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PHED introduces new electricity payment system

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PHED says introduced new electricity payment system

Payment

Desmond Ejibas

Port Harcourt, March 12, 2019 The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) says it has hired a new electricity bill collection agent to ensure easy payment of electricity bills by costumers in four states that it covers.

Mr Naveen Kapoor, the Chief Executive Officer of PHED, made this known in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, during the official unveiling of the company’s new collection agent, EasyPay International.

He said that Easypay International would collect electricity bills from the company’s customers in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states.

“We took this strategic decision because we believe that expanding our collection point will make payment of electricity bill accessible to all and sundry.

“To this end, payments made through Easypay will receive instant notification and confirmation at the back end in the online real-time.

“The payment of electricity bills by customers will enable the PHED to sustain its ongoing network expansion and maintenance while meeting its statutory obligations.

“Therefore, Easypay, which is an accredited collection agent of PHED, will ensure seamless collection of electricity bills from our customers in four states.

“PHED is expanding its collection network with a view to improving service delivery to all its customers,” Kapoor said.

He said apart from making payments through Easypay platform, customers could also pay their electric bills at PHED outlets and banks.

Mrs Joy Sunny-Oparaodu, the Chief Operating Officer of Easypay, in her response, said that the company was known for its cutting-edge technology that checked activities of collection agents.

She said the company had recently deployed high level automation technology that enabled it to monitor payment of electricity bill in real-time.

“The integrity and transparency of the system ensures that payments hit PHED aggregator immediately. Also, customers get online real-time notification,” Sunny-Oparaodu said.

Mr John Onyi, the Manager, Corporate Communications, PHED, had on March 1, said that the company was determined to ensure resolution of customers’ complaints.

Onyi said the company would ensure maximum satisfaction aimed at increasing loyalty and cordial relationship.

To this end, the PHED has set aside two days in a month across all its Integrated Business Centres, (IBCs) in the four states, for special reconciliation of customers’ accounts with billing related issues.

He said that the company was determined to rid its system of over-billing issues, adding that the management had introduced new strategies to resolve customers’ complaints.

The manager of corporate communications said that the exercise would start from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day.

He urged customers with perceived overbilling, equipment failure and non-reading of metres to avail themselves the opportunity to get their issues resolved on-the-spot.

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General news

NAN celebrates Ojugbana, retiring board member

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The Governing Board, Management and staffers of the Nigeria News Agency , on Thursday celebrated Mr Charles Ojugbana, a retiring Director in the federal information ministry,  who represented the ministry on NAN’s governing board.

At the ceremony held in Abuja, Malam Wada Maida, the Chairman of NAN Governing Board, said that the outgoing member had contributed positively to the decisions of the board.

He said that the vacuum created by his retirement would be difficult to fill because of his wealth of experience and willingness, at all times, to contribute to the development of NAN.

Maida said that the board would continue to tap from the wealth of experience of the outgoing board member by reaching out to him when necessary.

In his remark, Mr Ibrahim Mammaga, the Acting Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of NAN, said that the outgoing board member would be remembered for his wealth of experience and belief in due process.

He said that Ojugbana had contributed to the development of NAN through excellent suggestions and willingness to receive NAN management at difficult times.

“This ceremony is in recognition of his excellent service to the development of NAN,” Mammaga declared. .

In his remark, Ojugbana commended NAN board and management for packaging the event, adding that it was a “good and encouraging initiative”.

He described the board chairman as a “detribalised Nigerian always ready to accommodate every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religion and ethnic background”.

Ojugbana pledged to continue to offer necessary support to the board and management of NAN, adding that his doors would remain open for the agency.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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PLSG issues 238 Cs of O in Jos

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Mr Yakubu Datti, Commissioner of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, on Thursday issued 238 Certificates of Occupancy (Cs of O), and 815 Right of Occupancy (R of O), in Jos.

Dati, in a speech at the ceremony, said that government was committed to restoring confidence and guaranteeing access to land titles for the citizens.

He said that government had simplified land documentation technology via the Plateau State Geographic Information System (PLAGIS), to enable applicants get their documentation within 21 days.

“The ministry has keyed into the Plateau State Development Plan and has embarked on reorientation and human capital development.

“PLAGIS is gradually eradicating past sharp practices and unnecessary bottlenecks to ensure effective and efficient land documentation through the application of technology,” he said.

