A community leader in Ogun State, Chief Toyin Amuzu has called on Governor Dapo Abiodun to be pro-active and as a matter of urgency, rally stakeholders, especially security Chiefs in the State to nib in the bud, the menace of Cattle rearers before it degenerates into self- help as witnessed in Oyo State.
The Okanlomo Ijeun and the Leragun Igbehin, Chief Toyin Amuzu was reacting in Abeokuta, to the incident of some suspected Fulani herdsmen who reportedly shot a woman, Morenikeji Salami, while going to her site on the Oru-Awa Road in the Ijebu-North Local Government Area and the brutality meted out to some residents of Ketu-speaking villages in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, by soldiers who escorted herdsmen to graze in their communities.
He noted that there has been few skirmishes between Fulani Herders and farmers within the State, as well as a great influx of Hausa people, stressing the need for government to be pro-active and ensure they live within the rules and regulations of the areas they have found themselves, as enshrined in the Nation's constitution.
Chief Amuzu charged Governor Abiodun to provide leadership and take seriously the issue of security of lives and properties and not wait till it gets out of hands, saying "much is expected from the governor as the Chief Security Officer of the State".
"The bandits are here in Ogun State terrorising our people, they are in Odeda here. Those in government should stop playing politics of receiving favour from Abuja and protect the lives of our people. Anyone who commits any crime should be treated as criminals by Government, leaving out their ethnicity and occupation. Infact reporting them as Fulani or herdsmen is merely reducing the issue, they are either bandits, armed robbers or kidnappers" he said .
Pointing out that the Seriki Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir alleged to be an accomplice and a receiver of ransom for kidnapped victims have moved to Ogun State, after the unrest in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, Chief Amuzu said it was the responsibility of the State government to put in place security measures that will reduce the palpable fears of the people.
He noted that, any Nigerian can live in any part of the country, but advised that it was not out of place for the government to ensure profiling, Close Circuit Television, CCTV and other security measures.
Chief Amuzu who symphatised with victims of kidnapping, also commiserated with the families of the victims of tanker explosion along the Presidential Boulevard, Kuto axis of Abeokuta metropolis.
He however said banning fuel tankers and articulated vehicles from plying Ogun flyovers as ordered by Governor Dapo Abiodun was mere lip service, without enforcement and putting in place, warning signs and iron barriers that would prevent such vehicles from further using the flyovers.
The crisis in the Ogun State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) took a new twist as loyalists of former Governor Segun Osoba have rejected the list of the state APC caretaker committee.
The Osoba loyalists are alleging that the group loyal to Government Dapo Abiodun had tampered with the harmonised committee list of the party in Ogun.
Recall that the Osoba loyalists in December 2019 disagreed with Gov Abiodun over his list of commissioner nominees, accusing him of sidelining them.
It appears the governor has not done much to pacify the aggrieved party members, who claimed they worked for his emergence as the number one indigene of the Gateway State.
But, the Osoba loyalists in a statement jointly signed by 40 of their leaders in Abeokuta, accused the Sanusi-led committee of “unjustly upturning the collective decision of the majority”.
According to them, the party’s state working committee had ordered that all local governments should have party executives in place.
As a result, all the local governments were said to have submitted their executives list.
While saying the Ogun APC has become factional, the Osoba loyalists said different lists were submitted, including that of Abeokuta South.
“For this reason, Ogun State APC Executive Committee set up a harmonisation committee to resolve all the differences,” a source said.
However, the group said they were surprised to see that the harmonisation lists were tampered with.
They alleged that names that were submitted were replaced, adding that some names that were not in the harmonised list were smuggled-in.
This, they said, is unacceptable and grossly unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, the APC caretaker Committee Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, has assured the aggrieved party members that the issue would be looked into.
Barcelona still owe 19 clubs around £112million in transfer fees, according to their annual financial report published on Monday.
Of that amount, the largest sum they owe is £25m (€29m) to Liverpool.
The LaLiga giants still have a big chunk to pay of the initial £142m deal they agreed for midfielder Philippe Coutinho three years ago.
The transfer was the biggest in Barca’s history and having paid over £105m up front to the Premier League champions for the playmaker, they agreed to pay the rest in instalments over the following years.
While Liverpool have received the majority of this, the financial report shows the Reds are still waiting for a large chunk of this.
