• Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Five things to know to start your Thursday


NERC urges power consumers to quickly update their meters

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has urged prepaid meter users to update their meters to prevent losing them by November 2024.

According to the commission, un-updated prepaid meters will cease to operate by that date, aligning with global standards for such meters. Electricity distribution companies will provide two free Key Change Tokens to facilitate the update without affecting meter units or speed.

Kaduna Electric stressed the importance of this worldwide development and advised customers to obtain the rollover token from their cash offices to ensure their meters remain functional without additional costs or speed changes.

Read also:Before ECOWAS sanctions, Niger planned to cut electricity dependence on Nigeria

Ministry of Finance encourages MDAs to reduce administrative expenses

Okokon Udo, the Permanent Secretary of Special Duties at Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Finance, emphasized the necessity of cost-cutting in government operations.
He pointed out that governments face economic resource constraints while citizens’ needs continue to grow.
To address this, the Federal Government established an Efficiency Unit to reduce wastage, plug leaks, and minimize costs across all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
Udo stressed the importance of efficient resource utilization and urged government officials at all levels to adopt a culture of efficiency to maximize the impact of government resources in a productive manner.

Telcos assert that present data, call tariffs are unsustainable

Telecom companies in Nigeria have raised concerns about the sustainability of current call, data, and telecommunication service prices.

The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria, Gbenga Adebayo, highlighted these issues during a speech at an industry event.

He cited factors such as rising energy costs, limited access to foreign exchange, and the devaluation of the naira as contributors to the industry’s challenges.

Adebayo stressed the need for a difficult conversation about pricing, as current rates are unsustainable and below cost.

Telcos have been pushing for price increases due to increased operational costs.

Adebayo also emphasized the importance of keeping the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) independent, as political interference has led to issues like the USSD debt with banks.

The NCC generated significant revenue from spectrum band licenses for 5G services, and the local SIM card industry has grown substantially following the ban on foreign SIM cards.

Despite these successes, Adebayo and others in the industry believe that a reevaluation of pricing is necessary to ensure sustainability.

Zimbabwe sets extra day of voting in selected wards after delays

Zimbabwe has extended voting in some wards by a day due to late ballot paper distribution, as declared in a presidential decree.

On the initial voting day, long lines formed as Zimbabweans yearned for economic change, but doubts lingered over the ruling ZANU-PF party’s willingness to allow a credible election or relinquish its grip on power.

The presidential notice cited 40 affected wards, including 11 in the capital, Harare.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, seeking re-election, faces economic turmoil from his first term.
Analysts suggest the electoral field favors ZANU-PF, with foreign lenders linking debt resolution to a free and fair election. The outcome remains uncertain in a nation yearning for change amid economic challenges.

Biden unsurprised by report of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death

Reports of the death of Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash have raised intrigue, with U.S. President Joe Biden expressing little surprise, hinting at President Vladimir Putin’s involvement in most Russian affairs.

Analysts speculate that Putin might be using this incident to send a message to potential turncoats or to signal his support for the military, which Prigozhin had recently undermined with a failed mutiny.

While Russian authorities confirmed Prigozhin’s presence on the crashed private jet, independent verification is lacking.

The circumstances surrounding Prigozhin’s death highlight divisions within the Russian elite and add complexity to Russia’s international role, given his past involvement in election interference.