Posts tagged as: abuja

Nigeria: ‘Ethiopian Airlines Flew 11,000 Passengers in and Out of Kaduna’

Photo: The Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines.

interviewBy Chris Agabi

Ethiopian Airlines was the only foreign airline that operated the Kaduna route when traffic was diverted to allow for repair work on the Abuja airport runway. In this exclusive interview, Mrs Firiehiwot Mekonnen, Traffic and Sales Manager of the airlines, speaks on the impact of the decision on their business, among other issues. Excerpts:

How was the experience as the first international airline to land on the newly resurfaced runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Internal Airport Abuja? Especially that you were complemented with water canon ceremony on your new A350 by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Fire Service Department.

After the rehabilitation, Ethiopia was the first to land. As the pilot tried to explain, it was fantastic. The runway and everything was beyond expectations. The pilot said it was world class. That is how he explained it. I cannot say the technical part but it was good. We were the only international carrier that agreed to fly to Kaduna. So I can say that we actually deserve to land first in Abuja.

As a business, it was a very good thing that we landed first. Beyond that, this is the first time our Airbus A350 is coming to Abuja and it is permanently assigned to Abuja. From now on, we are going to operate with Airbus in Abuja. Again, being the first day that Abuja airport was re-opening and being the first that we brought our Airbus, it was an exciting moment for us.

So why did you decide to dedicate a new Airbus A350 to the Abuja route?

We always want to give the best to our Nigerian customers. We have been here for more than 57 years, giving the best service as a pan-African airline. So we have been here through thick and thin. We have passed through several challenges just like the other airlines but we didn’t suspend our flight. We didn’t reduce our flights; instead we have been increasing our frequencies and our products. You know we are flying to Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Kano. In all these destinations we also have additional aircraft for cargo. It’s not only passengers that we carry. We always give our best to the Nigerian market which is why we are deploying this Airbus to Abuja route permanently.

On the average, daily, how many passengers do you do on the Abuja route?

In and out we do more than 250 passengers per day. But now since we have a bigger aircraft, with a capacity of 343 seats, we are expecting a lot more passengers.

Talking about ET being the only international airline that agreed to fly to Kaduna, what was it that made you take that decision even when the other foreign carriers refused to go? What was your motivation?

Like I explain earlier, Ethiopian Airline is a pan-African airline. We have to be by the side of the government, the public and everybody. So we know that the public needs our services. We did our own inspection on the Kaduna International Airport before we commenced our operations. We advised on what needed to be on the Kaduna airport and they were provided. So everything was okay and that is why we operated to Kaduna.

How rewarding was the Kaduna experience, business wise?

It was fantastic. It was okay. Everything went well. But at first, the traffic was slow. It didn’t pick up the way we expected but later on, it picked very well.

At the end of the six weeks, how many passengers did you process on the Kaduna route?

We processed 11,568 passengers in and out of Kaduna. Out of this 6,456 were outgoing, and 5,112 were incoming passengers.

How much revenue did that fetch you?

In terms of revenue, I have to check. I can’t give you that right now.

The other day the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, opened a conversation with you on the possibility of retaining the Kaduna route going forward. Can you bring us up on that discussion?

We didn’t go that far. We have started speaking with government but we have to do our own analysis. So once we come up with a decision, you will be the first to know. But so far, we are discussing and trying to see the opportunities.

What new services are you offering Abuja passengers?

It’s a brand new aircraft. You can even smell the plastic. But beyond that, it’s coming with more capacity, more comfort, more leg room, more entertainment and more business class seats. We know that Abuja passengers love to fly business class so we are offering more seats with flat beds and all.

Talking about doing aviation business in Nigeria, what would you say are the challenges you face the most?

Just like all the other airlines, we are facing the challenge of foreign exchange remittance. That is our biggest challenge but I hope things will get better.

Nigerian aviation stakeholders have being advocating for international carriers like Ethiopian Airlines to interline with local carriers. So rather than explore new routes, say Kaduna, why not partner local airlines to feed you in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Enugu?

Interlining could also be an option. We are just starting the discussion and we didn’t put all the options on the table on how to go about it.

You’ve been here for 57 years and counting, how is your corporate social responsibility programme like?

We are always doing CSR in Nigeria. We have been doing it. We have been sponsoring programmes, donating to charity programmes, women empowerment, and donating to schools. Maybe I will invite you to some of our CSR programmes so you see what we do in giving back to the Nigerian society. We have one programme once in every two months. Sometimes we donate tickets so the tickets can be sold and the monies used for charity programmes. We do that not only in Nigeria but in other markets we do businesses in.