Barcelona also owe Bordeux £8.8m for winger Malcom, Gremio an additional £7m for Arthur Melo (now at Juventus) and £14m to Ajax for Frenkie de Jong.
The Catalonians requested from Goldman Sachs, Allianz, Barings, Amundi and Prudential a dispensation for failing to financially comply, which points to a non payment of approximately £178m.
The LaLiga side reportedly have a negative working capital of £535m, with a further £89m owed to other lenders.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has reported 1,430 new coronavirus infections in the country.
The health agency disclosed this via its verified Twitter account on Monday night.
The centre also confirmed the nation’s death toll now stands at 1,507.
The NCDC stated that so far, 98,359 patients have been discharged from treatment centers across the country after showing full recovery from the virus.
It disclosed that Lagos recorded the highest toll with 744 cases, followed by Plateau 100.
NCDC tweeted, 1,430 new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria:
One of the houses of Yoruba rights activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a Sunday Igboho in Soka, Ibadan has been razed by suspected arsonists.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday.
Eye Witnesses said the house was set on fire some minutes after electricity was switched off around the whole area.
This medium learnt that he was living the house, till he moved to a new house he built still in Ibadan.
It will be recalled that, several houses belonging to the Seriki Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, were allegedly set on fire by aggrieved youths in Igangan community of Ibarapa zone of Oyo State, on Friday night after the visit of Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho) to enforce his seven-day quit notice to the Fulani herdsmen in the area.
The Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers has asked the government to stop exposing Nigerians to the risk of losing their lives all in the name of getting National Identity Numbers and linking it to their SIM cards.
The subscriber association said the insistence of the government on the February 9 deadline for the full linkage of National Identification Numbers had led to human deluge at various NIN registration centres in the country.
ATCIS demanded that the government should stop exposing subscribers to ‘what could trigger a disaster beyond the control of the authorities’ by relaxing the deadline, and extending it by another six months.
The association’s president, Sina Bilesanmi, in a statement on Sunday, accused the government of forcing subscribers to fight for their SIMs, while in the process getting their lives endangered due to COVID-19 risks.
He said, “The concern of the association becomes imperative in the light of growing cases of COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the sad loss of lives recorded on daily basis to the disease.
“Since the government has made an irrational decision to disconnect all telephone subscribers without NIN on the stipulated deadline, ATCIS has observed from its visitations to different state centres of the NIMC that the centres had become a breeding ground to COVID-19.”
The ATCIS president charged the government to do better and abolish the fear around NIN-SIM linkage by extending the deadline by six months to avoid losing the gains of the exercise to a COVID-19 explosion.
He noted that a possible explosion in coronavirus cases was more life threatening than a SIM without a NIN.
Bilesanmi stated, “We find it rather absurd for the government to insist on ‘NINing’ of all subscribers within such an unrealistic deadline, given that NIMC had only managed to issue about 43 million NINs even with about 14-year hard work.
“Does the minister really want subscribers to sacrifice their lives to retain their telephone lines? We wonder!”
Bilesanmi also encouraged subscribers to be responsible by observing COVID-19 preventive protocols and urged the 106.2 million subscribers yet to be linked to submit their NINs.
Likewise, the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria advised telecom subscribers to take advantage of the deadline extension for subscribers with NIN to link it to their SIM registration data from 19th January to 9th February 2021.
“We urge all telecom subscribers who have a NIN to link it to their SIM cards through available channels as soon as possible. Those yet to enroll are advised to visit the National Identity Management Commission website for a list of enrolment centres close to them,” ALTON said.
The telecom association appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for giving them more time to deliver on creating a credible national identity database for the country.
The year 2020 was a record-breaking one for African tech start-ups, with 397 companies securing $701.5m worth of investments.
According to the sixth edition of the annual African Tech Start-ups Funding Report 2020 released by Disrupt Africa, 2020 was a record year for investment into the African tech start-up ecosystem, with more start-ups raising more money from more investors than ever before.
The report found that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of startups and the total funding gathered were up substantially on the previous year, with the number of funded start-ups increasing 27.7 per cent as against 2019, and the funding total growing by 42.7 per cent.
This year’s edition of the report also counted at least 370 active investors, marking 42.8 per cent growth on the previous year, when the data tracked 261 investors.
The research indicated that the Nigerian tech space was on an upward trajectory, revealing that the country recorded significant growth in the number of start-ups securing funding in 2020.
