); N1bn for Special Intervention for North East and IDPs-Potable Water and over N50bn for water supply, rehabilitation of dams and irrigation projects nationwide.

    In agriculture and rural development, government plans to spend N51.58bn on eight key projects such as N6.75bn for Rural Roads and Water Sanitation; N25.1bn for Promotion and Development of value chains across 30 different commodities; N5.30bn for National Grazing Reserve Development; N4bn for Agribusiness and Market Development; and N4.08bn for Food and Strategic Reserves.

    Other projects under Agriculture and Rural Development are N2bn for supply, installation and commissioning of water rigs nationwide; N1.13bn for FGN support for youths in agribusiness; and N3.22bn for Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise (LIFE) programme.

    Under education, the Federal Government wants to executive five key projects with N15.05bn. These are N5bn provisioned as take-off grant for Maritime University, Delta State; N1.8bn for payment of Federal Teachers Scheme allowance; N566.9m for construction of National Library of Nigeria; and N7.65bn for various scholarship allowances.

    In the Niger Delta, government intends to executive two key projects with N38bn: N17.42bn for various sections of the East West Road and N2.58bn for Section III, from Port-Harcourt Eleme Junction to Onne Port junction.

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