After seven months of face-off, , the Nigerian government has finally lifted the suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country.
The government announced the suspension of the social media platform in June 2021, after it deleted a controversial tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari. The government also accused Twitter of working against Nigeria’s interest.
The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi, announced the lifting of the suspension in a statement.
Mr Abdullahi was also involved in the Nigerian government’s negotiation with Twitter.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12 am tonight, 13th January 2022.
“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim.
“In the Memo, the Minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.”
Since the suspension, millions of Twitter users have been unable to use the social media platform in Nigeria unless they use a Virtual Private Network.
Discos gross N2.4trn revenue in 5 years amidst power outage
The Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) raked in a total of N2.4 trillion as revenue between 2015 and 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed.
According to the NBS, revenue generated by the DisCos in 2015 stood at N278.89 billion and rose to N303.03 billion in 2016, showing an 8.65 percent growth rate.
Also, in 2017, revenue generated by the Discos increased by 22.25 percent to N370.46 billion and further rose by 19.48 percent in 2018 to N442.63 billion.
It further increased by 9.03 percent in 2019, to N482.61 billion as well as a sustained positive growth of 9.15 percent when N526.77 billion was collected in 2020.
The statistical agency disclosed this in its June Electricity Report which presents statistics on electricity from 2015 to 2020.
The report focuses on customer numbers, metered customers, estimated billing customers, and most importantly, electricity supply and revenue collected under the reviewed period.
In the 2020 revenue receipt, the highest collection was by Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IEDC) with N102.10 billion. It was closely followed by EKEDC with N81.39 billion while the least collection was recorded in YEDC with N10.64 billion.
Nonetheless, electricity supplied to customers during the period of the review showed an unstable trajectory.
The NBS stated that in 2015, 20,337.40 Gigawatt hours (GWh) were supplied across Nigeria. This fell by 6.36 percent in 2016, when 19,044.30 GWh were supplied. Also, it rose in 2017 by 2.04 percent with 19,432.39 GWh and further rose in 2018 by 10.55 percent with 21,483.25 GWh.
In total, electricity supplied in 2019 stood at 22,450.67 GWh but declined in 2020 by 1.82 percent when 22,042.28 GWh were supplied.
The NBS pointed out that customer numbers under the reviewed period increased successively on a year-on-year basis, with the highest numbers recorded in IBEDC.
Generally, customers numbers rose from 6.99 million in 2015 to 10.37 million in 2020.
Similarly, the number of metered customers increased consecutively on a year-on-year basis from 3.15 million in 2015 to 3.80 million in 2019 but declined to 3.51 million in 2020.
In 2015, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) recorded the highest number, while IBEDC stood top between 2016 and 2019 while Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) recorded the highest in 2020.
The NBS said the estimated billing customer records also showed a year-on-year positive growth rate consecutively from 3.85 million in 2015 to 6.86 million in 2020.
It added that in 2020, the customer numbers were highest in IBEDC with 1,282,136 and lowest in Eko Distribution Company (EKEDC) with 269,022.
The Statistician-General of the Federation, Mr. Adeyemi Adeniran, said: “Today, with the overwhelming global demand for energy and the emphasis positioned by the Sustainable Development Goal (7) on access to energy for all places the need for statistics on electricity as a form of energy.
“Thus, electricity statistics remain a very useful tool for socio-economic planning and development, particularly for a developing economy like Nigeria. These numbers will provide an insight and shape policymaking on improving energy, specifically the electricity supply in Nigeria.”
The report further stated that the trajectory of metered customers had shown annual positive growth rates consecutively except in 2020.
In 2015, metered customers were 3.15 million and rose slightly by 0.23 percent in 2016. This also increased in 2017 and 2018 with 3.57 million and 3.58 million customers respectively.
Metered customers in 2019 stood at 3.80 million, showing a 5.96 percent growth rate, yet lower in 2020 when 3.51 million customers were metered.
AfCFTA Secretary-General allays fears of turning Nigeria into dumping ground
“So, we have to make sure that we are very vigilant against the transshipment of goods, against fraudulent invoicing.
“In the agreement, there are rules: anti-dumping measures, all these rules are meant to protect domestic economies.
“If you see there is the importation of certain goods from certain countries, the agreement allows you to take action against those goods in that country.
“So we have built into the agreement safeguards to make sure that we minimize these.
“Fraudulent invoicing, and transshipment, like any other crimes, those things will always be there, the issue is to mitigate and make it difficult” Mr Mene declared.
“What I always find interesting is that many times, we are willing to accept goods from a country whose name I would not mention that is not on this continent., substandard goods, goods that don’t meet our own requirements, these are the things we have to be vigilant against because it is not a Nigerian market, a Malian market, a Ghanian market, it is AFCTA market.
“We are now creating one market, so if there is dumping in Nigeria, it impacts all of us. If it is dumped in another country, it imparts on all of us.
“So I really appreciate the sensitivity of this issue of dumping and I understand it.
“I mentioned in the previous session that in Southern Africa, there is a sugar that is being dumped from another part of the world that is being brought here, displacing the local market in Southern Africa, and creating job loss.
Auditor General indicts MTN over evasion of Customs duty since 2021
The Office of the Auditor General of Federation has indicted the telecom giant, MTN, over evasion of payment of Customs duties since 2021.
Speaking at the resumed hearing of the investigations on queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation against the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs) of the Federal Government, the Chairman of the committee Hon Oluwole Oluwole Oke, lamented the level of external borrowings by the federal government, saying that the committee’s probe of public funds was aimed at curtailing revenue leakages to boost government treasury.
His statement was coming against the backdrop of tax evasion by the telecom service provider, MTN whose current assets stand at N2.68 trillion in the country, yet does not have proof of customs duty over the years.
Following the failure of the MTN representative to tender the relevant documents to buttress his position that the company was up to date, the committee resolved to write the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) to furnish it with relevant documents, including MTN duty permit so as to ascertain the total amount it owes government since 2001.
Hon Oke, therefore, directed the Clerk of the Committee to write to the Management of the Nigeria Customs Service on the financial indebtedness of the firm to the federal government.
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