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Tariff Review: BEDC To Improve Electricity Supply, Plans 300MW Embedded Power



‘You’ve Performed Below Expectation’-Customers

The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company,(BEDC) Plc, Tuesday, February 26 disclosed that with a reviewed tariff, it will revolutionize electricity distribution and provide top services to customers by embarking on network re-alignment.

Speaking at a Public Consultation Forum in Benin City to review tariff increase, Chief Head of BEDC, Benin, Mr. Abel Enechiaziam, said the company is set to provide new distribution transformers and also provide dedicated express feeders to supply 24×7 power to identified customer groups.

The Public Consultation Forum was held across all BEDC franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti.

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Abel assured that the company would actualize its proposal for an embedded power of about 300megawatts under the willing buyer, willing seller arrangement with independent power generators outside the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) national grid in order to boost power supply and meet needs of customers.

He further assured customers that it would also improve supply to commercial entities across its coverage states due to the need to enable the companies ensure job creation and balance social lives, by adding new injection substations and 500 number distribution substations to strengthen existing network.

“Plan is ongoing to invest in electrification of electrified areas and strengthening of existing network” BEDC said, adding that it also plans to ensure 100per cent metering under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) and 100per cent enumeration and proper mapping of customers to transformers and feeders.

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Addressing customer complaints further, the Chief Head said BEDC would equip its Call Centre to a level where customer issues would be resolved at a point of discussion thereby making the Call Centre a one-stop shop for complaints resolution.

He noted that in all the electricity value chain process, customer was king and critical to sustenance of the sector, as he encouraged them to pay their bills, sayingthis would assure adequate, reliable and affordable power.

However, reacting, customers were angry about BEDC performance as all who spoke at the forum scored BEDC low.

A customer, while speaking, urged the company to jettison the planned increase on tariff and rather focus on improvement on power supply.

Another customer charged BEDC to tackle bypassing of meters as practised by some customers, warning that if tariff increases, bypassing would be order of the day.

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On his part, another customer, said BEDC has performed below expectation and that all information presented by the company were false.

“Most of the information provided by you are false and misleading. In your information, your allocated Edo State community to Delta State, this reveals your lies and that you are not well-organised.

In his remark, Deputy General Manager, Consumer Affair of
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr. Shittu Shuaibu, said no electricity consumers should be made to pay for service not rendered by the the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs)

He said it would be a disservice to the electricity consumers by making them to pay for what they are not given.

“Electricity is two side thing, if you don’t get the service, you don’t need to pay for it. If you don’t fuel or repair generator you cannot pay electrician.

“But we want as much as possible to ensure that BEDC have what to serve you better. The most critical thing is that they must served you before they get paid.

“If you are given service, you pay for service and if you are not given light, you should challenge it through NERC process.

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He explained “customers will have to report to the Customers Complaint Unit first, and if not satisfied, take it to the Forum Office and after which, you pass on to the Commission and the issues will be resolved. it doesn’t matter whether it is metering, transformer or service delivery problem,”.

Shaibu, however, assured that the commission will do everything within the armbit of the law to ensure that electricity problems are addressed in the country.

On the issue of the revocation of the company’s lincens, he said BEDC still has additional year to prove their competency.



TVET: Benin Chamber Seeks Policy To Promote Private Sector Participation




The Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA) has called for the formation of a policy that would enhance private sector participation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Edo State.

Mr Austin Atakpu, President, BENCCIMA, made the call at a meeting with representatives of the Edo State Board for Technical and Vocational Education and Training on Tuesday in Benin.

Atakpu said that the Organised Private Sector (OPS) was ready to support TVET when a policy that would allow them to make inputs was put in place.

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“TVET is a programme that covers skills acquisition; and in developing skills, you will require apprenticeship and internship.

“TVET can not run without the organised private sector. The OPS will house those programmes, give the necessary training and at the end of the day, ensure that the trainees stay through the programme.

“There must be a policy document to enhance such arrangement, and the OPS must have a buy-in.

“The government and the private sector must be willing to partner together, the OPS will only buy in if they contribute to the policy document,” he said.

READ ALSO: FG Slashes Wage By N100bn, Labour Kicks

On his part, Dr Terseer Nyulaku, Acting Executive Secretary, Edo Board for Technical and Vocational Education, said the meeting was to mobilise private sector participation and partnership in TVET.

He said, “we have come to mobilise private sector participation and partnership, and this is germane for any technical and vocational training to be useful.

“You need the private sector because they are the employers; they are the key social partner in the process.

“We have come to BENCCIMA to solicit for their partnership, especially as we plan to launch the Edo State Technical Talent Development Policy,” he said.

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Oil Drops Further After OPEC Delay With Asian Stocks Mixed




Oil extended losses Thursday after OPEC announced the shock delay of a key policy meeting, suggesting fresh upheaval in the bloc, while equities were mixed after two US reports dented recent euphoria over the future of interest rates.