According to the report, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt remained Africa’s ‘big four’ from a funding perspective, accounting for 77 per cent of funded start-ups and 89.2 per cent of total investment.
“Nigeria (85), Egypt (82) and South Africa (81) lead the way from a ventures perspective, but when it comes to total combined raised capital, it is Kenya that is Africa’s leader, with start-ups from the East African country raising over $190m in funding in 2020,” the research stated.
It added that though these markets remained clear leaders, there were signs of growing activity elsewhere on the continent, with start-ups backed in 24 African countries, up from 19 in 2019 and 20 in 2018.
Co-founder of Disrupt Africa, Gabriella Mulligan, noted that the growth in funding seen across the continent’s tech ecosystems in 2020 was extremely strong, and all the more impressive given the circumstances of the year.
“As African start-up funding passes the $700m mark for the first time, and more investors pump more money into more markets than ever before, there are no signs of the sector slowing down,” she added.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday announced the extension of phase three of the eased lockdown by one month.
The chairman of PTF, Boss Mustapha, announced this at the weekly briefing of the task force in Abuja.
He said, “In view of the fact that our numbers are not abating, all extant measures prescribed in these guidelines are (subject to some modifications) extended by a period of one month with effect from Tuesday, January 26, 2020.”
First batch of vaccine to arrive in February
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said effort to access and deploy vaccines was progressing.
He said as already announced by COVAX, the initial 100,000 doses Nigeria was expecting would now arrive in the early weeks of February.
He added, “We wish to assure all Nigerians that the vaccines will be safe and effective when eventually it is deployed. We enjoin everyone to join in the campaign to eliminate vaccine hesitancy.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the government was exploring all options to secure safe and efficacious vaccines to meet its target of covering at least 70 per cent of Nigerian population within two years
NYSC camps flouting COVID-19 guidelines’ll be shut
Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, announced that the government will not hesitate to shut down orientation camps of the National Youth Service Corps in any state where the guidelines designed to curtail spread of COVID-19 are being flouted.
“The government will not hesitate to shut down orientation camps in states where the safety guidelines and protocols are not being adhered to.
“Corps members from such states will be moved to adjoining states. We however wish that we will not get to that stage,” the minister said.
Ministry, NCDC, others to meet on school reopening Wednesday
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said his ministry has stepped up the monitoring of compliance with protocols in schools following last Monday resumption.
He disclosed that a meeting would be held on Wednesday with a view to updating the guidelines for schools.
I recorded 28 infections in my houses, says SGF
While answering a question, the SGF recalled that he felt at a time that he could have been infected when he recorded 28 infections in his houses in Abuja and in Yola, Adamawa State.
“I recorded 15 infections in my house in Abuja and 13 infections in my house in Yola. In some of the cases, even my cooks were infected. At a point, it will seem as if the thing will hook me. I lost personal friends to the virus,” Mustapha said.
The liquidity situation in Nigeria’s power sector has worsened, as the indebtedness of the distribution companies, DisCos, to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, Plc., has increased to N396.86 billion, indicating an increase of seven per cent, compared to N368.83 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.
This debt profile accrued by the inability of the 11 power distribution companies in the country to remit a total of N396.86 billion to the NBET for the electricity sold to them from January to September 2020.
The government-owned NBET buys electricity in bulk from generation companies, through power purchase agreements, and sells through vesting contracts to the DisCos, which then supply it to the consumers.
The NBET data compiled by Vanguard Energy show that the bulk electricity trader sent an invoice value of N538.25 billion in the 9-month, but only paid N121.3 billion, which left a balance of unremitted N416.9 billion.
This is, however, against N146.8 billion recorded during the corresponding period, which had an invoice value of N516.44 billion in 2019.
Accordingly, in the first quarter of 2020, total invoice of N156.7 billion was issued to the DisCos, the sum of N54.2 billion of the total invoice was settled, representing 32.53 per cent to N102.5 billion unremittance performance.
This is against the corresponding quarter in 2019, which had N161.26 billion invoice issued, while N33.6 billion was paid, leaving DISCOs with an unpaid NBET Invoice that rose by 5 per cent to N123 billion.
In the second quarter of 2020, as against the corresponding year of 2019, average invoice was N192.4 billion, as against N180.08 billion, while N36.42 billion, as against N55.10 billion invoice was paid, thereby accruing unpaid invoice of N156.01 billion, as against N124.98 billion recorded in 2019.
