Connect with us

Business

Energy theft: Judiciary, Discos, security agencies launch pact

Published

on

Worried by the increasing rate of energy theft, especially in the South-East Zone, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, has commenced measures to get the judiciary and the security agencies involved in checkmating the menace.

DAILY POST reports that rampart cases of energy theft and vandalism of power facilities formed major part of discus at a seminar organized by the Enugu Disco, weekend, for judicial officers, tagged ‘Judges Seminar.’

Speaking at the event, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati tasked judicial and law enforcement officers on need to check rampant energy theft and vandalism in electricity sector.

The seminar was themed; “Prosecution of Energy Theft, Allied Offences and Industry Related Litigation’’.

The Chief Judge noted that vadalisation, theft and sometimes unauthorised access to electricity facilities were the common threats in the sector.

He noted that these could be source of economic distress to the country that had been trying so hard to improve its power delivery.

According to him, importantly, if the judiciary is not expediently proactive, criminals will continue to exploit the vulnerable aspect of the system and other critical infrastructure.

“Indeed it is important that electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS) partner with the Bench and other stakeholders in order to stamp out acts that are capable of frustrating the intendment of the Federal Government in privatising the power sector.

“Therefore, it is our collective responsibility to help protect investments in electricity and other key economic infrastructure in Nigeria.

“As an arm of government, the judiciary and law enforcement officers are glad to join hands with stakeholders like the Enugu DISCO and other DISCOS to ensure that this essential commodity is available to all and that investment in the sector is well protected within the ambit of the law.

“To some extent, power sector jurisprudence is a stranger to the Nigerian case law.

“This gap underscores the imperatives of judicial and law enforcement officers to be very conversant with the regime as we will always be confronted with their cases.

“The complexity and interplay of several components in the realization of the novel mandates of the DISCOS obviously attract disputes and disagreements.

“Therefore, with better information, the disputes and disagreements will be resolved expediently through your courts and institutions,’’ he said.

Earlier, Chairman of EEDC, Chief Emeka Offor, noted that the seminar was apt due to the high and alarming rate of energy theft and vandalism in the country.

Offor, who was represented by Mr Ikechukwu Okpala, noted that “within the past six months over 100 transformers had been vandalized within the company’s area of coverage’’.

“We solicit the support of judicial officers in fast adjudication of these cases in order for the judgment to act as a big deterrent to criminals pull down the sector.

“There is also a need for a set of new laws to check the present negative trend in the electricity sector,’’ he said.

In a goodwill message, the Managing Director of EEDC, Mr Okechukwu Nwosu, said that the judiciary would play a very pivotal role in addressing energy theft in the country.

“The pervasive nature of energy theft in EEDC areas of coverage is quite alarming and poses a threat to the company’s operation.

“EEDC has in the past two years embarked on a massive metering programme. However, it is disheartening to note that a very high percentage of the meters are bypassed or have their seals tampered with,’’ Nwosu said.

The seminar was attended by judges from Federal and State High Courts; magistrates, directors of public prosecutions as well as police and NSCDC officers in-charge of legal departments from the South-East.

Facebook Comments
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

NSE: Investors Net Worth Drops By N110 Billion

Published

on



The Nigerian equities market opened trading for the week on Monday on a negative mood with the market indicators shedding 0.79 percent.

Specifically, the market capitalization shed N110 billion or 0.79 percent to close at N13.812 trillion compared with N13.922 trillion achieved on Friday.

Also, the All-Share Index which opened at 28,566.79 dipped 225.76 points or 0.79 percent to close at 28,341.03, following price loses.

Investors traded 175.168 million shares worth N2.144 billion in 3111 deals against 100.373 million shares valued at N1.459 billion exchanged hands the previous day in 2,707 deals.

A breakdown of the price movement chart indicates that Total recorded the highest loss to lead the losers’ chart with N10 to close at N130 per share.

Dangote Cement trailed with a loss of N3 to close at N170, while Guaranty Trust Bank dipped by 90k to close at N29 per share.

MTN Nigeria Communications decreased by 65k to close at N129, while Eterna was down by 25k to close at N3.40 per share.

Conversely, Nestle led the gainers’ table, increasing by N3 to close at N1,228 per share.

Nigerian Breweries followed with a gain of 50k to close at N58.50, while Conoil appreciated by 40k to close at N20.40 per share.

Vitafoam added 16k to close at N3.70, while Dangote Flour gained 10k to close at N17.50 per share.

