23 Jun

Daily Watch – Grazing Reserves Bill scales first reading, YEDC investor not refunded a year later

  • The Defence Headquarters has scrapped the Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta and replaced it with Operation Delta Safe. Defence spokesman, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, said the decision is to restructure the JTF for better service delivery, efficiency and effectiveness. Under this arrangement, the Joint Operational Areas of the new outfit have been delineated into 3 sectors and 5 Operational Bases covering the entire Niger Delta, Ondo and Akwa Ibom States. The headquarters of Operation Delta Safe would be in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
  • The Punch is reporting that more than a year after the core investor in the Yola Electricity Distribution Company declared force majeure and returned the firm to the Ministry of Power, the investor has not been reimbursed by the FG. Two government agencies, the BPE and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader, and the have been in disagreement over the refund of about $146.8 million to Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company, which acquired, and later relinquished 60 percent equity in the YEDC. The rift between the two government agencies has not been settled, and it is not clear whether the money would be refunded with interest when the government eventually decides to pay the core investor. The former core investor in the YEDC had on six occasions (between November 2013 and May 2015) served notices of force majeure to the government. The YEDC covers Adamawa, Borno, Taraba and Yobe states. Three of the states of coverage, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe have been badly affected by the war against Boko Haram.
  • The Senate has passed for first reading a bill to establish grazing reserves for cattle across the country. The bill, sponsored by Rabiu Kwankwaso, the senator from Kano Central, is titled National Grazing Reserves Agency Bill, 2016. A similar bill has passed a second reading in the House of Representatives, stirring controversy and public outcry. The bill‎ is coming in the wake of attacks by herdsmen across the country.
  • The West African Gas Pipeline Company has suspended the flow of gas from Nigeria to Ghana over unpaid bills by the Ghanaian government. Ghana’s state power producer, Volta River Authority, owes Nigeria’s N-Gas around $180 million, while N-Gas in turn owes the pipeline company $104 million, WAGPCo spokeswoman, Harriet Wereko-Brobby, told Reuters. N-Gas, a Nigerian gas company, is the main supplier of gas to Ghana’s Volta River Authority through the West African Gas Pipeline. N-Gas had last year said it would cut gas supply by 70 per cent to Ghana’s main power generation company due to unpaid debts of $181 million. Ghana has a deal with Nigeria to receive a contractual 120 million standard cubic feet of gas daily.