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Electricity consumers decry tariff hike, say timing is bad

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FG directs reversal of electricity tariff adjustment

Some consumers in Lagos on Thursday decried the hike in electricity billings which had been proposed to take-off on June 1.

The consumers decried this in separate interviews in Lagos; and described the gesture as insensitive to the plight of people who were still grappling with the distorted livelihoods occasioned by the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.

They however, confirmed that there had been an improvement in electricity supply which had reduced their spending on fuel to power their generators.

The hike was initially planned for April 1, but was put off by the National Assembly to give room for its deliberation.

It reports that the Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) had earlier in the week indicated its plan to implement the hike by June 1 to the consternation of users.

One of them, Mr Joseph Ogu, Director, Joe Tech Engineering and Construction Ltd., a welding outfit, said the hike would further increase overhead cost of production and exert economic pressure on people.

According to him, hiking the tariff this time will reduce job intake as the cost of production will increase resulting in some hired workers being dropped as overhead increases.

“The economy and people are still trying to come out of the coronavirus pandemic; anything in that direction now will portray the government in a bad light.

“Though the energy sector is being run by private companies, people do not know this and will still look in the direction of the state for solutions and will cast aspersions on the state for any ill-treatment from the sector,” he said.

Ogu appealed to the electricity companies to put the plan on hold to allow Nigerians to recover from coronavirus pandemic that had made life difficult for people these past three months.

Also read:  TCN: Power Minister sacks MD, Mohammed brings in Sule Abdulaziz

Mr Anthony Ibezim, a bottled water producer, said people were looking forward to the two months non-payment of electricity bill muted by government as part of the palliative for coronavirus pandemic.

“So many people are finding it difficult to pay the current charges and here we are, talking of an upward review.

“This is some of the things that alienate people from their government that gives rise to citizens disregarding the state.

”It is appalling for the state to keep churning out policies that will see people in despair,” he said.

Ibezim said that his electricity bill in the water factory was in the region of N65,000 monthly, which he struggle to pay in addition to other runing cost.

He said with the planned increment, he might pay up to N100, 000 per month, adding that for him to cope, he might lay off some staff and also increase price of bottled water.

Ibezim noted that he was yet to see any reason to hike electricity tariff considering the number of hours people enjoy power supply in a day.

He said that if there were any need at all to hike tariff such plan should be reexamined, so that the hardship in the society with this Coronavirus pandemic did not get out of hand.

Mr James Okorafor and Mr Kenddy Azu, Barbar shop operators, said that such increment was a disincentive to small scale businesses that were managing to stand on their own.

Azu called on the government to prevail on the electricity companies to drop the idea for its bad public posture.

 

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Economy

FG Begins Construction On Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Sections 3, 4 –Umahi

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FG Begins Construction On Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Sections 3, 4 –Umahi

…Sokoto to Badagry 1,000 km stretch also receives approval

The Federal Government has announced the immediate flag-off of construction work on sections three and four of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project, beginning from Calabar.

The Minister of Works, Sen. Dave Umahi, announced an engagement with representatives of communities within the alignment of the road between Eko Atlantic (Chainage Zero) and Eleko inside (Chainage 47.4klm, on Thursday in Lagos.

He said that section three would start from Calabar and section four from Akwa Ibom.

Umahi said, “Let me announce also that Mr President has directed that section three, starting from Calabar and section four is starting from Akwa Ibom should commence immediately; and so, we are in the process of concluding the procurement.

“And for those who have been saying why not start these roads in Calabar, one, the zero point is Lagos and what wrong has Lagos done to these people?

“However, an impartial President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Bola Tinubu, has directed that sections three and four be started from the end of the project. So while this is moving, the other one will be moving.

“I’m sure that sections five and six will also start in places like Port Harcourt and Bayelsa.”

Umahi also announced that the president had approved the commencement of construction work on the road connecting Sokoto to Badagry.

He said: ” Just the last Federal Executive Committee meeting on Monday, Mr President also approved another project; because this road has two spurs, we start the design and procurement of that Sokoto to Badagry.

” It’s a 1,000 km, it’s running through a lot of irrigation, lands and dams where you can have a lot of power generation and its running from Sokoto to Kebbi, Kebbi to Niger, Niger to Kwara, Kwara to Oyo, Oyo to Ogun state, and then to Badagry in Lagos State.”

The minister, who acknowledged potential criticism about the project’s scale and chosen sections, mentioned that section one, 47.7 kilometres, was ambitious for an interstate road project.

He said that the federal government planned to recoup construction costs through tolling and selling land along the road corridors.

The aim, according to him, is to create a scenic route similar to coastal highways in other countries.

Additionally, he said that the return on investment would start immediately after the first section was completed and would come from tolls and land sales along the completed section one.

The minister pointed out that the country loses money daily due to cargo transhipment at Apapa Port.

He explained that Apapa Port’s water depth was insufficient for large ships, forcing them to use deeper ports elsewhere for cargo transfer (transhipment), which incurred millions of dollars on daily basis.