In spite of the drop in market indices, the volume of shares traded closed higher as investors bought and sold 175.17 million shares valued at N2.14 billion in 3,111 deals.

This was in contrast with a turnover of 100.37 million shares worth N1.46 billion traded in 2,707 deals on Friday.

Wapic Insurance was the toast of investors for the day, exchanging 42.03 million shares valued at N16.81 million.

United Bank for Africa followed with an account of 24.24 million shares worth N141.95 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank sold 16.04 million shares valued at N478.82 million.

Lasaco Insurance traded 15.11 million shares worth N4.68 million, while Transcorp accounted for 14.61 million shares valued at N15.02 million, News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Business

Coronation Research’s Nigeria weekly update: CBN goes for growth

Published

on

We are accustomed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) limiting Naira liquidity for fear of upsetting the foreign exchange market. Now the CBN is unafraid of liquidity and is pushing growth – for now. Fixed income rates are falling. See page 2.

FX
This year US$18.79bn has flowed into the NAFEX market with Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) accounting for 65.40% of inflows (US$12.29bn). The CBN’s supply of US dollars to the NAFEX market has been 3.02% of inflows (US$0.57bn). In effect, FPI is supplying sufficient US dollars to take the pressure off the CBN, hence our confidence that the exchange rate will hold this year. And the CBN has new-found confidence to target growth.

Bonds & T-bills
The yield on a Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Naira bond with 10 years to maturity fell by 24bps to 13.95%, and at 3 years declined by 25bps to 13.20% last week. The yield on a 364-day T-bill fell by 51bps to 12.50%. The yield on a T-bill with 3 months to maturity declined by 27bps to 10.30%.

Investors are reacting to the CBN’s revised Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) placement by banks which is now capped at N2.0 billion (US$5.7 million) from N7.5 billion previously. The T-bill market is currently characterised by high demand and strong market liquidity which depressed yields this past week. In the absence of frequent Naira fixed income auctions by the CBN, we expect yields to be stable and not derail significantly from current levels. With this amount of liquidity in the market the initiative lies with the CBN to set rates.

Oil
The price of Brent rose by 3.99% last week to US$66.72/bbl. The average price, year-to-date, is US$66.10/bbl, 7.80% lower than the average of US$71.69/bbl in 2018, but 20.75% higher than the US$54.75/bbl average seen in 2017.

The 2019 oil market is themed by supply cuts, for the most part. The latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that oil supply exceeded demand by 0.9 million barrels per day for the first half of the year. This comes on top of pre-existing stockpiles and rising shale production. With oil price protection in view, OPEC’s tightening measures are understandable, especially with the US/China trade war still unresolved.

Equities
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index lost 2.41% last week, resulting in a year-to-date return of negative 9.11%. Last week Cadbury Nigeria (+8.64%), Flour Mills of Nigeria (+8.00%) and Unilever Nigeria (+3.13%) closed positive while Forte Oil (-23.33%), PZ Cussons (-10.14%) and Nestle Nigeria (-8.92%) fell.

Last week saw the listing of Airtel Africa which closed the week at N323.50/share, down 18.98% from its listing price of N363.00/share. Such a reception continues to show weak investor sentiment in the market. While investors maintain a cautious stance on investing in equities, some stocks are trading close to multi-year lows and present a good entry point for investors, in our view.

The CBN pushes the growth pedal
The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity from the CBN; a circular on mobile money & financial inclusion; hints of banking sector re-capitalisation 2.0; another circular prohibiting banks from a loan to deposit ratio less than 60%; and finally a ‘no thank you’ note to banks which may wish to park excess cash in the CBN vault, for excess cash balances above two billion Naira (US$5.6m).

What is the overall signal?
The CBN’s recent focus for the past two years has been on monetary stability. Following a 7.50 percentage point decline in inflation, a rise in foreign exchange reserves and hard-earned currency stability, one could argue that it has won the battle. And it has been helped by the downward prospects for US dollar interest rates, which take the pressure off emerging market currencies to some extent. Now the CBN can return to its other agenda. It wants economic growth.

Nigeria’s GDP growth rate mimics the growth rates of developed countries even though it isn’t one. One sign of sluggish growth has been slow growth in commercial bank loans, which suggests, among other things that the supply side of the economy is weak. The CBN’s approach to galvanising growth had been skewed towards the supply side, and it has deliberately held down loan rates in several areas, such as agriculture, in order to implement its policy. The problem with this initiative is that commercial bank loans have not grown as a result, leading the CBN to come up with more radical measures than before.