Also, in the third quarter of 2020, as against the corresponding year of 2019, average invoice issued rose to N189.05 billion, as against N179.66 billion, while N50.67 billion, as against N58.81 billion invoice was paid, thereby accruing unpaid invoice of N138.38 billion, as against N120.85 billion recorded in 2019.
But in the fourth quarter of 2019, average invoice issued rose to N193.66 billion, while N74.20 billion invoice was paid, thereby accruing unpaid invoice of N119.46 billion.
However, Vanguard Energy gathered that the total revenue collected by 11 DisCos from customers in the first quarter of 2020 stood at N114.29 billion out of the total bill of N186.82 billion.
The overall collection efficiency for all DisCos decreased to 61.18 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, representing 8.26 percentage points decrease from the 69.44 per cent collection efficiency recorded in 2019/fourth quarter, Q4, it stated.
Also, the commission revealed that the total revenue collected from customers in the third quarter of 2019 stood at N117.74 billion out of the total billing of N170.28 billion.
It said despite the increase in the billing efficiency recorded in 2019/Q3 relative to the preceding quarter, the total revenue collected as a ratio of the total billing by DisCos (i.e., collection efficiency) in 2019/Q3 slightly decreased when compared to 2019/Q2
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, explained that: “The collection efficiency implies that for every N10 worth of energy billed to customers by DisCos in the third quarter, N3.10 remained unrecovered from customers as and when due.
Further to its decline from the preceding quarter, the collection efficiency by the DisCos is low and has continued to adversely impact the financial liquidity of the industry which, in turn, has led to low investment in NESI.”
While attributing the payment to liquidity, the DisCos have implored the National Assembly to intervene in the current liquidity crisis in the power sector, saying they will need N8.7 billion to comply with the remittance order set by the NERC.
Sunday Oduntan, ANED’s Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, in a breakdown of the required amount, said the DisCos would require N725 million monthly to meet the threshold of 35 per cent remittance level set by NERC in the meantime.
“To meet the new remittance expectations, DisCos will have to finance an average gap of N725 million per month (about N8.7 billion per year), until increased collections bridge the gap,” the DisCos noted.
Explaining the implication of injecting ?725 million monthly to NERC’s expected remittance order, ANED told the committee that the amount represents DisCos average monthly salaries.
“Compliance with NERC order would impair this critical obligation to DisCos staff, which will create labour unrest and reduce overall performance,” the statement said.
It also explained the major causes of the liquidity crisis in the power sector. It said the average technical commercial and collection losses have remained high, due to lack of liquidity, unattractive investment terrain and customer apathy to pay bills.
Meanwhile, KPMG professionals have called for a holistic understudy of the power sector, saying: “DisCos report significant revenues, though they are mostly unprofitable. The DisCo is the collecting agency for the entire sector and, therefore, consolidates the sector’s revenue in its books. Furthermore, in 2019, the DisCos were beneficiaries of tariff shortfall ‘payments’ for 2015 to 2019 from government. These receipts would also have increased their gross revenue for the year.
“Based on the new rule, the DisCos may be liable to significant MT for that year and going forward.”
The sector continues to struggle with liquidity and it will be unfair to use cash that may be better applied towards infrastructure development for payment of taxes, especially by companies with significant losses carried forward from years of unprofitability. It is, therefore, important that the industry and government come together to address this challenge as quickly as possible.
“The power sector is in dire need of implementation strategies that will bring it out of the current debt crisis and address its various challenges. It is, therefore, important that all relevant key stakeholders work together to develop coherent policies and measures to improve the sector.”
The Federal Government says it will close any National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp where the state government does not comply with all the COVID-19 protocols.
The Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, who made the disclosure at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 national briefing on Monday in Abuja said that over 700 corps members from the current batch tested positive for COVID-19.
“It has become necessary that all safety protocols be adhered to.
“Any orientation camp that is not obeying the protocol will simply be closed as the NYSC cannot afford to risk the lives and health of corps members,” he said.
The minister also said that corps members who might be affected if the camps are shut would be reposted to adjoining state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 731 members of Batch B corps members tested positive for COVID-19.
The PTF had conducted the testing of Batch B corps members using RDTs and out of the 35,419 in the Batch B, 731 tested positive as compared to 108 recorded during the Batch A.
Also, of the current stream of corps members, out of the over 22, 000 cases tested, 765 members were confirmed positive.