Five things to know to start your Thursday

NBET to increase power supply to 5, 500MW in 2023

The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC (NBET) says it plans to increase power supply to 5,500 megawatts (MW) in 2023 to boost electricity in the country.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Nnaemeka Ewelukwa, the Managing Director of NBET, said this on Wednesday in Lagos at the 2nd Capacity Workshop for Power Correspondents, Civil Society, and Other Stakeholders.

Ewelukwa said that NBET’s board, headed by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, has endorsed the restructuring of the company.

According to him, the restructuring is to make NBET a market enabler or facilitator, which should allow it to expedite market growth to a “point of self-sustaining.”

“NBET is putting in place a lot of initiatives that will improve power supply in the country.

“Under the first phase of such initiatives, it is expected that the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry will be able to generate, transmit, and distribute 5,500 MW, and this power will be paid for.

“Following the success of this trial phase, a further 1,000 MW will be added to the activated contracts in the following year, bringing the total to 6,500 MW.

“This will improve the capacity of the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) on an incremental basis,” he said.

Read also: CBN’s $250m intervention key to improving electricity transmission, distribution Stakeholders

2023: INEC deploys 4,104 BVAS in Adamawa

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has deployed 4,104 Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in Adamawa.

Dahiru Jauro, INEC’s public relations officer in the state, said this at a two-day conflict mitigation and prevention dialogue ahead of the 2023 general election on Wednesday in Yola.

The training exercise is being organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and supported by the State2State project.

He said the commission had made significant progress in its preparations to ensure credible elections in the country.

According to NAN, the INEC official, had expressed disappointment with the slow pace of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) collection in the state and urged those who registered to pick up their cards.

“For us to have access to quality basic education, quality healthcare service delivery, water, sanitation, and hygiene services, among others, we must move into action by collecting our PVCs.

“And also come out on election day to cast your vote,” he said.

Oshiomole discredit Atiku’s candidacy as being weakest

Adams Oshiomole, the former governor of Edo State and National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), has described Atiku Abubakar, the presidential flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as a “serial betrayer” and the “weakest” of all the major candidates seeking to replace President Muhammadu Buhari come May 2023.

Oshiomhole made the remark during an interview on Channel TV Politics Today on Wednesday.

Oshiomhole said Atiku is the weakest link right now among the three leading candidates, which also include Tinubu and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).

He said that the PDP presidential candidate lacks the integrity and character to move the country forward, having moved from the PDP to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), back to the PDP, to the APC, and finally to the PDP since 1999.

“It speaks to character. When you have a sense of belief, you cannot be jumping from one party to the other every other election,” he said.

The former APC national chairman said Atiku’s ambitions are only for himself and not for the country.

Bitcoin on the road to irrelevance, says ECB

The European Central Bank said that Bitcoin is on the “road to irrelevance” as it slammed the cryptocurrency as a “speculative bubble” with no productive value.

According to Cityam, ECB officials Ulrich Bindseil and Jürgen Schaaf wrote in a blog on Wednesday morning that Bitcoin was in an “artificially induced last gasp,” which was inevitable even before the implosion of crypto exchange FTX earlier this month.

The ECB officials’ summation came following the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange company. A situation that drove the prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies downward, crashing to 2021 lows.

The Bitcoin crash in price has resulted in the loss of billions of dollars in investor and creditor funds, with regulators trying to stop the tide.

Bindseil and Schaaf attacked the currency today and said it was “not suitable as an investment.”

“It does not generate cash flow (like real estate) or dividends (like equities), cannot be used productively (like commodities), or provide social benefits (like gold),” they wrote.

“The market valuation of bitcoin is therefore based purely on speculation.”

They added that it relied on “new money flowing in” and was subject to price manipulation from those in the space.

“Big Bitcoin investors have the strongest incentives to keep the euphoria going,” Bindseil and Schaaf said.

Sam Bankman-Fried denies committing fraud

In his first public appearance, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, has distanced himself from the alleged fraudulent activities that resulted in investors and creditors losing billions of dollars.

Bankman-Fried, speaking via a video link at the New York Times’ Dealbook Summit with Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wednesday, denied any involvement in fraud, saying that he did not knowingly commit customer funds on FTX with funds at his proprietary trading firm, Alameda Research.

“I didn’t ever try to commit fraud,” Bankman-Fried said in the hour-long interview, adding that he doesn’t personally think he has any criminal liability. This is according to Reuters.

He also denied knowing the full scale of Alameda’s position on FTX, claiming that it caught him by surprise.