I like you to do a comparative analysis between Nigeria and your other destinations in Africa, which is the most lucrative for you?

Ethiopian Airlines is the leading aviation group in Africa. We do cargo, we do aviation academy, we do catering and we do MRO etc. We are covering most of the African countries. Nigeria has population that is the difference between Nigeria and other African destinations. The Nigerian market is big. Nigeria is the biggest market in Africa for Ethiopian Airlines.

How much do you make say annually from Nigeria?

Let me just leave the figures part for now.

What message would you like to pass to your customers in Nigeria?

We have been here for a long time and connecting the Nigerian people to the world with non-stop and seamless service with the best modern aircraft. Now we are coming with the Airbus, I hope they will enjoy our services. We are also having promotional fares so that everybody can taste our aircraft. We are offering the promotional fares both on economy and business class to any destination we fly to in the world.

Nigeria: Corbon Expresses Worry Over Quacks in Building Sector

By Cecilia Ogezi

The Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) has expressed worry on the increasing number of quacks and non professionals in the building industry in the country.

In an interview with LEADERSHIP during the 15th induction/investiture ceremony of new builders in Abuja recently, chairman of CORBON, Prof. Kabir Bala noted that quacks were responsible for cases of building collapse in parts of the country.

Kabir reiterated the council’s determination to rid the industry of quackery, just as he noted that the 15th investiture of 106 inductees was strategic, as they have fulfilled basic requirement for registration and licensing.

Also speaking, chairman Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Abuja chapter, Bldr Ogbagha James explained the criteria for choosing inductees to included, study of building as course in any tertiary institution, apprenticeship in a renowned body as well as passing several examinations to qualify.

Earlier in his speech, the minister of power, works and housing, Mr. Raji Babatunde Fashola had reiterated federal government’s preparedness to partner with all stakeholders in the construction industry towards enhancing the quality of construction practice.

Fashola disclosed that the present administration will ensure the enactment of National Building Code to regulate the processes of design and construction of buildings.

Nigeria

Truck Crushes Motorcyclist to Death in Lagos

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Nigeria: Turkish Air Abandons Nigeria Students At Istanbul

Photo: Turkish Airlines

(file photo).

By Lawani Mikairu

Turkish Airline has abandoned pupils and students of Glisten International College, Abuja, in Istanbul, Turkey, after the airline delayed in arriving from the United States of America, USA, to Turkey for the children to connect the same Turkish Airline flight to Abuja.

The team had boarded Turkish Airlines flight from Abuja to US with a stopover at Istanbul Airport. The problems of the students started on the return leg: US-Istanbul-Abuja.

The school management disclosed that the team, which had gone to US to represent Nigeria in a competition a few weeks ago, was forced to part with $40 each, totalling $880 before they were allowed to sleep in the frozen condition at the airport.

The students, between the ages of 11and 15, were made to sleep at the resting area of the airport terminal over night with just blankets provided for them by the management of the airline instead of hotel accommodation.

The school said: “Our pupils, students and instructors went to the US to represent Nigeria and were supposed to return on Monday, but missed the leg to Nigeria because the flight from US, which is equally Turkish Airlines, delayed their flight for an hour and by the time we got to Istanbul, the flight to Abuja had already departed.

“When that happened, we approached them for accommodation for our team, but the airline said they won’t be responsible for accommodation or feeding of our team. Rather, we were told to sleep at the resting room of the terminal and we had to pay from our purse, which negates the international standards.

“These are children between the ages of 11 and 15 years and were exposed to harsh treatment. Could they have done that with their own citizens? Or, will they allow any Nigerian carrier to do that to their citizens in Nigeria?

“I am begging our government to take up this challenge because these kids went to represent Nigeria in the US.”

Meanwhile, efforts to get a reaction from Turkish Airlines in Nigeria proved abortive as the media consultant of the airline, KunmoCom PR, promised to “get across,” which they had not done at press time.

Nigeria

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Nigeria: Kanu’s Bail Conditions and Mixed Reactions

Photo: Daily Trust

Nnamdi Kanu conditions for bail.

By Nwafor Sunday

The Federal High Court in Abuja that granted the leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, bail, through its preceding officer Justice Binta Nyako, on Tuesday issued conditions said to be stringent, unconstitutional, unacceptable and improper in a constitutionally recognized and democratically practiced country like Nigeria.