He said that the new roads would act as an evacuation corridor for the Lekki Deep Sea Port to other parts of the country.

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Economy

Hope Rising: Naira Gains N3.31 Against Dollar At Official Market

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Naira Gains N61.38 Against Dollar At Official Market

…Trades at N1,465.68 to dollar

 The Naira gained N3.31 at the official market on Tuesday, trading at N1,465.68 to the dollar.

Data from the FMDQ Exchange, which oversees the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), revealed a 0.22 percent appreciation for the Naira compared to Monday’s rate of N1,468.99 to the dollar.

The volume of currency traded also increased, with the total daily turnover rising to 268.17 million dollars on Tuesday from 161.41 million dollars on Monday.

At the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,549.00 and N1,401.00 against the dollar.

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) commended the CBN’s reforms for the Naira’s appreciation at the official market.

Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON)

ABCON President, Dr Aminu Gwadabe, urged the CBN to sustain policies benefiting the local currency.

Gwadabe cited multifaceted efforts through fiscal and monetary policies, alongside security agency interventions, as key to the Naira’s recovery.

“Volatility is like runoff water; if not directed, it will direct itself. I am happy to see multiple agencies coming together to confront these challenges,” he said.

Gwadabe called for technological upgrades and collaboration among operators, regulators, the government, and security agencies.

This, he noted, was to improve control over the foreign exchange market and to establish a bylaw to mitigate volatility. 

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Economy

NGX Weekly: Cadbury Lists 402.1m Additional Shares, Investors Lose N54bn

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NGX Weekly: Cadbury Lists 402.1m Additional Shares, Investors Lose N54bn

 Additional 402,082,657 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each per share of Cadbury Nigeria Plc (Cadbury) were listed on the Daily Official list of Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) last week.

A weekly report of the NGX made available to newsmen in Lagos stated that the Cadbury additional shares were listed during the week.

The NGX explained that the additional shares listed on NGX arose from Cadbury’s conversion of N7,036,446,501.26 intercompany loan to equity.

“With this listing of the additional 402,082,657 ordinary shares, the total issued and fully paid up shares of Cadbury has now increased from 1,878,201,962 to 2,280,284,619

ordinary shares of 50 kobo each,” the regulator said.

Also in the course of the week under review, the NGX suspended trading in the shares of Arbico Plc on Friday.

The Exchange said the suspension was necessary to prevent trading in the shares of the company in preparation for the delisting of the securities of the company in line with the approval obtained from NGX.

Meanwhile, the April 2024 Issue of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Savings Bonds was listed on the NGX on Monday.

In the course of trading for the week, trade turnover settled 15.8 per cent lower than the previous session.

Specifically, investors traded a total of 1.652 billion shares worth N42.677 billion in 38,123 deals this week on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to 2.187 billion shares valued at N50.667 billion that exchanged hands last week in 45,277 deals.

Consequently, the NGX All-Share Index which opened the week at 98,233.76 lost 0.11 per cent to close at 98,125.73.

The market capitalisation also depreciated by 0.10 per cent or N54 billion to close the week at N55.508 trillion, as against N55.562 trillion posted in the previous week.

Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of NGX Main Board, NGX Lotus II, NGX Industrial Goods and NGX Pension Broad which appreciated by 0.97, 0.58, 0.01 and 0.12 per cent respectively, while the NGX ASeM and NGX Sovereign Bond indices closed flat.

Meanwhile, the Financial Services Industry measured by volume led the activity chart with 979.479

million shares valued at N16.647 billion traded in 20,708 deals.

This contributed 59.30 per cent

and 39.01 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Conglomerates Industry followed with 239.825 million shares worth N2.879 billion in 2,178 deals.

The third place was the Consumer Goods Industry, with a turnover of 148.685 million shares worth N3.525 billion in 4,757 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely Custodian Investment Plc, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc and Access Holdings Plc measured by volume accounted for 500.343 million

shares worth N11.768 billion in 6,551 deals.

This contributed 30.29 per cent and 27.57 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Also, 28 equities appreciated in price during the week lower than 40 equities in the previous week.

51 equities depreciated in price higher than 37 in the previous week, while 76 equities remained unchanged, lower than 77 recorded in the previous week.

On the losers’ table, PZ Cussons Nigeria led by 22.16 per cent to close at N21.60, NEM Insurance followed by 18.36 per cent to close at N8.45 per cent per share.

Eterna Plc lost 18.32 per cent to close at N11.15, United Bank of Africa(UBA) shed 17.23 per cent to close at N21.85 and The Initiates Plc dropped N15.22 per cent to close at N1.95 per share.

Conversely, International Energy Insurance led the gainers table by 11.49 per cent to close at N1.65, McNichols Plc trailed by 9.89 per cent to close at one Naira per share.

Custodian Investment Plc rose by 9.68 per cent to close at N10.20, Julius Berger advanced by 9.53 per cent to close at N79.30, while Airtel Africa Plc gained 8.97 per cent to close at N2,150 per share.

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