Typically banks keep cash balances when the CBN Open Market Operation (OMO) auctions are imminent, driving up overnight lending rates around auction dates. But there is a clear downward trend this year in the rate at which very short-term unsecured loans are traded between banks around OMO auction dates.

In fact, on 4 July the cost of overnight loans between banks fell to its lowest this year (4.86%) suggesting that for a given level of liquidity mop-up by the CBN, banks are willing to lend to themselves at cheaper rates than before. During H2 2018, this relationship was upward trending (when adjusted for outliers).

The CBN is attempting, through its circulars, to unlock excess liquidity trapped within the banking system in the hope that it will be channeled towards the real economy. Banks now have an extra incentive to target firms, and the affluent with (soft) loans when other forms of risk-free income become pressured.

All of this reads well for consumer spending, which is the dominant component of aggregate demand, but it may mean thinner margins for banks. The argument that banks may still expect to improve or maintain their margins without a corresponding expansion in loan books must be nuanced with the guidance that the CBN may restrict banks’ participation in the OMO and T-bill market for their own account. By and large, the CBN’s actions are likely to drag down interest rates until the point is reached where it finds Naira liquidity is negative for the currency.

Indeed, in our view the CBN may be wary of a steep reduction in market interest rates and what they could mean for the Naira exchange rate, on two counts. One, some of the excess liquidity in the banking system could find its way into the FX market. If stability remains a priority, the CBN will have to part with more of its dollar reserves. Two, moderating market interest rates could erode the appeal of the naira carry trade prompting foreign portfolio investors to unwind their positions.

But these are still early days, and we await the CBN’s upcoming auctions to learn more of its rate policy.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Business

What Dana Airline did to its passengers at Abuja international airport

Published

on

Passengers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Friday expressed disappointment in Dana airline, meant to fly them from Abuja to Port-Harcourt.

A cross section of the passengers who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday at the airport described their experience as unfortunate.

One of the passengers, Mr Waribo Kuku, said he was supposed to board Dana flight from Abuja to Port-Harcourt since Wednesday (July 10), but no flight was available.

Kuku called on the management of Dana airline to compensate him for the delay and inconvenience.

He also appealed to relevant authorities, such as the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Consumers Protection Council and SERVICOM, to address such grievances and ensure that customers were adequately compensated to serve as deterrent.

Another passenger, Mr Jerry Wanodi, told NAN that he booked a Dana flight from Abuja to Port-harcourt since Thursday but couldn’t board the flight due to rescheduling and cancellation of the flight.

Wanodi said that he had been at the airport since 2 p.m on July 11, up till the 6.30 p.m and there was no sign of any Dana Air flight on ground.

Another passenger of the same airline who pleaded for anonymity said he was disappointed with Dana and threatened to sue them for damages.

“I have to go back to my family, you know how women think. It’s like I have been giving excuses on why I haven’t come home yet.

“I am so disappointed with Dana Air and I want relevant authorities to ban Dana from flying in Nigeria

“I also want them to pay compensation to me for keeping me at the airport since Thursday,” he said.

Similarly, Mr Berepelebo George told NAN that he has lost an opportunity to be gainfully employed because of the cancelled flight.

“I have an interview appointment with an organisation in Port-Harcourt which I have missed due to flight cancellations.

“I want the relevant authorities to have regulations on airlines to tackle this impunity,” he urged.

Mrs Amaka Ojeka, another sad passenger, described the development as a national embarrassment.

Ojeka narrated how she flew in from Germany, noting that there was no stroller at the international wing and had to wait for 45 minutes before she was able to secure one.

She also expressed regret that she has been waiting to board Dana to Port-Harcourt but found out that there was no aircraft on ground.

“I am disappointed by what is going on at the airport because you can’t find this in a developed society.

“They are not organised and why is Dana not returning my money but they sent a message via email for me to come to the airport and there was no plane on ground.

“I went back and paid a hotel bill of N10,000 as well as airport taxi.

“Government should look into the matter and take appropriate measures to address it,” she said.

The FAAN authorities and Dana Air management were yet to react to the development in spite of media inquiries.

NAN reports that the passengers waiting to board Dana Airline flight to Portharcourt and Lagos have been kept in suspense amid mounting anxiety.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

%d bloggers like this: