The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has urged Niger, Togo, and Republic of Benin customers to pay $9 million outstanding power bills.
Usman Mohammed, managing director of TCN, while speaking in Abuja started that these countries can not be allowed to cheat Nigeria.
According to Mohammed, since he came into office, those countries have accumulated a bill of over $100 million.
“It is not because I am the chairman of the West African Power Pool (WAAP) that I will be allowing international customers to cheat Nigeria,” Mohammed said.
“When I took over as MD TCN, both Benin and Togo were owing Nigeria more than $100 million. The debt now remains $7 million.
“Niger is owing less than $2 million. In short, we are not leaving them. We disconnect them as we disconnect customers here in Nigeria. Electricity is not charity. We cannot just allow people to consume electricity and leave us like that.
“As at now, we have restricted their supply to only their contracted ones. We are insisting they pay all their outstanding bills before we reconnect them and we increase the off-take.”
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said in its 2019 report that the international customers refused to pay for the energy invoice issued to them.
“During the quarter under review, the special and international customers made no payment to NBET and MO. The invoices issued to Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd (designated as special customer) and international customers (i.e., Societe Nigerienne d’electricite – NIGELEC and Communaute Electrique du Benin–CEB) stood at ₦0.32billion and ₦10.85billion respectively,” the report said.
2020 Finance Bill Exempts Minimum Wage Earners From Tax: Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that the recently proposed 2020 Finance Bill will exempt workers earning the minimum wage from paying tax.
Buhari disclosed this on Monday in a speech delivered virtually by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the opening session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit Group Conference themed: “Building Partnerships for Resilience.”
“We are proposing in the new Finance Act that those who earn minimum wage should be exempted from paying income tax,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
“These provisions which complement the tax breaks given to small businesses last year will not only further stimulate the economy but are also a fulfilment of promises made to take steps to help reduce the cost of transportation and the impact of inflation on ordinary Nigerians.”
Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has revealed that Nigeria would emerge from recession in the fourth quarter of this year or by the first quarter of 2021.
Speaking on Monday at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab said the current recession would be short-lived.
She blamed COVID-19 for the current recession, saying it followed the pattern across the world where many countries had entered an economic recession.
“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth,” Ahmed said.
Court Remands Nigerian Senator, Ali Ndume, In Prison
Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial district has been ordered on Monday by a federal high court to be sent to prison.
The order follows his inability to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, whom he stood as surety for in his corruption and money laundering trial.
The high court, sitting in Abuja was presided over by Justice Okon Abang and ordered Senator Ndume to be remanded in Kuje correctional centre.
Justice Abang, however, gave three conditions upon which Ndume can regain his freedom namely payment of N500m bail bond into the Federation Account of the Federal Government and present evidence of such payment in court or the FG sells the property situated in Asokoro, Abuja which Ndume pledge as security for the bond and present evidence of sale and payment of the N500m realised into the Federation Account or he (Ndume) produces Maina, who is believed to have now jumped bail, in court.
Shortly after the pronouncement by the Judge, Senator Ndume was led away from the courtroom by security operatives.
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