Not quite some hours ago, Nnamdi Kanu was reported by newsmen to have been granted bail along with his cohorts in Bayelsa state. It is imperative at this point to file up mixed reactions of people over the bailing conditions of Nnamdi Kanu, but first the conditions.

Trial Justice Binta Nyako said her decision to release Kanu on bail was based on health grounds. This means that Kanu is sick and if he had not been ill he wouldn’t have been granted bail by the court.

Similarly, that Kanu should provide a highly respected and recognized Jewish leader as a surety to deposit N100million. That’s a huge sum of money to provide in an economic recovery country like Nigeria.

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Nigeria: Biafra’s Leader Nnamdi Kanu Granted Bail

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In addition to the above it is required that Kanu provides another two sureties of “highly placed person of Igbo extraction such as a Senator”, as well as “a highly respected person who resides and owns landed property in Abuja”. These two mentioned people are equally meant to deposit N100million each. A rhetoric I moan how possible is this possible?Furthering Kanu’s conditions of bail, Justice Nyako breached his constitutional right to associate with people, thus allows him for a dyadic association (not more than 10 persons). According to Justice Nyako “I must stress it here that the defendant must not attend any rally. He must not be in a crowd exceeding 10 persons.”Mixed feelings and peoples reactions:At Umuahia, it was reported that the father of leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, His Royal Highness, Eze Israel Kanu with his wife Ugoeze Sally Kanu, have rejected the bail conditions given by Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja High Court to free his son, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, saying Kanu should be released unconditionally. On the other hand they expressed their happiness over the bail granted to their son and urged their son not to relent in his fight to gain Biafra. According to the mother, “No retreat, no surrender; God will deliver Biafra as He delivered Israel.”Meanwhile the leader of MASSOB, Comrade Uchenna Madu, expressed his happiness over Kanu’s bail and calls it ‘The beginning of the triumphant glory of Light over Darkness’. He equally admonished Kanu, IPOB and MASSOB memebers not to relent in their quest to get Biafra stand as a country.According to him “As the people of Biafra erupted in jubilation all over the world in celebration of triumph of light over darkness, it shows that we are more united in our pursuit for Biafran actualization and restoration irrespective of our different organizations. We know that freedom can never be achieved on a platter of gold.Furthermore, the Chairman of South East Caucus of Interparty Advisory Council, IPAC, Prince Emeka Okafor while welcoming the bail rejected the conditions attached to it, saying that it amounts to denying him his fundamental rights.In Aba newsmen report that it was a celebration galore as youths and women took to the streets chanting pro Biafra songs and singing Kanu’s praises. At the Flyover junction, Asa Nnentu, along the Enugu -Port Harcourt expressway, suspected IPOB faithful numbering over 15,000, lined the highway with green leaves waving at motorists.Their joy was reported to knew no bound as they chanted peacefully to Kanu’s bail singing and ruining the streets of Aba.Finally, they commended the Abuja High court and the preceding office Nyako for granting Kanu’s bail and urged the Federal government to stop harassing Nnamdi Kanu.

Nigeria: Senate, Reps Kick Start Second Runway At Abuja Airport

By Henry Umoru

The National Assembly and the Appropriations Committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives have kick started the construction of second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by injecting N15 billion into the 2017 budget to kick start the construction process, while the Ministry of Transport would take over the procurement process thereafter.

The measure, according to sources close to the National Assembly was to forestall any future closure of the Airport as experienced from March 8 to April 19.

Sources in the National Assembly said that following discussions between the Appropriations Committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as follow up meetings between the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly, it has been agreed that the National Assembly should kick start the process of constructing the Second Runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The source said,”To prevent the type of closure that happened to Abuja Airport recently, which led to loss of huge revenues by the government as well as airlines, the National Assembly has decided to end such haemorrhage and prepare ahead for the future. To start the process without any further delay, the National Assembly has projected the sum of N15 billion into the 2017 budget as take-off funds.”

Construction of the Second Runway at the Abuja Airport ran into bad weather during the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua over the cost of the runway.

The N63 billion quoted as the amount for completion of the job was seen as outrageous and vehemently protested against by some members of the House of Representatives.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who inherited the argument in 2010, when he took over from the late Yar’Adua cancelled the runway project on the basis of the huge cost.

Though a new figure was yet to be arrived at by the incumbent government, it was learnt that the National Assembly has already taken the initiative to inject take off funds into the 2017 budget.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika had also on March 22, during a tour of the Kaduna Airport told newsmen that the Federal Government was looking to the construction of the second runway within the next 24 hours.

His statement presupposes that the executive and the legislature have had exploratory discussions on the issue.

The Minister was quoted as telling newsmen on March 22: “There is a plan by government to squeeze in within the 2017 budget to have a second runway in Abuja. However, we need to learn from previous

mistakes. Since 1995, I, as a person, has been campaigning for a second runway in Abuja because of safety and to make the airport more efficient. But it fell on deaf ears.

“We were lucky during the time of (the late) President UmaruYar’Adua that the government saw reason as to why there should be a second runway. But this idea was condemned, with people saying that the money was too much. Alternatively, you would have campaigned against the cost, but support the project. So kill the cost, don’t kill the project.

“So, yes there will be a second runway in Abuja. Hopefully, within the next 24 months we will have a new runway. There is a second runway in Kano, a military runway; a second runway in Lagos and a second runway in Port Harcourt. So, they have second runways and I think the focus of government now within the limited resources is to do a second runway in Abuja.

“The remaining work, during the concession process, if we need additional runway, the man who wins the concession should be able to give us the additional runway.”

Nigeria: Bill Clinton Bridge Will Be Commissioned Soon – FCT Minister

By Mulikatu Mukaila

As the Abuja airport re-opens for business, the FCT Administration has promised to ease traffic flow on the axis by completing and commissioning the Airport Road and the Bill Clinton Bridge soon.

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, who paid a visit to the project site, yesterday in Abuja, said the opening of the strategic trumpet bridge would further reduce traffic bottlenecks along that route.

The minister assured that effort would be re-doubled to ensure that the trumpet bridge with its loops and tangents were completed in good time and opened to the motoring public within a very short period.

“The Bill Clinton Bridge on the airport expressway is a very important project of the FCT Administration. It is meant to carry traffic in and out of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. With the increased flow of traffic and movement, it’s very important for us to make sure that this very critical bridge is completed,” he added.

“But overall, we are very happy with your work and I think this goes also to show that you are very important citizens of Abuja. You have basically constructed a significant part of the city and we look forward to when we will all come and cut the tape to commission this project,” he stressed.

Nigeria

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Nigeria: What Hope for Kaduna Airport After Abuja’s Upgrade?

On Wednesday, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport resumed operation, six weeks after it was shut down for the repair of its runway. Kaduna Airport was used as alternative while the repair lasted.

Industry sources put the cost of movement of flights to Kaduna, the preparation of the airport to serve as alternative, including associated projects and security at about N3.2 billion.

The Kaduna airport witnessed flurry of activities during the given period when most of the domestic airlines and few international carriers operated at the airport. The temporary designation of the airport as alternative to Abuja galvanised economic activities, creating inevitable market around the airport, as businesses yearned to meet miscellaneous demands of passengers, from eateries to other services.

But now that huge flight traffic has returned to the airport at the Federal Capital Territory, which has become beehive of activities since Wednesday as airlines, which battled with challenging logistics and initial low load factor and passengers that have to travel three hours from Abuja to Kaduna to board their flights, heaved a long sigh of relief.

To effectively serve as alternative to Abuja, Kaduna airport was upgraded to Category 9 with improved fire cover, expanded and rehabilitated runway, improved instrument landing system and erection of the passenger terminal, which was literally abandoned when the airport remodeling progamme was terminated.

The Voice Ominidirectional Radio Range (VOR) at the airport was repaired in addition to the repair of other navigational aids, air traffic personnel were deployed and airspace services and weather reports improved. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was toying with security and perimeter fencing at the height of the period the airport served its purpose.

Before it served as alternative to Abuja, Kaduna airport was receiving about two commercial flights a day, so it was never a busy airport and that explained why there was no hurry to rebuild its terminal as the hajj terminal was put in use for the lean number of passengers that travel through the airport.

However, now that the airport facilities have been upgraded, THISDAY learnt that Arik Air, Medview and Air Peace may operate to the airport. Arik had been operating to the airport in the past.

Industry observers while acknowledging the upgrade of facilities at the airport lamented that they would become underutilised now that traffic has moved back to Abuja.

“From the road reconstruction to the deployment of security operatives, the Kaduna airport projects must have cost over N3.2 billion. They spent billion because all the vehicles from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa were escorted by security operatives in their pick-up vans. So you can estimate how much that cost the federal government. When I travelled from Abuja to Kaduna to board flight to Lagos we were escorted by two policemen in Hilux van until we arrived. All the vehicles that left were escorted. They would put road safety (Federal Road Safety Corp) at the back; they would put police escort in front. The money spent on these activities is crazy,” an inside source told THISDAY.

