Aso Villa Reads for Fri. 30/10/2020

Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says the power sector has recorded an all-time national peak of 5,459.50MW. A statement issued on Thursday by Ms Ndidi Mbah, TCN General Manager, Public Affairs, said the new record was achieved on Oct. 28. The statement said the power generated was efficiently transmitted through the nation’s transmission grid at a frequency of 50.26Hz by 8.15pm on the said date. According to the statement, this milestone in transmission is higher than any peak ever recorded in the nation’s power industry as of date. It said the new peak surpassed the 5,420.30MW achieved on Aug.18 by 39.20MW. Reacting to the development, Mr Sule Abdulaziz, acting Managing Director, TCN, commended all the players in the power sector value chain for the feat. Abdulaziz attributed the gradual but steady improvement in the quantum of power delivery to collaboration by the sector players. He added that the unbridled effort by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Power, in setting the right environment for seamless operations contributed to the feat. Abdulaziz expressed optimism that stakeholders in the sector would continue to work together toward ensuring the continued increase in the quantum of power available to consumers nationwide. He noted that the TCN was committed to working with the generation and distribution companies to ensure sustained improvement in the sector for the benefit of the nation.[Vanguard]

The Federal Government last night said that it will commence the distribution of free meters with the target of getting 30 million consumers. The National Mass Metering Programme, NMMP, is expected to commence today, Friday, October 30, 2020, and to be simultaneously launched in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja DISCO franchise areas. The free meter distribution, a Presidency source said was in fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to ensure mass metering in the country and in the process put an end to the problems of estimated billing in the electricity sector. The Presidency sources disclosed that the locations to receive meters include Bawo Road and environs in Kano metropolis (KEDCO), Governor Road/Tudun Wada in Kaduna (Kaduna Electric), Oshodi Business Unit in Ikeja (Ikeja Electric), and Yaba and Surulere (Eko DISCO). The presidency source added that key stakeholders to monitor the launch of the distribution include Kaduna, Kano and Lagos State Government representatives, the Senate Committee and House Chair on Power as well as representatives of Organized Labour and Civil Society Organizations. It said the “NMMP is to roll out six million meters for all connections points on grid without meters over the next 18 to 24 months, estimating to impact 30 million consumers nationwide. “Following Mr President’s directive on mass metering, the Central Bank of Nigeria, on October 18th, approved guidelines for funding the mass metering programme which entailed that all meters under the scheme will be locally sourced, creating thousands of manufacturing jobs through lead manufacturers such as MOMAS, MOJEC and others.” The source further said that “the launch of the NMMP will be part of a continuous effort where all DisCos will go from location to location across the country with their respective Meter Asset Providers to install meters for all Nigerians.” When contacted,the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande confirmed the story but added that more details will emerge as the distribution progresses across the country. He added that current efforts by the Federal Government on improving power supply and mass metering was in line with some of the agreements recently reached between the FG and Organized Labour recently. [Vanguard]

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released the framework for NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) to commence the disbursement of N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF). This was contained in a CBN’s report, titled: ‘Framework for the operation of the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank window of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund’, released on Wednesday. According to the report, N75 billion was approved by the federal executive council (FEC) on July 22, 2020 for the establishment of the NYIF for a period between 2020 and 2023, dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian youth. The NYIF was also developed to institutionally provide youth with a special window for accessing much needed funds, finances, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development. The report showed that the NYIF targets young people between ages 18–35 years and with the ministry of youth and sports development, responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilisation. CBN said the NYIF aims to financially empower Nigerian youth to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023 while the NMFB window will be funded with an initial take-off seed capital of N12.5 billion. It said both individuals (unregistered businesses) and registered businesses can apply for the NYIF scheme. The individual is subject to N250,000 maximum while registered businesses is subject to N3 million maximum.[The Cable]

The Nigerian Communications Commission has told the House Committee on Telecommunications that it generated and remitted N344.71bn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government in the last five years. NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Umar Danbatta, stated this while briefing the committee members, who were led by their Chairman, Akeem Adeyemi, during a legislative oversight function on the commission in Abuja. Danbatta attributed the successes of the commission in the last five years to the harmonious relationship between the NCC and the National Assembly. He was quoted in a statement issued by the spokesperson of the commission, Ikechukwu Adinde, as saying, “Through the support of the lawmakers, the commission has been able to generate and remit N344.71bn to Federal Government Consolidated Revenue Fund from spectrum fees and operating surplus.” He said the telecoms sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product increased from 8.5 per cent in 2015 to 14.30 per cent as of the second quarter of 2020. The NCC boss explained that in financial value, the 14.30 per cent translated to N2.27tn in the second quarter. He also stated that telecoms investment grew from around $38bn in 2015 to over $70bn currently. Danbatta said the NCC was promoting financial inclusion by encouraging the Mobile Network Operators to actively participate in providing financial services towards actualising the Federal Government’s 80 per cent financial inclusion target by 2020. According to him, the NCC in collaboration with stakeholders, had been able to increase broadband penetration from six per cent in 2015 to 45.43 per cent as of September, 2020. He said basic active Internet subscription grew from 90 million to 143.7 million during the same period.[Punch]

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