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Multipurpose ID card, electricity payment refund… business stories to track this week

NERC to DisCos: Upgrade existing meters by July 31 or face sanction NERC to DisCos: Upgrade existing meters by July 31 or face sanction

Here are the seven top business stories you need to track this week — April 8 to April 12.

DANGOTE REFINERY BEGINS SUPPLY OF DIESEL, JET FUEL

Dangote Petroleum Refinery has started supplying petroleum products to the domestic market.

The oil firm has also fixed the minimum volume of automotive gas oil (AGO), also known as diesel, that can be purchased by oil marketers, at one million litres.

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Confirming the development, Abubakar Maigandi, national president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said the refinery started selling the product to marketers on March 2.

“The Dangote Petroleum Refinery set a target of one million litres as a minimum limit for marketers who want to purchase diesel,” he said.

NERC APPROVES NEW RATES FOR ELITE CUSTOMERS

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On April 3, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) approved a tariff increase for Band A customers.

Musliu Oseni, NERC vice-chairman, announced the approval during a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.

Oseni said customers under the classification, who receive 20 hours of electricity supply daily, will pay N225 per kilowatt (kW), starting from April 3 — up from N66.

He said the new rate is just about three times the existing rate.

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Also, Adebayo Adelabu, minister of power, said only 1.5 million customers — out of 12 million — are affected by the tariff hike.

FG RAISES DOMESTIC BASE GAS PRICE FOR POWER FIRMS

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) says the new price of natural gas for power generation companies is now $2.42 per metric million British thermal units (MMBTU).

The agency announced the new domestic base price and wholesale prices of natural gas for 2024 in a statement on April 2.

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The domestic base price is the minimum amount at which natural gas can be sold to the domestic market.

The review, which is a raise from the previous rate of $2.18 MMBTU, could lead to a tariff hike as Nigeria generates over 70 percent of its electricity from power plants that are powered by gas.

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The NMDPRA also pegged the cost of commercial gas at $2.92 MMBTU, up from the previous cost of $2.5 MMBTU.

The adjustment comes amid calls by oil and gas companies for a migration to cost-reflective tariffs to attract investment.

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‘REFUND OVERBILLED CUSTOMERS BEFORE APRIL 11’

The NERC also directed all electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to refund customers wrongly billed with the new rate.

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Abba Terab, NERC’s deputy general manager in charge of market competition and rates, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

He said customers should be refunded through energy tokens no later than April 11, and file evidence of compliance with the commission by April 12.

On April 5, NERC fined Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC) N200 million for overcharging customers.

NERC said AEDC must reimburse affected customers by April 11.

FG TO LAUNCH MULTIPURPOSE NATIONAL ID CARD

The federal government has unveiled plans to launch a multipurpose national identity card.

The identity solution is equipped with payment capability for all types of social and financial services.

According to a statement, the initiative is a collaboration between the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

The NIMC said the project, powered by AfriGO, a national domestic card scheme, would drive growth and facilitate financial inclusion.

OBAZEE CONCLUDES INVESTIGATION OF CBN UNDER EMEFIELE

President Bola Tinubu, on April 5, commended Jim Obazee for his services as a special investigator as he concluded his probe on the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and related entities.

In July 2023, Tinubu appointed Obazee, a former chief executive officer (CEO) of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), as a special investigator.

Tinubu had said the special investigator would also work on a comprehensive report on public wealth currently in the hands of corrupt individuals and establishments.

DANGOTE, MIKANO, 105 COMPANIES BENEFITING FROM FG’S TAX HOLIDAY

About 107 companies are currently benefiting from the federal government’s tax exemption.

This is contained in the fourth quarter (Q4) 2023 report on pioneer status incentive applications published by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

The pioneer status incentive (PSI) is a tax holiday that grants qualifying industries and products relief from payment of corporate income tax for an initial period of three years, extendable for one or two additional years.

According to the report, the number of beneficiaries enjoying pioneer status under the Industrial Development Income Tax Act increased from 83 in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 to 107 firms by Q4 of 2023.

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