THISDAY learnt that beyond serving as alternative to Abuja airport, there had been plans to upgrade the airport and make it a very active airport, operating international flights and also given it a prime place by government. To this end, there are indications that government will ensure that an international flight operates to the airport beyond Hajj flights, which operates at least twice every year.

THISDAY authoritatively learnt that the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai had written to the management of Ethiopia Airlines to continue its operation to Kaduna after it served as alternative to Abuja, promising to give it all the support it needs. Although Ethiopia Airlines has not replied the state government but it may give that request a serious consideration because of the good relationship between Nigeria and the airline. Indications show that although the state government made that request to the airline, it is tacitly supported by the federal government and the aviation agencies.

“It has been part of the whole scheme when government announced that Kaduna would serve as alternative airport to Abuja while the runway in the later undergoes repairs. It was a scheme orchestrated to upgrade facilities at the airport, but what was done is not bad. We hope that government should show similar commitment to the upgrade of other airports. In case of emergency, Kaduna is the closest airport to Abuja, so a flight under distress after taking from Abuja has an alternative airport to land in. This is why we advised to ensure that all busy airports have airfield lighting and can operate in the night in case of emergency,” a source remarked to THISDAY.

But this is the reality check. Ethiopia Airlines said that it would designate the latest aircraft to come out of Airbus, Airbus A350 to Abuja airport. It landed at Abuja airport with 265 passengers onboard on Tuesday afternoon, a day before the reopening of the airport. The aircraft has about 343 passenger capacity. Ethiopia Airlines operates Boeing B777 to Lagos with about 350-400 passenger capacity; it also operates to Kano with Boeing B737-800 with about 140 passenger capacity; it operates to Enugu with Boeing 737-800 with similar 140 passenger capacity, so where will the passenger for Kaduna airport come from, considering the airports proximity to Kano and Abuja?

But besides this reality, which seems to stymie the plan to have Ethiopia Airlines or any international operation beyond Hajj services in Kaduna, the Kaduna airport has all the necessary facilities to function as international airport. It has the largest remote parking space among the Nigerian airports. Now it has the most upgraded landing aids and runway. Government should not allow these facilities to be idle, so it should tinker ways to make the airport more functional. Allowing it to be underutilised will not justify the huge resources spent on its upgrade.

Nigeria: Ethiopian Celebrates Reopening of Abuja Airport

Photo: Premium Times

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

By Tewodros Kassa

The Ethiopian Airlines graced the reopening of Abuja Airport yesterday with its modern fleet, Airbus A350-900.

Announcing the reopening, Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde Gebremariam remarked that the Pan African airline has always been source of pride for connecting the African countries among themselves and beyond.

“The A350 is one of the landmarks in our 70 years proud history, providing exceptional levels of luxury and reliability for a totally unique passenger experience.”

Hence, with the reopening of Abuja Airport, the extra features of the game changing fleet, Airbus A350, would be awaiting for the esteemed Nigeria travelers, according to the CEO.

He further said: “We shall continue to avail critical air connectivity options and connect African countries together and far beyond.”

Ethiopian currently operates 20 weekly flights to four Nigerian cities including the reopened airport offering hassle free connectivity.

Abuja Airport had been closed for six weeks for repair works.

Ethiopian presence in Nigeria dates back to the time of Nigeria’s independence, 1960.

In the meantime, the Ethiopian In-flight Catering has won Outstanding Food Service by a Carrier in Africa Awards on PAX International Readership Awards 2017 held in Hamburg, Germany recently.

Through an online balloting process from the magazine’s website, 25 awardees from airlines, airline caterers and suppliers of seating, in-flight entertainment and amenity items have been

honored by readers of PAX International Magazine, which has been covering the cabin services industry since 1997 with print issues, electronic newsletters and website.

Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “Readers of PAX International have spoken out loud and clear and unanimously voted Ethiopian as an outstanding in flight Food Service in Africa.”

Ethiopian Catering facility is capable of producing over 100,000 meals every single day. It also offers on-board duty free items for multiple airlines, as well as VIP and charter flights which often shuttle to and from Addis Ababa.

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Nigeria: Electricity Firms’ Debts Rose to N107bn in 2016

Photo: This Day

Electricity powerlines.

By Simon Echewofun Sunday

The 11 electricity Distribution Companies’ (DisCos) debts for services provided by six electricity market participants amounted to N107 billion by December 31, 2016, Daily Trust reports.

