19 May

Daily Watch – NLC strike stutters, DISCOs face revenue squeeze

  • The NLC has commended its members and civil society allies for turning out “enmasse” to prosecute the strike action against the increase in pump price of petroleum product. The congress praised those who supported the protest, for taking action “in spite of teething challenges”. The strike fell short of expectations and had little effect on normal activities in several states. Full compliance was recorded only in a few states. However, the union vowed to continue with the protest, saying “no reasonable struggle comes easy, and this cannot be different”.
  • Electricity distribution companies have said their inability to obtain foreign exchange to import equipment and a revenue shortfall of N300 billion are some of the factors hampering their operations. This comes in the face of crippling blackouts across Nigeria. Some firms have said that the low electricity generation caused by gas supply shortages as a result of pipeline vandalism meant that power distribution by them would be low. The Executive Director, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distribution Companies, Sunday Oduntan, told the Punch that the ability of the industry to meet its service delivery obligations was severely being constrained by the lack of access to foreign exchange.
  • Corporate or Individual businesses operating in Nigeria can now invest in the country’s infrastructure with a hope of getting a 30 percent tax break. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said that the first beneficiary of the new policy is a subsidiary of the Dangote group, which received approval by the Federal Executive Council for the construction of a section of Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin road, specifically the section between Obajana-Kabba road using cement. According to Fashola, this is demonstrative of how “perhaps we should continue to build going forward in order to reduce maintenance on the road and the company proposing to fund the construction of that section of the road in exchange for some tax remissions.” Fashola said his ministry had presented a memo before the FEC seeking to take advantage of an existing policy on benefits of tax policies for the purpose of driving infrastructural development and renewal.