14 Oct

Daily Watch – Osinbajo takes responsibility for economy, Work on Falomo Complex to resume

  • The Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo said on Tuesday that he is in charge of the economy. Speaking at the Presidential Policy Dialogue, Osinbajo said that the nation’s economy, which has shown a paradox of high growth figures, widening inequality, rising unemployment, poverty, and leaves nearly half of the citizenry behind, needs rethinking. The VP argued that the magnitude of poverty in the country necessitated the need for a Conditional Fund Transfer arrangement to get some form of direct assistance to the people. Osinbajo insisted that there was no going back on government’s resolve on social investments in view of their immense economic benefits to the society.
  • Electricity distribution companies have submitted proposals to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to increase tariffs by an average of 49.4 per cent, agreeing to reduce their fixed charge to consumers. NERC said it would critically review the submissions before approving the rates proposed by the power firms. The new approved rates might be released at the end of this month. The Abuja, Benin, Enugu Jos and Ibadan power distribution firms proposed 48 per cent, 61 per cent, 60 per cent, 63 per cent and 56 per cent increase in tariffs for R1 customers. While, the Ikeja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Yola Discos proposed 32 per cent, 40 per cent, 46 per cent and 83 per cent increase in electricity tariff in their submissions to NERC, while the Eko Disco requested the least increase in tariff at five per cent for residential R1 customers.
  • The team behind the Falomo Shopping Mall, Ikoyi, Lagos has announced that work will resume at the site soon. The Lagos State Government had revoked the concession in August citing impropriety. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Afriland Properties, Mutiu Bakare, said on Tuesday that high level talks are on between his company and Lagos State Government based on renegotiation of terms, and that work will resume before the end of 2015.
  • The Nigerian Association of Auctioneers (NAA) says Nigeria has  lost about N200 billion in four years to fraudulent disposal of seized goods by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). According to NAA General Secretary, Isibor Benjamin Abhulimen, the auctioneers alleged that ‎the huge loss was recorded because the previous administration was not transparent in the disposal of seized cargoes. Abhulimen said customs officials set ridiculously low prices for the items to be auctioned and sell them at that same prices to their cronies without conducting competitive bidding. “It is our prerogative to bring this glaring anomaly to the attention of Nigerians and President Muhammadu Buhari administration, especially now that the revenues to the federal government coffers  have dwindled. “The customs should allow the professional auctioneer to do their jobs.‎ Nigerians will witness a sharp rise in the amount of revenue generated from the sector if professional auctioneers are invited to conduct public auctioning of items impounded by customs,” he said.
  • Nigeria may curb the supply of natural gas to Ghana because the country hasn’t paid more than a year of bills for the fuel, the West African Gas Pipeline Corporation said. Ghana stopped paying for the fuel from Africa’s largest economy in August of 2014, Harriet Wereko-Brobby, spokeswoman for the pipeline company said. The Nigerian Gas Company sent a letter to Ghana’s largest power producer, the Volta River Authority, announcing the possible cut in supply. Ghana has been struggling to meet power demand because of low water levels at a its largest hydroelectric dam and a lack of natural gas to power thermal plants. Nigeria is the continent’s largest producer of oil and has sub-Saharan Africa’s largest deposit of natural gas. Ghana received as much as 90 million standard cubic feet of gas per day from Nigeria in the past month.