The Association of Power Generation Companies(APGC) says the 0.75 per cent administrative charge on gas and transportation imposed on thermal generation companies will add additional burden to their operations.
Mrs Joy Ogaji, the Executive Secretary of APGC, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.
She said the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) on Sept. 13 issued a letter to thermal generating companies directing them to obtain board approvals or resolutions for payment of 0.75 percent administrative charge on gas and transportation.
Ogaji said NBET gave the generating companies three working days ultimatum between Sept. 13 and Sept. 18 to respond to the board resolution or face non-payment of energy invoices.
She noted that NBET like other market participants is a licensee of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
“As such, it is expected to understand that in a regulated market, every expense/cost must be backed by regulatory approval for effective computation of the market tariffs.
“The generation companies are not aware that such approvals have been issued by NERC nor is there any policy directive to this effect.
“The fact that NBET is placing the extortionist 0.75 per cent “administrative charge” on GenCos who are already convulsing, in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) is an aberration on the duty of care placed on NBET.
“In addition, going by the principle of privity of contracts, Thermal GenCos have contractual obligations to pay their gas suppliers. If they do not pay, that burden remains with them,” Ogaji said.
She said that a generating company required between 20 and 30 per cent of its total revenue to meet the direct operating cost of keeping the plants running on a monthly basis, gas exclusive,
She said that if NBET’s directive on pro-rata payments was carried out, the six per cent that would be left for the generating companies would not cater for staff costs.
According to her, generating companies will not also have the resources to procure basic spare parts that the machines require to keep them in operation.
She said during a meeting between the NBET management and the generating companies, NBET claimed that it was directed by the Presidency to take over the processing of gas payment on behalf of the GenCos
Ogaji said that NBET at the meeting claimed it had approval to apply 0.75 per cent as administrative charges or cost on payment to gas suppliers.
“The said 0.75 per cent administrative charge is compulsory as it is a Condition Precedent (CP) for GenCos to access the N600billion the Federal Government has approved for immediate payment to gas suppliers and GenCos.
“Introducing an additional burden of 0.75 per cent to GenCos gas invoices payments implies that NBET is looking to rake in a windfall of not less than N2.7 billion as its administrative fees.
“If NBET gets its way in executing its planned action, it will set in motion a significant precedent that any entity can take up the role of a regulator in the NESI.
Efforts by the Nigeria News Agency to reach NBET Managing Director, Dr Marilyn Amobi, for her comments proved abortive as her line was not going through.
A text message also sent to her was not responded to.
(Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Mufutau Ojo)
N-Power: No plan to absorb beneficiaries into Civil Service, says FG
Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, says the Federal Government has no plan at the moment to absorb beneficiaries of the N-Power Programme into the Federal Civil Service
Farouq, in a statement by the Deputy Director in the Ministry, Mrs Rhoda Ilaya, on Saturday, said that Nigerians should be wary of fake news about absorption of N-Power beneficiaries Batch A into the Federal Civil Service.
“The attention of the Ministry has been drawn to the fake news trending on social media that President Muhammadu Buhari will on June 12 broadcast to the nation the absorption of N-POWER Volunteers Batch A, into the Federal Civil Service.
“The Ministry is hereby calling on the public to disregard the message and consider it as fake news.
“Any information on N-Power or the National Social Investment Programme will be issued through the appropriate channels,” the minister said.
Power: Senate probes N1.8trn intervention fund
The Senate is probing over N1.8 trillion Federal Government interventions in the Power Sector since privatisation of the sector from 2012 to date.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Sen. Gabriel Suswam made this known at a meeting with members of the Committee on Thursday in Abuja.
The chairman, who said that the three-day hearing would begin next week, recalled that the Senate had a motion on the floor where the committee was mandated based on that motion to investigate comprehensively the power sector, especially in areas as it related to the intervention.
Suswam said that the Committee would investigate all interventions in the sector since the privatisation of the sector to date with a view to ascertaining the adequacy of such interventions and their desired impact.
“We are looking at the intervention and whether corporate governance had been introduced since privatisation because the expectation is that the sector will become efficient, unfortunately that is not the case.
“All of these monies were Federal Government interventions in the power sector with the intention and hope that the power sector will become efficient and Nigerians will have access to electricity.
“Unfortunately, in spite of these huge amount of monies that have been expended, the result in what we see today is that the performance is below expectations,” Suswam added.
He however noted that the investigation would not be punitive, but intended to identify the reasons for efficiency and under performance in terms of unstable and inadequate electricity supply in the sector in spite of the huge financial interventions by government.
Suswam said other objectives of the investigation was to assist President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve his promise to Nigerians of providing them with adequate and stable power supply.
“The investigation is intended to identify why this interventions have come and there has been no improvement.
“This is so that at the end of the day, the leadership of the Senate will present that to the President of this country, who has shown a lot commitment to providing electricity to Nigerians,” he said.
He listed those agencies to appear before the committee to include Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) because most of the interventions of government came from these two bodies.
Others, Suswam said are the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Presidential Power Initiative among others.
Gov. Sule lauds FG for approving funds for Farin-Ruwa Hydro Power project
Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has commended the Federal Government for approving over N8 billion for the completion of Farin-Ruwa multi purpose hydro power project in Wamba Local Area of the state.
Sule noted that the Dam, which has the capacity to generate 20 megawatts of electricity, has been taken over by the federal government.
He said expected the power generated from the dam has the capacity to serve the people of Wamba, Akwanga and Keffi Local Government Areas of the state and beyond.
“The project was started by the first executive governor of the state, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, he said, adding that his administration continued with it before the fedeal government took over the project.
“Government is a continuum; my predecessor started the project and I continued it before it was taken over; that is the beauty of government.
“Government is a continuum and a lot of government resources have been spent on the projects by the former governor,” Sule added.
He also expressed gratitude to the federal governent for taking over the construction of 15 kilometre Sisinbaki-Farin Ruwa road.
He described federal government’s attention on the projects as unprecedented considering the rich potentials endowed in the area, especially the Farin Ruwa Dam which has the capacity to generate 20 megawatts of electricity and other tourist attractions.
He specifically thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the release of N8 billion for the execution of the two projects, adding that it will boost socio-economic activities in the area.
Charge against United States officer involved in Floyd’s death elevated to 2nd-degree murder, 3 others charged
United States prosecutors on Wednesday upgraded the charge against a former Minneapolis officer who pressed his knee into George Floyd‘s neck to second-degree murder, also charging three other former officers involved in the incident with aiding and abetting murder.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced at a news conference that Derek Chauvin, the now fired and arrested Minneapolis Police Department officer who court documents said knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, was charged with second-degree murder, an enhanced charge from the third-degree murder and manslaughter he was previously accused of.
“I believe the evidence available to us now supports the stronger charge of second-degree murder,” Ellison said.
Additionally, the attorney general announced that arrest warrants were issued for three other officers who, also fired by the department, were involved in the death on May 25 of the 46-year-old black man.
Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, who helped Chauvin constrain Floyd, and Tou Thau, who stood by without stopping his colleagues, were charged with aiding and abetting murder, Ellison said. “I strongly believe that these developments are in the interests of justice for George Floyd, his family, our community and our state.”
Informing reporters that he is the lead prosecutor of the case, Ellison acknowledged that although the prosecution team believe in the appropriateness of the charges they filed, “what I do not believe is that one successful prosecution can rectify the hurt and loss that so many people feel.”
He added that “constructing justice and fairness in our society” would be a “slow and difficult work” ahead, urging leaders in government and all citizens “to begin rewriting the rules for a just society now.”
In response to the just-announced charges, Benjamin Crump, the attorney for George Floyd‘s family, said it is not a time for celebration since an arrest is not a conviction, adding that the family wanted Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder.
“We cannot celebrate because an arrest is not a conviction, and we want justice,” Crump said. “You know, we don’t want partial justice. We want whole justice.” Crump said.
Further condemning racial injustice in the United States, the lawyer said “there are two justice systems in America. One for black America and one for white America, when there should be equal justice for the United States of America.”
One of the ex-officers, J. Alexander Kueng, is set to appear in court Thursday afternoon, according to court records.
Asked about the timetable of the prosecution process, Ellison said “we’re probably a number of months before this case will be in front of a jury.”