Electricity generation companies (Gencos) in Nigeria’s power sector yesterday warned that the prevailing nationwide power supply situation may decline significantly from December as the N701.9 billion payment assurance scheme initiated by the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), is drawn down.
The fund will be drawn down before 2019 that it is originally designed to last. The fund was put in place to guarantee prompt payments for power supplied to the grid. Already, the Gencos stated that gas suppliers had begun to issue the notice of disconnection, adding that the Alaoji Independent Power Plant owned by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has been disconnected from gas supply by Total while First Independent Power Limited in Rivers State has equally been issued a notice of disconnection.
But their claims, which were made at the 2018 edition of the Power Safety Summit (PSS) in Abuja, have been debunked by the NBET, which said there was no cause for alarm, and that it was working hard to ensure payments to Gencos for power supplied to the national grid were made promptly.
The Gencos’ warning and NBET’s assurance also coincided with the disclosure at the summit by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) that a total of 453 people had died of electricity-related accidents in the country’s power sector within the last 46 months.
The N701 billion was obtained as a loan from the CBN by the NBET to enable it to meet up with payments to Gencos for power supplied to the grid considering that monthly remittances of the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) to it for power sold to them have remained inadequate to pay the Gencos.
Speaking on the sidelines of the PSS shortly after making a presentation, the Executive Secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) which is the umbrella trade association of the Gencos, Dr. Joy Ogaji, stated that the Gencos were worried the stop-gap fund was fast depleting and would not last more than December 2018.
TCN vows to deliver 20,000Mw by 2021
The Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mallam Usman Gur-Mohammed said the company is on track to deliver its 20,000 megawatts (Mw) target by 2021.
Speaking yesterday in Kano, he said President Muhammadu Buhari has done a lot of work to support the company in the areas of transmission and expansion programme, which brought about the transmission network from 5,000 Mw in 2017 to 8,100 Mw it currently is.
According to him, the firm has achieved the level that has never been achieved in the history of the power sector. “As l speak to you now, our frequency control is the best in West Africa. This has never happened; we focus mostly on expansion, not looking at the quality of the power. But now we are not focusing on expansion and the quality of the power,” he said.
He spoke while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after inaugurating the 1×60 MVA 132/33KV transformer at Dan’agundi transmission substation Kano.
Nigerians react to Atiku’s plan to privatise NNPC
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has said that the National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will be privatised if elected as president.
According to Atiku, this is expected to stimulate economic growth. He added that since his vision is to make Nigeria a $1 trillion economy by 2023, he would equally privatise power and other critical national assets.
Addressing the business community with his running mate, Peter Obi, during a conference on “Getting Nigeria’s Economy Working: A Pragmatic Approach,” in Lagos, he argued that NNPC and the power sector must be disbanded through privatisation if they must be efficient.
He assured of his commitment to privatising the two national assets and others “even if they will kill me.”
The former Vice President spoke against the argument that the oil and gas sector might turn out to be the economy’s Achilles’ heel, in view of entrenched corruption and drain on national resources.
“Privatising NNPC would be to our advantage. We are not going to lose anything, but we will rather gain a lot,” he said.
Besides, he added, if former President Olusegun Obasanjo had accepted his suggestion in 1999 and 2007, challenges in the power sector would have been fixed since 2005.
“Nigeria would have been self-dependent on power since then because it does not need a centralised transmission plan, which is very costly, but a decentralised electricity system where each state or region is powered from the source of energy prevalent in the region.
“But the former President preferred the gas turbines, which I noted, was a long-term system, as it is now obvious.”
He lamented the high rate of unemployment in the country, especially among the youth, saying: “Youth unemployment is a time bomb, and very scary,” a situation he said, was responsible for increasing crime and criminal activities in the country.
“The rate of unemployment at 23.1 per cent is the highest ever recorded in the history of Nigeria. The situation is worse for women and young people – with unemployment in the youth population at 33 per cent by 2050, 40 per cent of the world’s poorest people will be in just two countries: Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. We must take action to avert that.”
He insisted that creating jobs would not be a challenge, as he had already employed between 45 to 50,000 people in his private companies.
He said he would invest heavily in information and communication technology to fight corruption, and automate government processes to reduce human interface with money, while also instituting greater transparency and efficiency in governance.
