Five things to know to start your Friday

Electricity distribution company in the Southweast lament increasing rate of equipment vandalism

Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says it has arrested and handed over eight electricity installation vandals to the police for investigation and prosecution.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Emeka Ezeh, the company’s spokesman, told newsmen on Thursday in Enugu that the arrests were made possible with the support of customers and other stakeholders in its franchise area in the Southeast.

“Within the last quarter of 2022, the EEDC recorded a daily average of attacks on three transformers in its franchise area. The vandals usually drain oil from the transformers,’’ he said.

Ezeh complained about the tactics used by these vandals to steal electricity installations. He explained that these vandals usually drain the oil in the transformers to enable them to steal things from the transformers, thereby exposing them to the risk of blowing up once electricity is restored.

He explained that the mode of operation has been upgraded from just carting away armoured cables and conductors to draining transformer oil.

“Once vandalism happens, our customers are thrown into darkness; homes are affected, and businesses are affected too, as losses are counted amid the inconveniences that a lack of electricity supply brings,’’ he said.

Read also: Labour Party is the party to beat in 2023 general elections, says Nnamani

Focus on issue-based campaigns not defamation, LP urges parties

The Labour Party has advised other political parties, especially the major political parties, to avoid character defamation and focus on issue-based campaigns.

At a news conference organised by the party in Abuja on Thursday, Datti Baba-Ahmed, its Vice-Presidential Candidate, stated this, insisting that failure to deviate from character defamation could impact negatively on the credibility of the poll.

He claimed that insulting and defaming others was a clear violation of the peace agreement signed by political parties on September 28,2022.

“It is not too late to adopt LP’s style of strictly campaigning on relevant practical national issues while respecting individuals and institutions,” he said.
He said that the LP Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, was a successful businessman before joining politics.
“Obi is a two-term governor and a former Vice Presidential Candidate before he moved to the LP. As the Presidential Candidate, he is enjoying tremendous goodwill and overwhelming support from the people.
“In the squabble for second and third positions, some erstwhile major political parties appear to have crossed the boundaries of decency to transgress our peaceful activities and our focus on political schedules.
“On Sept. 29, an eminent group of statesmen under the aegis of the National Peace Committee brought together all the presidential candidates to sign a peace accord, which represents an agreed code of conduct for the 2023 presidential election,” he said.

Osun Govt slams Oyetola for leaving N76bn debt

The Osun State Government has accused the administration of Gboyega Oyetola of leaving a huge debt for the present administration, amounting to N76 billion in unpaid pensions and salaries.

Olawale Rasheed, the spokesman to Governor Ademola Adeleke, on Thursday quoted Bimpe Ogunlumade, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, as having made the claim while briefing officials of the new administration on the financial status of the state.

“The Osun state government has uncovered a monumental debt in salaries, pensions, and insurance commitments incurred by the administration of Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, amounting to N76 billion,” Olawale said in a statement he issued on Thursday.

“The disclosure was contrary to the claim by the former governor that he left N14 billion in cash for the new government, among other bogus claims that have now been found to be outright falsehoods,” the statement added.

South Africa’s Ramaphosa has all options over panel report – spokesman

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has “all options on the table” regarding a report by a panel of experts that found preliminary evidence that he may have violated the constitution and committed misconduct, Ramaphosa’s spokesman said on Thursday.

According to Reuters, at a briefing for reporters, Ramaphosa’s spokesman said Ramaphosa was still consulting about the report’s recommendations and apologised for giving the impression that Ramaphosa was uncooperative.

Dollar shakes as inflation recedes, jobs data in focus

Reuters reported that the dollar held firm on Friday morning but was pinned near 16-week lows against a basket of major currencies as data showing increased U.S. consumer spending emboldened investors’ hopes that the peak in interest rates was in sight.

The dollar index, which measures the currency against six major peers including the yen and euro, rose 0.05 percent to 104.71, not far off Thursday’s trough of 104.56, the lowest since Aug. 11.

Reuters also added that data on Thursday showed that U.S. consumer spending in October increased at its greatest pace since January and the labour market remained resilient, with the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits declining last week.

Thursday’s positive news comes after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that it was time to slow rate hikes, noting that “slowing down at this point is a good way to balance the risks.”

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