- As the petrol shortages bite harder, power generation has dropped, often without any explanation. The latest output recorded is 2,620MW. Out of this, Ikeja Electric got 393.14MW, Ibadan got 340.72MW Abuja got 301.40MW, Eko DISCO got 288.30MW, while Benin Electricity Company and Enugu Electricity Company got 235.88MW each. Allocation to other distribution companies are as follows: Kano – 209.67 MW, Kaduna – 209.67MW, Port Harcourt – 170.36MW, Jos – 144.15MW, and Yola – 91.73MW. The deterioration incidentally has continued since President Buhari promised that the country will achieve 10,000MW of electricity by 2019. Apart from the President, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had also promised that power generation would increase this year by 2,000MW.
- Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, has appeared before the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to explain reasons for the acute fuel scarcity across the country and the efforts being made by his ministry to resolve the embarrassing phenomenon. Kachuikwu promised that the scarcity will end on or before the 7th of April. Kachikwu attributed the current fuel scarcity to lack of importation by the major oil marketers; diversion of the products by marketers; pipeline vandalism; panic buying and non computerisation of distribution network to monitor trucks. He pointed out that oil marketers had stopped fuel importation, forcing the NNPC to overstretch its capacity, human resources and facilities to attempt to bridge the gap.
- Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily programme, Muda Yusuf, the director-general of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has attributed the problems of the petroleum downstream sector to government’s insistence on playing a dominant role in importing and distributing fuel, resulting in its being responsible for the perennial fuel scarcity which is gradually bringing Nigeria’s economy to its knees. The body has also asked the administration to stop impeding growth and development of the downstream sector through unnecessary direct interference. It urged government to further get out of the business of fuel importation by deregulating and liberalising the downstream sector, so that private players can be allowed in, while government restricts itself to regulation.
- Registering landed properties in Nigeria has continued to pose a major challenge to buyers, which explains why the country touted as the largest economy in Africa has been ranked 185th out of 189 economies in ease of registering property, by the World Bank Group. The ranking which is contained in the Group’s recent report on Doing Business in Nigeria also ranked the country 129th out of 189 economies in ease of starting a business, lending support to an earlier ranking of the country 96 out of 97 – one above Sudan – in the Jones Lang Lassalle (JLL) 2012 global real estate transparency index. The country lags behind Ghana, Thailand and New Zealand in ease of registering property, just as its mortgage sector has the least contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) relative to other countries of the world. Nigeria has also been ranked 171, 62, 140 and 187 out of 189 economies in ease of dealing with construction permit, protecting minority investors, enforcing contracts and getting electricity respectively, making it the 170th economy out of 189 in the overall ranking indices. Though there have been efforts by some state governments, especially Lagos, to review their procedures, traditionally, registering a property in Nigeria takes an average of 12 procedures, lasts nearly four months and costs over 10 percent of the property value, as against neighbouring Ghana, where it requires just five procedures, 34 days and 1.3 percent of the property value.