Corroborating his views, Obi noted that there is nowhere else in the world where fighting corruption is an economic policy.
“The country is more corrupt today than it was yesterday. Once the principal is not corrupt, you would have reduced corruption by at least 70 per cent. If governance becomes automated, all leakages in ministries, departments, agencies (MDAs) will be eliminated,” he stated.
On restructuring, Atiku said he was supporting the move to ensure a reduction in the size of government, insisting, “I will ensure that I hand over some responsibilities to other components of government. That is why I am impatient to see that the country is restructured.”
Apple releases iPhone battery smart case, last up to 39 hours
Apple extends iPhone battery life up to 39 hours with the smart case
The battery Apple ships inside each new iPhone is big enough to just about get you through the day under normal usage conditions. For most people, that’s good enough, but you need access to a charger every night.
If you require longer battery life there are many unofficial options, but now there’s also an official one in the form of a Smart Battery Case.
As MacRumors reports, Apple just rolled out a new battery case for the iPhone XS$999.99 at Verizon Wireless, XS Max, and the iPhone XR$749.00 at Apple Store.
The case will cost you $129 regardless of the model, with white and black color options available. Inside the case is a soft microfiber lining to protect your phone, while the silicon exterior is described as a “silky, soft-touch finish.”
Placing your iPhone inside the case is easy thanks to a soft elastomer hinge.
How much the case extends battery life depends on which iPhone you own. iPhone XS owners get up to 33 hours talk time, 25 hours video playback, and 21 hours internet use.
iPhone XS Max owners will enjoy 37 hours talk, 25 hours video, and 20 hours internet, but it’s iPhone XR owners who get the biggest boost from the case.
Your XR will get 39 hours talk time, 27 hours of video, and 22 hours of internet.
As this is an official case, Apple ensured it is compatible with Qi-certified chargers as well as being charged faster if a USB-PD compatible charger is used.
All Lightning accessories are supported and the intelligent battery status displayed on your iPhone will recognize and take into account the charge left in the case automatically.
All three versions of the Smart Battery Case are available to order from Apple’s online store with delivery in one business day. Apple’s retail stores should also be receiving stock.
NCC to intervene in 9mobile crisis
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said it has taken steps to address the crisis rocking 9mobile in the interest of subscribers, investors and the Nigerian economy. He said the NCC would do everything possible to ensure that the issue is resolved amicably.
Danbatta explained that although the issue between Teleology Holdings and Teleology Nigeria was yet to reach the NCC for mediation, he, however, said proactive steps had been taken by the Commission, in line with its regulatory mandate to avert destabilisation of the telecoms industry.
Danbatta said the commission had already made some moves to address the situation in the interest of 9mobile subscribers and the telecoms industry.
“The bone of contention is between Teleology Holdings Limited and Teleology Nigeria, over some disagreements, but as a regulator that is both customer and investor-centric, we have set up some measures to resolve the issue between the two parties.
“We need stability in the telecoms industry and we will do everything possible to protect the interest of both the 9mobile subscribers and its investors and ensure there is no disruption of services,” Danbatta said.
Industry stakeholders who are keenly following the development at 9mobile advised NCC not to allow Teleology Holdings to pull out of the deal.
“Teleology must not be allowed to truncate the 9mobile transition deal. It must complete what it started and deliver on the promises he made to Nigerians when it rolled out its business model on how to manage 9mobile and bring it back to profitability within few years of taking over,” an industry expert who did not want his name on print said.
Teleology Holdings Limited, in a statement, had alleged that Teleology Nigeria Limited had declined to execute a management services contract with the former, which led to its pulling out of the deal last week. According to the statement, “Such a management contract is the typical arrangement with which multinationals operate in Nigeria and is the template with which EMTS engaged Etisalat prior to its (Etisalat) departure.
“It is the same template with which Bharti Airtel is engaged with its local joint venture, Airtel Nigeria and with which MTN Group of South Africa is engaged with its local joint venture, MTN Nigeria.
“It is on the basis of such management agreements that such multinationals are legally able to impact on the operations of the local operator including sourcing of relevant expertise and financing as well as paying dividends to offshore shareholders.”
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