President Muhammadu Buhari says the decision to adjust the electricity tariff is one that is regretted by the Federal Government.
He is, however, relieved that the tariff review is not about the increase – which will only affect the top electricity consumers – but establishing a system that will definitely lead to improved service for all at a fair and reasonable price.
The President made the remarks on Monday in Abuja at the first-year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat where he was represented by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Earlier, he reacted to the increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, which most marketers sell at a minimum of N160 per litre.
“The other painful adjustment that we have had to make in recent days is a review of the electricity tariff regime.
“If there is one thing that we have heard over and over again, it is that Nigerians want consistent and reliable power supply. So, the power sector remains a critical priority for the administration,” President Buhari said.
He stressed that the protection of the poor and vulnerable while ensuring improved service in the power sector, was also a major priority for the government.
Timing Of Petrol, Electricity Tariff Increase
President Buhari added that the policies of his administration such as the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) and other socio-economic schemes have shown that they remained focused on improving the welfare of the common man.
“There have been some concerns expressed about the timing of these two necessary adjustments.
“It is important to stress that it is a mere coincidence in the sense that the deregulation of PMS prices happened quite some time ago, it was announced on 18 March 2020 and the price moderation that took place at the beginning of this month was just part of the on-going monthly adjustments to global crude oil prices.
“Similarly, the review of service-based electricity tariffs was scheduled to start at the beginning of July but was put on hold to enable further studies and proper arrangements to be made,” he explained.
According to the President, the implementation of a ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller Policy’ for the power sector has opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to homes and industries.
He revealed that the government was also executing some critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, which would result in the transmission and distribution of a total of 11,000 Megawatts by 2023.
Buhari Seeks Senate Approval for Fresh N2.3trn External Loan
The President, Muhammadu Buhari , has asked the Senate to approve another N2.3trillion ($6.18bn) external loan.
This is contained in a letter addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and read at plenary on Tuesday.
Buhari said the proposed loan which is equivalent to N2.3trillion is to finance the 2021 budget deficit of N5.6 trillion.
Buhari said the loan would enable the Federal Government to fund critical infrastructural projects in transportation, health, and education among others.
This is coming barely a month after the Senate approved the sum of $1.5bn and €995 million external borrowings for the Federal Government.
The loans were part of the $5.5 billion and €995 million external borrowings Buhari had, in May 2020, asked the Red Chamber to approve to finance various priority projects of the federal government and to support the state governments facing fiscal challenges.
Armed Thugs Disrupt NLC Protest in Kaduna, Wabba Accuses El-Rufai
The protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress on Tuesday turned violent as armed thugs attacked the workers, throwing stones at them.
The workers had converged at the popular NEPA roundabout in the Kaduna capital city to continue the day two of their protest when the thugs invaded the area and started throwing stones and other dangerous weapons at them.
The attack forced many of the protesters to scamper for safety.
It is not known who actually sent the thugs, but the NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba has pointed accusing fingers at the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Speaking with newsmen amid the protest, Wabba said he informed the DSS after he received earlier information of the plan to disrupt the protest.
“Today is a very sad moment in the history of democracy in Nigeria. Early in the morning today, we got credible information that El-Rufai has hired one Alhaji Hassan and some thugs to come and attack us.
“While we are here, they came but thank God we have chased them away because we have the number. We are not thugs And We Are Not Using Thugs we are Nigerian workers,” Wabba told Channels Television.
The armed thugs were dispersed by security operatives with teargas.
Wabba is leading day two of the NLC protest despite being declared wanted by the Kaduna State government.
Nigeria Receives £4.2m Ibori Loot
Nigeria has received the £4.2million seized from the associates of convicted former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori from the United Kingdom.
This is according to the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who disclosed this on Tuesday via a statement issued by his spokesman, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.
He confirmed that the “Federal Government of Nigeria has received GBP 4,214,017.66 of the loot associated with the family members of former Delta State Governor, James Ibori.”
According to the statement, “the amount has been credited into the designated Federal Government account with naira equivalent value of the amount as of 10th May 2021.”
Malami was said to have signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the repatriation of the Ibori loot on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Minister said the development was a demonstration of the recognition of reputation Nigeria earns through records of management of recovered stolen Nigerian stolen in the execution of public-oriented projects.
On May 3, Malami had announced that the United Kingdom would repatriate the looted fund to Nigeria any moment from now.
He had explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was working tirelessly to ensure the return of looted Nigerian assets kept outside the country’s territorial boundaries, adding that that the Federal Government of Nigeria was in touch with the UK government on the matter.
“Documentations with the banks in different countries often take longer than anticipated. We anticipated two weeks but we are not in control of the banks.
“There is neither complacency nor any delay as efforts are being made to ensure successful transfer of the looted funds,” he said.
He noted that the Federal Government is working assiduously to make sure that the transfer goes through successfully.
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