28 Apr

Daily Watch – Sterling denies mass sack, PH DisCo explains blackouts

  • The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative on Thursday said it has commenced the process for a comprehensive independent audit of the oil and gas sector. It said the audit was being conducted in line with the principles and standards of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and would cover 2015 and 2016. The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Waziri Adio, disclosed this at a workshop in Lagos for major oil companies and relevant government agencies, which are expected to participate in the exercise. Adio explained that the workshop was designed to acquaint participants with the structure and content of the template, the kind of questions that NEITI would ask and the answers expected to be provided by the covered entities.
  • The Nigerian Communications Commission has given service providers an ultimatum to quit the use of the 5.4GHz band spanning the 5.470 to 5.725 GHz frequency range within 14 days. In a statement on Thursday, the Executive Vice Chairman, Umar Danbatta, said the frequency was not free but licensed in Nigeria. This, he said, meant that no operator providing any service should jump on to the frequency without obtaining a license, warning of significant retribution if the directive was not complied with. “All concerned operators/companies or any person(s) using this band should note that it is a criminal offence pursuant to the section 122 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 to operate on any frequency not duly assigned by the commission. The consequences of such an act may lead to imprisonment, sanction and forfeiture of equipment used in operating the illegal services,” the statement read.
  • The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), have concluded plans to carry out about ₦60 billion worth projects across the country in 2017. It also disclosed that it facilitated a total of ₦64.4 billion credit risks project in the country between 2012 and 2016, in line with its mandate to provide renewable energy for agriculture, and the adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture approaches. NIRSAL is wholly owned by the CBN, which was incorporated in 2013, as a public-private initiative designed to appropriately define, price and share agribusiness related credit risks. Its core mandate is to de-risk investments and debt finance along the entire agricultural commodity value chain in Nigeria as well as provide technical assistance to the value chain actors and incentivise financial investments in the sector.
  • Sterling Bank has refuted reports claiming it had sacked 650 staffers. The lender explained that it only returned the affected workers to service providers that had earlier assigned them to work with the bank. Although the bank said it had initially refrained from issuing a statement to counter the mischievous claim, “the spread of the falsehood by online reporters has compelled us to come up with this statement to put the record straight. Specifically, the 650 staff being reported are not staff of Sterling Bank. They were assigned to the bank by our service providers and as contained in the Service Level Agreements (SLA), they can be returned to the service providers for reassignment to any other institution by the service providers as they deem fit.” The lender said the number of staff from other banks willing to join it remains high.
  • The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company has blamed rolling electricity blackouts in four Nigerian states – Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers on industrial action by its workers. John Onyi, PHED’s spoeksman, said that the blackouts were a result of a forceful shutdown of the company’s offices and facilities by protesting workers. “PHED wishes to inform her esteemed customers that blackouts currently being experienced in most parts of her coverage area affected Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers and Rivers states. The blackout is as a result of organised labour`s action that barricaded and shut down PHED offices and Injection Substations. The shutdown has made it impossible for power to be wheeled out to all our customers and exposed our prepaid customers to difficulties in vending (payment). However, we are very hopeful that the contentious issues raised by the labour leaders would be resolved soonest,” Onyi said.