The Presidency met with Electricity distribution companies to discuss how to resolve issues affecting the Nation’s Electricity. Analysts have said funds stolen out of Nigeria through organized illicit financial flows (IFF) may fund 62% of the 2019 budget.
Meanwhile the feud between the All Progressive Party (APC) former National Chairman, John Oyegun and the present National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole continues. Members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party has written to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter.
Major Nigerian Newspapers have more on these stories:
Punch Newspaper: Presidency meets power firms over electricity crisis
As the nation’s power sector remains in crisis mode, the Presidency has met with electricity distribution companies in a bid to resolve some of the issues affecting the electricity supply industry.
It was gathered that the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, had a meeting with the Discos last week, before the presidential inauguration, and the previous week, with representatives of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc in attendance.
The PUNCH learnt that the meetings were aimed at resolving the liquidity crisis in the sector and improving service delivery by the Discos. The meeting examined power distribution projects that the German government could help the Discos with. More than five years after the privatization of the sector, the investors who took over the six generation companies and 11 Discos that emerged after the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria are still grappling with the old problems in the sector.
The sector is plagued with problems of gas supply shortages, limited distribution networks, limited transmission line capacity, huge metering gap, electricity theft, and high technical and commercial losses, among others. Total power generation stood at 3337.2 megawatts as of 6.00am on Wednesday, down from 3,737.4MW on Tuesday, according to data from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
“The Chief of Staff to the President has met the Discos and they (government) are developing their own blueprint to solve the problem. They have met with us and have come up with some government-to-government arrangements whereby the government of Germany can help us, as distribution companies, in terms of providing equipment and the rest of them. We are waiting for how that will pan out,” an industry official told our correspondent on Wednesday. He added, “All I know is that the government is frustrated…I get a sense that a lot of people that did not buy these assets are stoking the fire for nationalization but common sense is beginning to prevail, that if the government takes back the assets, it will have to return the money the investors paid for the assets.”
The official highlighted the need for a regular meeting of all the stakeholders – gas supplier, Gencos, Discos, NBET, TCN, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Power – to examine the issues in the sector. “What we have now is a disjointed system; there is no central organ that is coordinating everybody,” he added.
Guardian Newspaper: Nigeria’s yearly stolen fund worth 62% of 2019 budget
Money stolen from Nigeria yearly through organised Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) may provide almost 62 per cent of the funds needed to finance the 2019 budget.
President Muhammadu Buhari last week signed into law the 2019 appropriation bill of N8.916 trillion after the National Assembly had increased it from N8.826 trillion. At the time, Nigeria’s share of global IFFs ($18 billion/N5.5 trillion) was only a little lower than the N6.97 trillion total revenue the country needed to fund the budget.
The education sector is in decline, with the country accounting for the highest number of about 23,000 lecturers who leave the continent every year. Meanwhile, the $18 billion IFFs is twice the N3.90 trillion allocated to the sector in the past 10 years (2009-2018) from a total budget of N55.19 trillion.
In 2009, the budget for education was N221.19 billion, N249.09 billion (in 2010), N306.3 billion (2011), N400.15 billion (2012) and N426.53 billion (2013). It was N493 billion in 2014, 392.2 billion (2015), N369.6 billion (2016) N550 billion (2017) and N605.8 billion in 2018, bringing the figure to N3.90 trillion, which is about N2 trillion lower than the yearly IFFs.
A report released earlier this year by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Trust Africa indicates that Nigeria loses between $15 billion and $18 billion yearly to IFFs. Over 92 per cent of the crime is reportedly committed in the oil and gas sector.
Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) in a report had noted that oil-exporting countries like Nigeria are vulnerable to illicit financial transfers. This is coming at a time when the Economic Commission for Africa reported that the United States accounted for 29.0 per cent of IFFs from Nigeria; Spain accounted for 22.5 per cent; France, 8.7 per cent; Japan, 8.5 per cent; and Germany, 7.7 per cent. The five countries, which contributed 76.4 per cent of total IFFs from Nigeria from 1970-2008, were the key destinations of Nigeria’s oil products at that time.
Sun Newspaper: Fears, panic in APC over Oyegun-Oshiomhole fight
An appeal has gone to President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to intervene in the feud between the party’s immediate past national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the incumbent, Adams Oshiomhole.
Senator Kabiru Gaya and former acting spokesman of the party, Yekini Nabena, who made the call at separate events in Abuja, yesterday, said the feud was unnecessary and a distraction that could weaken the party.
They charged the president to lead fence-mending efforts to restore sanity to the party. Nabena made his call in a statement while Gaya spoke with newsmen in reaction to the ongoing war of words between Odigie-Oyegun and Oshiomhole.