Benjamin Dikki, director general, Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) has asked anxious Nigerians desirous of steady public power supply to be patient as new core investors in the sector streamline strategies to get the country on sound footing.
Dikki stated at the public presentation of the Sapele Power company in Delta state to its core investor, Messrs CMEC/EuraAfric Energy Ltd that Nigerians were more than ever before “closer to a new dawn where power would be taken for granted.”
He assured that that in a few years, “the globally acclaimed successes recorded in the Telecom reforms would pale when compared to the opportunities expected in the power sector reform.”
Dikki said the determined leadership of the President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Mohammed Sambo, and their “insistence to the strict adherence to transparency and accountability was the difference between success and failure of the transaction.”
The country’s political leadership, Dikki noted, “has made a conscious effort to make the private sector the driver of economic growth in Nigeria; adding that the power sector reform was part of the administration’s avowed commitment to make Nigeria better than it met it.”
He stated that it was not by chance that Nigeria’s power sector reform and privatization was “adjudged the biggest, most transparent and comprehensive power sector privatization in recent history.”
On the low and still erratic power situation nationwide, despite the privatization efforts and promises of greater stability; Dikki assured the situation would improve drastically soon. He assured that the Sapele Power Plc would soon achieve the maximum installed capacity and begin to expand capacity, creating more jobs and opportunities for all Nigerians.
Chigbo Anichebe, head, public communications at BPE told Nigeria CommunicaitonsWeek that following the emergence of CMEC/EURAFRIC ENERGY LTD as the preferred bidder for Sapele Power Plc. for a bid consideration of $201 million, the company paid up $50,250,000, which is 25 per cent of the consideration by the deadline of March 21, 2013 as was required.
However, it was unable to complete the payment of the balance 75 per cent by the end of deadline on August 21, 2013; it has none-the-less paid an additional amount of $79,186,656.55 to bring its total amount paid to $129,436,656.55.
Anichebe stated that CMEC/EURAFRIC requested for extension of the payment deadline in accordance with the Share Sale Agreement. “This request was carefully considered and the Attorney General’s advice sought before the National Council on Privatization (NCP) gave its approval. On that basis, the Bureau wrote to CMEC/EURAFRIC conveying the approval, but quickly reminded the company that the extension was subject to its payment of the penalty, which is interest on the outstanding balance (at the prevailing rate of LIBOR + 5%) with effect from the day of default. The company was also warned that the extension, which would elapse on January 29, 2014, was final. The payment deadline was met by the core investor, hence the handover,” said Anichebe.
The handover marks the concluding stage of the transaction for five (5) generation companies and ten (10) distribution companies. The remaining two successor companies (Afam Power Plc. and Kaduna Disco) will be handed over to their respective owners after payment of the 75 per cent balance of the acquisition cost.
CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns
By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,
In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.
The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.
Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.
Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.
On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
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