He advised members of the public and organisations to ensure they were up to date with their titled documents as the ministry would soon apprehend and prosecute defaulters.

Dati said that titled documents would enable owners to access loan and fast track the ease of doing business within the state.

He urged land owners within the state to make use of the opportunity to get their document as Gov. Simon Lalong was committed to providing layouts for agriculture, tourism, mining and industries.

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Lafia residents will enjoy steady power supply by first quarter of  2020 – NDPHC

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Residents of Lafia, Nasarawa state capital and its environs will soon enjoy adequate and steady power supply as the construction of the 330/132 KVA transmission substation in the city nears completion.

Mr Umar Moddibo, Manager of the project disclosed this on Thursday at an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) workshop with members of the Akurba host community and other stakeholders.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the project is being executed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

Moddibo noted that the project had reached 95 per cent and upon completion, would provide at least 23 hours adequate electricity supply to Lafia and environs.

“According to our work schedule, all major works at the substation will be completed by Dec. 23.

“What will be left is the powering (Turn in – turn out) of the substation from the nearest transmission line.

“Our target is that by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the issue of insufficient power supply in Lafia and environs will be over,” Moddibo said.

He explained that the substation have the capacity of 420 MVA and one of the best amongst the 72 substations so far built by the NDPHC in the country.

Moddibo said that the project would enhance rapid socio-economic development in the state through the reduction of cost of production of goods and services.

“This will encourage the establishment of factories and small scale business, improve standard of living as well as increase the revenue base of the state,” Moddibo said.

He said that the company would build block of classrooms for the community as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Mr Eze Odigbo, General Manager, Environment and Community Relations of NDPHC said that the essence of the EIA was to ensure the environmental sustainability of the project.

Odigbo, represented by Mr Olajide Olubunmi, the deputy general manager said the scoping workshop was part of the EIA process where the host community and other stakeholders interface with the company to collectively assess the impact of the project.

He noted that the ultimate aim was to ensure the mitigation or elimination of negative impact arising from the project.

In his remark, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmadu, District head of Akurba community, who spoke through the youth leader, Idris Mohammed commended the Federal Government for siting the project in their community.

According to him, the project aimed at industrialising the state is a clear demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to develop the country.

He, however, appealed to the company to employ some of the youth who were engaged in the construction of the substation as permanent staff.

Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Traffic Violations: Report erring lawyers to NBA, Falana tells FRSC

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Human Rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday  urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to report any lawyer who committed traffic offence to disciplinary committee of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in their jurisdictions.

Falana said this at the sideline of the FRSC 4th Quarter 2019 Retreat themed, ‘FRSC Operations in Public Perspective’ at Magodo, Lagos.

“There is no lawyer who has immunity on the road; if any lawyer misbehave on highways, report him to disciplinary committee of NBA in that zone for necessary action.

“Whoever goes outside the provisions of the law can easily be dealt with, nobody can challenge you for that,” Falana said.

According to him, a former Governor of Lagos State once arrested a Nigerian Army colonel who violated traffic rule.

“The arrest of the serving colonel by a former governor of Lagos State sent a signal to everybody that nobody is above the law.

“There were so many vehicles now with lawyer’s logo because they believe that they are above the law,” he said.

Falana said that only about 74 people have immunity in the entire country, the President, vice president 36 governors and their deputies.

“Anybody outside the list can be brought to book, the person can be challenged for breaching the law.

“For lawyers, if any lawyer misbehaves on the highway, if you don’t want to charge him, report him in writing to the disciplinary committee of the bar association.

“In Lagos, we have five branches of NBA Ikeja, Lagos, Epe, Badagry, and Ikorodu. Please, if any lawyer misbehaves on the road report him, no lawyer want to be charged and convicted for any offence whatsoever,” Falana said.

The human rights lawyer also advised the corps to always keep the records of convictions of any erring motorists charged to court nationwide.

“So that when they want to contest for elections, you will know that they have been convicted somewhere, that will be used against such offender, then everybody will be cautious,” he said.

According to him, “when the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, once said that anybody caught driving against the traffic must be taken to psychiatric hospital, many people were cautious in driving.

“If they have that in their record, that such person was once treated for insanity, nobody would employ them anywhere, then everybody would sit up, that is also one of the criteria for disqualification for elective positions.

