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FG’s Hike in Electricity Tariff Insensitive, Unpopular, Will Attract Consequences – NLC

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The Federal Government, on Friday, insisted on the 240 per cent hike in tariff payable by power consumers in the band ‘A’ category despite calls for its reversal.

It also revealed that the subsidised power pricing regime would be for the short term, with a transition plan to achieve a full cost-reflective tariff within a period of three years.

However, the decision did not go down well with the Nigeria Labour Congress, which told the Federal Government to prepare for the consequences of the tariff hike, which it described as wicked and unpopular, stressing that since the government preferred to listen to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, it should be ready to face the consequences.

The Head of Information, NLC, Benson Upah, told Saturday PUNCH, “We did say earlier that this tariff hike is insensitive and unpopular. So if the government elects to continue with the hike or persists in something that is evil, I’m sure it is equally prepared for the consequences of that evil.

“The manufacturers are saying this is going to hurt businesses and make the environment more hostile, and we also said so. There is no place in the world where high power tariffs have supported manufacturing. Not even in the developed world.

“So, it completely beats our imagination for the minister to have the audacity to say that the policy would continue. What this means is that the minister and the President are not in charge. It is saddening that the minister elected to pursue an unpopular policy.”

Upah added, “It shows that the minister and the President are not in charge. The people in charge are the World Bank and the IMF. They are the ones driving this highly injurious policy.

“So, our leaders should be prepared for the consequences of this highly injurious policy. That is what I’ll say about this issue for now.”

Manufacturers and the organised labour had kicked against the hike in tariff payable by about 1.9 million consumers, which was approved and announced by the Federal Government on Wednesday.

Subsidy on electricity was withdrawn completely from the tariff of consumers on the band A category, which constitute about 15 per cent of the total 12.82 million power consumers across the country.

The government announced the hike in electricity tariff at a press briefing in Abuja by NERC, adding that those affected would pay N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68/kWh, representing about 240 per cent increase.

The government stated that the decision took effect on April 3, 2024.

But the Organised Private Sector, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress kicked against the hike in tariff for power users and demanded that the decision be reversed.

They argued that the hike in tariff would send manufacturers out of business, worsen inflation and stifle small and medium enterprises, adding that there was no place in Nigeria currently enjoying up to 20 hours of power supply daily.

Band A power users are those who get up to 20 hours supply of electricity daily.

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Why We’re Charging Helicopter Landing Fee – Aviation Ministry

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The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development on Monday said the introduction of helicopter landing levies was in line with global best practices and cost recovery measures.

This is contained in a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, Head, Press and Public Affairs of the ministry in Lagos.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the ministry recognises the importance of helicopter operations in Nigeria’s aviation industry and is committed to implementing international best practices in helicopter operations.

He said that helicopter landing levies were commonplace in countries such as the US, the United Kingdom, India and various other regions worldwide.

He maintained that Tallahassee International Airport in Florida began implementing helicopter landing levies under Vector Airport Systems, since 1 October 2022.

Mr Oluseyi said helicopter landing levies were common across airfields in the United Kingdom, ranging from major commercial ones, to small general aviation fields.

He added that, typically, helicopter levies matched or exceeded those for fixed-wing aircraft, and varied based on factors like location and services provided.

“The federal government has granted NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Ltd exclusive rights to collect helicopter landing levies in line with the MoU between NAEBI Concept and NAMA (focal Agency), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“It is instructive to note that NAMA, under the Act as amended in 2022, is empowered to collect aeronautical revenues in both the upper and lower airspace to support her self-sustainability.

“However, over the years, NAMA has predominantly relied on the upper airspace for her revenue generation.

“Government in her wisdom, having discovered a lacuna on the lower airspace where helicopter operations is dominant, directed NAMA to live up to its responsibilities, to enable them generate enough resources, to sustain their aeronautical architecture, enhance security and surveillance and improve the overall quality of helicopter operations in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the government is confident that the move will improve capacity, efficiency, safety, security and attract more investments in the aviation industry.

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Fubara Vows to Probe Previous Rivers Administrations

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Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has said he will set up a panel of inquiry to look into the affairs of governance in the state.

Fubara disclosed this during the swearing-in and administration of the oath of office on Dagogo Iboroma, SAN, as the Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice.

The governor criticised recent comments by the former Attorney-General of the State and Justice Commissioner, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, who resigned from his cabinet over a fortnight ago and urged the new Attorney-General to defend the state.

Fubara stated, “It is not the one that while you were here… the only thing you do is to sabotage the government.

“Instead of you to close your mouth, you publicly claim that you’re a learned person to tell people that you’re the Chief Law Officer. Chief Law Officer, you were here and went to stand before a Magistrate Court.

“At that time you didn’t remember that you’re a Chief Law Officer going against the ethics of your job.”

Addressing the new AG, the governor said, “You have a big task. As it is today in the local parlance, they say the jungle has matured. We will be setting a panel of inquiry to investigate the affair of governance.”

The governor further said there was a deliberate attempt to sabotage his administration, saying, “If we disagree, no matter how bad it is, it should be resolved.

“But it has become very clear that this disagreement there is no headway to it, and for many reasons, there is very visible evidence that there is sabotage, a deliberate attempt to sabotage this administration.

“Maybe where they are, they are telling them nothing will happen, it is happening here live, we have our own legislators that are performing their duties according to the Constitution. So that record is threatened.”

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Tobi Amusan Again! Sets New World-Leading Record

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The world record-holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, was the fastest over the barriers, setting a world-leading time of 12.40 (0.9m/s).

Danielle Williams, a two-time world champion, was ahead for most of the race but lost her rhythm over the final two hurdles and finished second with 12.46.

“This is the healthiest I’ve been. It’s a pain-free season compared to other years,” World Athletics website quoted Amusan to have said.

“I told myself: ‘I’m not getting a DQ today’. I’m not the best of starters, but looking at how I executed today, it could have been better, but I am thankful for the win.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, John Enoh, took to his X handle to congratulate the Nigerian athletics queen for her latest feat.

“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!

“You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s.

“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you,” Enoh wrote.

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