A financial record of the market obtained by our reporter showed that part of the debt was an outstanding payment of N45.3bn for services rendered between February and December 2015 while the balance of N61.9bn debt was owed in 2016, the figures showed.

The debts breakdown indicated that the DisCos were handed out an invoice of N90.8bn from January to December 2016; they however paid only N28.9bn, leaving out the N61.9bn balance. Their average payment performance was put at 32 per cent in the one year period.

Further checks showed that the six Service Providers (SP) who benefitted from the payment are the Ancillary Services, payment to the Market Operator (MO), the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the System Operator (SO), and the Transmission Service Provider (TSP). Both the MO, SO and the TSP are under the public firm, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

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The payment chart showed that while N1.34bn was paid for Ancillary Service, another N383 million was left unpaid in 2016. The DisCos owe the MO N1.9bn after they had paid N242m by December 2016.For NBET, N173m was paid, leaving a balance of N923m; NERC was owed N10.3bn after the DisCos paid N2.49bn in 2016. SO and TSP were paid N2.61bn and N22.07bn in 2016. The outstanding debt brought forward to this year is N11.1bn and N82.5bn respectively.An analysis by our reporter also showed that the best performing DisCos in terms of payment was Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) as it paid N5.06bn, equivalent to 70 per cent of its 2016 debt. However the worst performing DisCo was Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) which paid only N506m, adjudged to be 11 per cent of its 2016 debt.The top debtor DisCos were Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) with N12.87bn outstanding debt; Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) with N12.76bn, and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) with N12.03bn debt profile.The lowest debtors were Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) owing N1.95bn; Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) which owed N4.26bn, and Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) with a debt of N6.47bn.In a recent reaction to the payment pattern in 2016, the DisCos said there energy invoice from the GenCos rose due to the hike in foreign exchange, but without commensurate increase in the current electricity tariff.In an interview over the market shortfall recently, spokesman for the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr. Sunday Olurotimi Oduntan, said, “I am still saying repeatedly that, if we buy a product for N68 and we are only allowed by the fixed tariff to sell at N31, who then bears the responsibility of the shortfall of about N37. That is what government should be talking about.”A core investor in the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Mr. Emmanuel Katepa in an interview confirmed that the invoice from the GenCos to his DisCo rose last year far more than what they got when dollar was pegged at N198 in the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2015.He said: “In terms of payment for energy consumption, AEDC is not above but better than others. One of the things left out in the payment statistics is that, the monthly generation bill (invoice) to DisCos has been going up.”We actually recorded a performance growth without a commensurate tariff adjustment and that was tough for us,” Katepa explained.NigeriaFlights Resume Today at Abuja Airport

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Nigeria: Govt Threatens Sanction Against Defaulting Power Sector Service Providers

By Clement Nwoji and Tunji Omofoye

Abuja and Osogbo — The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has warned players in the power sector to discharge their responsibilities to the consumers as the government would not hesitate to impose sanctions on them when found wanting.

He said every service provider in the power sector must discharge its duties efficiently as no one should expect to have a change under this administration. The minister spoke yesterday at the opening session of the 14th monthly power sector operators’ meeting hosted by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) held at the National Control Centre, Osogbo, Osun State.

He said to have efficient power supply nationwide requires everybody to play his or her role honestly, accountably and efficiently. The minister said the government was verifying debts owed to power distribution companies (Discos) and had paid N374,551,00 owed Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) by the federal secretariat, Abuja.

According to him, the government would not pay debts, which were not properly verified, adding that some of the service providers had failed to furnish the government with the details of the debts owed.

“What this means is that government is determined to enforce the rules in the sector, including on its own self. Government is not above the law. “The daily losses in the power sector are avoidable and they must be avoided. Every loss must be accounted for or paid for. It may be by cash or by sanctions or combinations of both and more. This is a business and I have had cause to say that in any business that is properly run, when losses begin to occur, those who run the business either pay for them through loosing their jobs or resigning,” he stressed.

Fashola maintained that the power sector is heading towards that direction and those who are not ready to work according to rules should ship out of the sector, as government would not hesitate to impose any sanction that would bring about efficient supply of electricity to the people.

He, therefore, cautioned consumers to refrain from attacking service providers, energy theft and vandalisation of facilities as such actions amount to criminality, which the government will not allow to go unpunished.

Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sanusi Garba, said that the commission was committed towards achieving cost reflective tariffs, financial sustainability, consistency in policy, compliance monitoring and enforcement in the power sector.

He warned investors in the power sector against running the business as family business devoid of good corporate governance, adding that they must ensure good revenue management.

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