Both main crude contracts slipped on news that the much-anticipated gathering of the major producers — combining OPEC and 10 allies — would be put back by four days to November 30.

Prices had dived almost five percent at one point Wednesday, before paring the losses.

Reports said the decision was made after Angola and Nigeria pushed back against lower targets that were urged by others, with Saudi Arabia said to have been preparing to extend a one-million-barrel-a-day output cut into the new year.

Riyadh and Russia unveiled massive cuts earlier this year in a bid to boost prices, which have come under pressure owing to stuttering economies in the United States, Europe and particularly China.

Pierre Andurand, of Andurand Capital Management, said global supplies were healthier than expected, meaning the OPEC+ cartel would need to reduce output.

READ ALSO: OPEC Cuts Nigeria’s Oil Output By 20.7% To 1.38 mb/d

The Saudis will probably want the other countries to cut as well,” he told Bloomberg TV. “It’s going to be a negotiation.”

Equity markets in Asia fluctuated, even after a fresh pre-Thanksgiving bounce on Wall Street.

Hong Kong bounced back from morning losses to edge higher in the afternoon, with developers in ascendance as it emerged China is preparing to offer the property sector more support, calling for banks to do more for the industry.

That came after Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that authorities had drawn up a draft list of 50 firms that would be eligible for more monetary support.

Among the winners, struggling Country Garden soared more than 23 percent after it was reported the company was on the list. Another troubled developer, Evergrande, was up more than three percent.

Elsewhere, Shanghai, Seoul, Wellington, Mumbai and Jakarta also rose but Sydney, Singapore, Taipei, Manila and Bangkok were in retreat.

READ ALSO: Naira Depreciates Against Dollar, Loses N81

London, Frankfurt and Paris all rose at the open.

The tepid performance came after data showed a pick-up in inflation expectations among US consumers, who now see it at 4.5 percent over the next year, against 4.4 percent previously expected, according to the University of Michigan.

Separately, US jobless claims came in far lower than forecast, showing that the labour market continues to hold up.

The Fed has repeatedly said it would make its rate decisions based on data, particularly inflation and jobs.

The readings gave a little jolt to the good mood on trading floors that has been swirling since below-par consumer price figures last week reinforced optimism the rate-hike cycle had ended and cuts could be on the way next year.

Markets can be capricious sometimes, and at the present junction, investors are looking for clues confirming the Fed is done with its current tightening cycle, thus evidence to the contrary can be unsettling,” said National Australia Bank’s Rodrigo Catril.

READ ALSO: Again, OPEC Increases Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production Quota To 1.8mbpd

The latest US data “triggered a (disproportionate) market reaction, US jobless claims and inflation expectations data did not support the story US inflation is easing against a weakening US labour market”, he said.

Still, observers said the outlook was bright for equities.

“We do expect the stock market rally to continue,” said Audrey Goh of Standard Chartered Bank.

“If you look at inflation, that clearly has moderated, so that will allow the Fed to stand pat. Our expectation is that policy rates have peaked.”

Key figures around 0810 GMT
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 1.0 percent at 17,910.84 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 3,061.86 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,480.41

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.6 percent at $76.63 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.7 percent at $81.36 per barrel

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 149.10 yen from 149.59 yen on Wednesday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0914 from $1.0890

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2516 from $1.2494

Euro/pound: UP at 87.20 pence from 87.13 pence

New York – DOW: UP 0.5 percent at 35,273.03 (close)


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Reps Okay MTEF, N7.8tn Borrowing Plans For 2024




The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, approved the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), with a borrowing plan of N7.8 trillion for 2024.

For 2024, 2025, and 2026, the House set benchmark oil prices of $73.96, $73.76, and $69.90 per barrel, respectively.

Also, the House set benchmark daily crude oil production levels of 1.78 Mbps, 1.80 Mbps, and 1.81 Mbps.

As agreed by the Green Chamber for 2024–2026, the executive’s proposed exchange rate is N700, N665.61, and N669.79 to $1.

The inflation rates of 21.40 per cent in 2024, 20.30 per cent in 2025, and 18.60 per cent in 2026 were proposed by the lawmakers even as they proposed Gross Domestic Product growth rates of 3.76 per cent, 4.22 per cent and 4.78 per cent, respectively.

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The Federal Government recommended National spending of N26 trillion, with N16.9 trillion in retained revenue, N9 trn budget deficit, N7.8 trn in new borrowings, N1.3 trn for statutory transfers, N8.2 trillion in debt service and N1.27 trillion in pension, gratuity, and retiree benefits.

Nigeria’s inflation rate in October was 27.33 per cent; however, Fitch projected that the rate would moderate to 21 per cent in 2024.

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