Labour suspends planned strike as FG reverses electricity tariff hike
The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have suspended the strike scheduled to commence today (Monday). This followed an agreement reached with the Federal Government at a meeting which started at 8.30pm on Sunday and ended at 2:50am this morning. After exhaustive deliberations on the issues raised by the labour centres, the meeting agreed to suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments for two weeks. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, read the five-page communique signed by the representatives of the government and labour. The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba; and his Trade Union Congress counterpart,
Quadri Olaleye, amongst others signed on behalf of Organised Labour while the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige; Minister of State Petroleum, Timipre Silva; Minister of State Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN); Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed; and the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and others, signed on behalf of the government. Olaleye confirmed the development in an interview with The PUNCH on Monday morning. He said, “Definitely correct. We just left a press conference. We signed a document to suspend the action for two weeks for the government to implement those things that we agreed in the agreement. So, we are suspending for two weeks.
Power generation hits 4,213MW, 16 plants record increase
Electricity generation in the country rose by 979.2 megawatts on Sunday to 4,312.1MW as 16 power plants saw an increase in their output. The number of idle plants dropped to nine as of 6am on Sunday from 11 at 6am on Saturday, when power generation stood at 3,332.9MW, according to data obtained from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator. The plants that did not generate any megawatts of electricity as of 6am on Sunday were Afam IV & V, Sapele II, Alaoji, Olorunsogo II, Ihovbor, Gbarain, Ibom Power, AES and ASCO. Sapele I and Omotosho II, which were idle as of 6am on Saturday, generated 36MW and 26.1MW on Sunday.
The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 per cent of the total generation. Generation from Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro hydro plants, which stood at 182MW, 289MW and 412MW, respectively as of 6am on Saturday, rose to 305MW, 300MW and 450MW on Sunday. Electricity generation from Egbin, the nation’s biggest power station, increased to 454MW as of 6am on Sunday from 304MW on Saturday. Other plants that recorded increases in their outputs on Sunday were Delta (gas), Omotosho I, Olorunsogo I, Geregu II, Odukpani, Okpai, Azura-Edo, Afam VI, Omoku and Rivers IPP.
Apex bank to restore fees on National Collateral Registry
The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will restore fees on the National Collateral Registry platform with effect from November 1. It said this in a circular signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kelvin Amugo, titled, ‘Restoration of fees on the National Collateral Registry platform’, to all banks, other financial institutions and stakeholders in the financial service industry. Part of the circular read, “The regulation on registration of security interests in movable property by banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria enabled the establishment of the NCR, which commenced operations in May 2016. “This regulation was accorded legal backing by the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act, 2017. “Section 22(2) of the Act requires the payment of fees for registration of movable assets used as collateral for accessing loans as well as other services provided by the NCR. “However, the CBN, at inception, waived all payment of fees on the NCR platform to encourage usage by financial institutions. “The attainment of this objective has necessitated a review of the waiver. “Consequently, banks, other financial institutions and the general public are to note that effective November 1, 2020, the CBN would be restoring the fees.”
51,974 informal sector workers get pension accounts
A total of 51,974 informal sector workers have registered for the Micro Pension Plan under the Contributory Pension Scheme since it was launched by the Federal Government in March 2019. The National Pension Commission, in its 2020 second quarter report, disclosed that these workers contributed N42.1m as of the end of June 2020. Part of the report read, “During the quarter under review, the PFAs registered a total of 2,839 contributors under the Micro Pension Plan for whom a total of N7.4m had been remitted to the RSAs as pension contributions. “Cumulatively, a total of 51,974 informal sector workers had registered for the MPP and contributed the sum of N42.1m as at June 30, 2020.” PenCom said that during the second quarter of 2020, six participants converted from MPP to the mandatory CPS sequel to their employment in the formal sector.
This brought the total number of MPP participants who had converted to the mandatory CPS to 18 as of June 2020, it stated. While giving an overview of workers under the CPS, the report said during the quarter under review, the Pension Funds Administrators recaptured 56,990 RSA holders and uploaded their data on the Enhanced Contributory Registration System.
Maritime: Fed Govt mulls tax holiday
In an effort to stimulate investment and boost activities in the maritime industry, especially amid the downturn induced by COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Transportation is seeking a package of tax incentives for the sector. Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who conveyed the Ministry’s position to the Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja, reiterated the commitment of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, towards ensuring the growth of maritime. He said many governments had introduced massive tax reduction or elimination to spur activities in key sectors and rev up their economies during the coronavirus pandemic. Jamoh stated: “The maritime sector is critical in the growth and development of transportation and by extension, international trade in the country.
Thus, the need for Federal Government-oriented programmes and stimulus packages to deliver a response that catalyses a sustainable economic development cannot be overemphasised.” The DG said the proposed incentives included zero import duty for brand new vessels imported by Nigerians or indigeneous shipping firms for use in foreign or domestic trade; 0.5 per cent only import duty for vessels aged between one and five years intended for use in foreign or domestic trade; and one per cent only import duty for vessels aged between five and eight years intended for use in foreign or domestic trade.
Importers cry out as duty, demurrage rise Importers have decried the high cost of importing goods through the seaports. Many importers, investigation has shown, have abandoned their cargoes at the ports because of high exchange rate and demurrage charges at the port. Investigation by The Nation revealed that the cost of importing cargoes through the nation’s sea ports has increased by over five per cent because the exchange rate for all imports has gone up from N361 to N381 per dollar. An importer, Mr Segun Ogunjobi, berated a situation where the bank has banned middle men in the opening of form M. He said dealing with manufacturers is not a tea party. “Although we are aware that rising level of imports and a growing trade deficit can have a negative effect on a country’s exchange rate, but we believe that the reason the CBN took the action is because the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N1.341trillion last year, exceeding its target of N937 billion by 12 percent above N1.20 trillion generated in 2018. ‘’The Federal Government wants more money from Customs and other maritime agencies and that was why they took the action,” Ogunjobi said