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New Electricity Tariff Increase Justifiable – IBEDC

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The Chief Operating Officer, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Engr. John Ayodele has affirmed that the recent increase in the electricity tariff was justifiable, bearing in mind the refusal of most of their customers to pay their outstanding bills.

He made the disclosure, weekend, during an interview with newsmen in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, following the displeasure that greeted the announcement of increase in the electricity tariff by Nigerians.
Engr. Ayodele further stated that the electricity company has ran into about N3.5 billion market shortfall, adding that they also recorded N27 billion shortfall this year.
He said: “DISCOS are unable to recover money, they are unable to settle their debts, so that was compounding the problem of the sector.”
“As we speak today, we are trying to readjust. What is tariff shortfall, what is market short fall? Market shortfall is money that we are billed but we cannot pay. For example today, almost every month, we run into almost about 3 to 3.5 billion market short fall.”
“In fact this year’s own is almost 27 billion, for this year alone, so you can imagine by the time we get to December, we are talking about 30,35 billion as short fall.”
“When you look at those market shortfalls over the time, as at December last year 2019, we were in short fall of 243 billion is what this industry is owing the sector. So 243 billion naira debt.”
“Can I take that one to the bank to seek for investment fund? If you can’t borrow money, you cannot find money to invest.”
“On the other side of it is the tariff shortfall, for government not allowing us to charge the adequate tariff. That one is another huge amount of money.”
“So government can no longer take responsibility for that short fall and government has made it very clear there’s no way they can continue to sponsor that pay. That is the reason for the increase.”
“At this point in time, government has taken a decision and we are about to abide by the decision. That is why we are where we are,” Engr. Ayodele stated.

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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Labour Warns FG Against Electricity Tariff Hike 

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The Nigeria Labour Congress faulted plans to allegedly sell the Transmission Company of Nigeria, saying it will lead to an increase in electricity tariff.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this in a statement titled, “This Kite will not Fly’’ on Friday.

Wabba explained that instead of allegedly planning to sell the transmission company, FG should focus on improving the electricity supply.

He described the attempt to hand over the TCN to a few ‘privileged’ Nigerians as self-serving, obtuse, odious, morally reprehensible and criminal.

The NLC president said, “The TCN is a strategic economic asset of immense national security implications. This is because the TCN traverses all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

“It will be wrong that our country will be deliberately exposed to an avoidable vulnerability and thus, provide an opportunity to others to restrain the Nigerian state.

“We apprehend that the planned sale of the TCN is only an attempt to further confound the people and concurrently raise electricity tariff. Unfortunately, this time around, Nigerians have had enough.

“The government cannot promise improved power supply to consumers by the planned sale of TCN. The under-the-table scheming as transparent privatisation cannot pass muster.

“It is an unsavoury narrative for our country, that even the privatised assets, which have survived the rapacity of the new owners, have been turned into unrealisable collaterals for unpayable loans.

“This constitutes a bone stuck in the throat of financial institutions and sundry creditors.”

Wabba explained that the plan would “fundamentally weaken the security of the nation and above all, deprive the people of their age-old investments in the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy”.

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FG To Consider Death Penalty For Rail Vandals – Amaechi

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The federal government says it may consider a death penalty for vandals of critical railway equipment in the country.

Rotimi Ameachi, minister of transportation, stated this on Monday, during a town hall meeting on “protecting public infrastructure” in Abuja.

On May 8, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) announced the arrest of two persons suspected of vandalising rail tracks along the Kaduna-Zaria rail line.

Few days later, suspected vandals were arrested for destroying and carting away tracks and rail rods laid on a section of the Warri-Itakpe rail line.

On May 16, the Kaduna state police command said it arrested five suspected rail-trail vandals at Dalle Village of Jema’a LGA and recovered two trucks loaded with locomotive railway sleepers.

After the Warri-Itakpe incident, the senate asked the federal government and security agencies to ensure that those caught vandalising rail lines across Nigeria are given maximum punishment without a fine.

”I am not quantifying the material cost; what I am quantifying is the lives that will be lost,” Ameachi said at the town hall meeting.

“Imagine that a driver of a rail track is driving and suddenly bumps into a track that has been severed, what happens? It will derail.

“If it derails, can you quantify how many passengers that would have died in the course of one man thinking he is making money?

”Some people have recommended that since these people are killing people, if an accident happens people will die, so we should go back to the National Assembly and pass a law that does not only criminalise the action but consequences should be death.”

The minister also said track vandalism is carried out in collaboration with foreign partners.

”In Jos, they arrested a Chinese company that bought those tracks from them, went to court and found them guilty and fined them N200, 000. So there must be consequences as N200,000 is not enough,” he added.

“Lagos and the Western District recorded one, North Western 31, Northern District 10, North Eastern 43, Eastern 36 and North Central 50 incidents of vandalism. Abuja-Kaduna has 13, Warri-Itakpe 2 and Lagos -Ibadan nill.”

Amaechi, who frowned at traders selling items on railway tracks, especially in Port Harcourt and Lagos, advised individuals engaging in the practice to desist or face the penalties.

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