“We must go back to the rule now, of course, the enforcement is relaxed, but we must go back to maintain sanity on the road,” he said.

Edited by Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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NEC to examine ownership structure of power distribution companies

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NEC to examine ownership structure of power distribution companies

NEC

Abuja, Nov. 21, 2019 The National Economic Council (NEC) has resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to look into the ownership structure of power distribution companies.

Imo Gov. Emeka Ihedioha disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He stated that `NEC resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee, including Kaduna Gov. Nasiru el-Rufai, as well as governors representing the six geo-political zones, to review the status of  the ownership structure of the power distribution companies.

El-Rufai was was at some point, Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) while the six governors are currently serving on the board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

“He said that the committee would also include representatives of the National Council of Privitisation (NCP) and BPE.

The governor said that what gave rise to the discussion on the NDPHC was an issue that came up in terms of ownership between the Federal Government and state governments.

“ It was important for us to deal with all concerns and establish factually what the true situation is.

“Whether it is a joint or partnership ownership structure between the Federal Government and the state governments or whether the Federal Government has divested its shares,’’ he said.

Ihedioha said that the Accountant General of the Federation, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, also briefed the council on the balances of national accounts.

He said that Excess Crude Account balance as at Nov. 20 stood at 324.d5 million dollars; Stabilisation Account, N29.48 billion; while Natural Resources Development Fund Account stood at N79.7 billion

Ihedioha said that the vice president, who is the chairman of council, briefed the meeting on the Single Window Steering Committee and the Apapa Traffic Task Team.

He said that Gov. Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State would join the team.

The Imo governor, however,  said that the nothing was discussed on budget support refund which came up at the council the previous month.

Edited by Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Good Governance: Okowa tasks leaders to get closer to citizens

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Good Governance: Okowa tasks leaders to get closer to citizens

Leaders

Asaba, Nov. 21, 2019 Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday tasked Nigerian leaders to be closer to the people to strengthen and ensure a processes of good governance.

Okowa made the call while delivering a keynote address at the 2019 edition of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Day celebration, organised by the state chapter in Asaba.

He said that leaders must be close to the people they lead and identify with them for good policies to be made.

“A godly leader, at whatever level, is empathetic with the pain and suffering of the people he is called to lead.

“There are far too many leaders in our society who are disconnected from the reality on ground and that does not augur well for people-centred policies and good governance.”

He said that Nigeria would experience great relief if “we will heed the divine injunction to repent, seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways”.

He said that CAN as an Umbrella body provided platform for fellowship and prayers for all Christian denominations.

“I have no doubt that it will serve as a catalyst for greater love and stronger unity among Christians of all persuasions.

“The first thing that struck me upon receiving the invitation to this meeting is the theme, ‘God Is Our Refuge And Fortress (Psalm 91: 2)’ which I believe we all need a fresh revelation of God as our Refuge and Fortress in the times that we live in.

“All over the world, nations are in turmoil, the seas are roaring, the earth is being shaken to its foundations, the future is very much uncertain and men’s hearts are ‘failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth’.

“But, when the Bible speaks of God as our refuge and fortress, it speaks of His awesome power to protect us from evil, deliver us from danger and fight our battles, because while He is the God of love, He is also ‘a consuming fire’ and ‘a man of war,” he said.

The governor added, “indeed, God is our present help in times of trouble and when the situation seems hopeless and you don’t have anywhere to turn.

“When you have done all that you could and the enemy seems to have you cornered, when those you trusted turn around to betray you, you must resist the temptation to get even or react in the flesh.

“Trust God to make a way where there seems to be no way for the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Bishop Kingsley Enakirerhi, while delivering the sermon, said that Christians were called to solve problems.

He said that temptations and challenges would prove to visible and invisible enemies that “when you make God your refuge and fortress, you will be prosperous, protected and preserved.”

On his part, State CAN Chairman, Senior Apostle Silvester Okorote, in a welcome address said the celebration remained an annual event that every Christian in state looked forward to celebrating.

“It is a day when we gather from all churches and the five blocs across the state to celebrate the oneness of the body of Christ on which the high priestly prayer of Jesus Christ is cantered,” he said.

News Agency if Nigeria reports that the event featured thanksgiving service as prayers were said for the country, the state and for leaders in authority among others.

Edited by Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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