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CHEATERS: How DisCos Over-bill Customers By N105bn In 9 Months

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has imposed a N10.5 billion fine on electricity distribution companies, DisCos, for over billion customers without meters to the tune of 105.05 billion in the first nine months of 2023.

The Commission in separate Orders issued to the DisCos on Friday said the utilities were in breach of an Order it issued in 2020 on capping of electricity billed to unmetered customers by the DisCos.

A selected check on the orders showed that Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, over-billed its customers without meters to the tune of N17.874 billion while Eko Distribution Company, EKEDC, over-billed its unmetered customers by N13.137 billion.

Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, over-billed its customers without meter by N14.187 billion with Kaduna Electric over-billing its customers by N1.145 billion.

NERC ordered the DisCos to refund the cheated customers in full and to ensure compliance in the future. To deter future occurrence, it imposed a 10 percent fine on the utilities.

The Commission explained that “The public may recall that in 2020, the Commission issued the Order on Capping of Estimated Bills (Order No: NERC/197/2020) and subsequently issued monthly energy caps which aimed to align the estimated bills for unmetered customers with the measured consumption of metered customers on the same supply feeder.

“A review of the Electricity Distribution Companies billing of unmetered customers for 2023 has revealed non-compliance with the monthly energy caps issued by the Commission.

“In response to this and in a bid to safeguard unmetered customers from arbitrary billing by DisCos, the Commission, pursuant to Section 34(1)(d) of the Electricity Act 2023 (“EA 2023”), has issued the Order on Non-Compliance with Capping of Estimated Bills (Order No: NERC/2024/004-014) which stipulates the following: “Credit Adjustment to Customers: DisCos are to issue credit adjustments to all overbilled unmetered customers for the period January to September 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle.

“Public Notice: DisCos have been directed to publish the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries in two national dailies and on their website no later than 31st March 2024.

“Regulatory Sanctions: The Commission shall deduct a sum of N10,505,286,072 from the annual allowed revenues of the eleven (11) DisCos during the next tariff review, to deter future non-compliance with the energy caps approved by the Commission”.

Specifically, for Eko DisCo, the Commission said: “To forestall further non-compliance, a deduction of N1,413,766,176 which is equivalent to 10% of the Naira value of the total over-billing for the period January – September 2023 shall be applied to EKEDC’s annual OpEx over a rolling 12-month period during the next tariff review.

“Notwithstanding the provisions of section (11B)(i), and pursuant to the provision of section 34(2)(f) of the EA 2023, the Commission may deduct a greater percentage of the total over-billing from EKEDC’s admin OPEX where a non-compliance with capping Orders persists”.

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Cholera Outbreak: NCDC Declares Public Health Emergency As 53 Die In 31 States

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Presently, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and prevention has declared cholera a public health emergency after its risk assessment showed the country is now at ‘High Risk’ of increased risk of cholera transmission and impact.

The National Cholera Emergency Operations Centre has, therefore , been activated to interrupt disease transmission and reduce the impact of the disease and other socioeconomic complications

Cholera is a food and water borne disease and Water is usually contaminated by faeces of infected individuals as well as unsafe practices such as improper disposal of refuse and open defecation.

The highly contagious disease which time between infection and the appearance of symptoms is 2 hours to 5 days, has a higher risk of transmission in areas that lack adequate sanitation facilities or a regular supply of clean water.

Cholera has since January 2024 caused devastation in nigeria with a total of 1528 suspected cases and 53 deaths recorded across 31 states in 107 local government areas as of 24th June 2024.

Source: AIT

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Covid cases surge across UK as new variant takes hold – but men are more susceptible than women

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The newest strain of coronavirus is running wild across the UK, but new data shows that men are more likely to get it than woman.

Despite largely being removed from the every day lives of most Brits, Covid-19 is still around and cases have shot up a lot in recent weeks thanks to a series of new strains. The KP. 3 variant, part of a new group of variants known as FLiRT, emerged in early April.

The name of these variants was inspired by the mutations in their genetic code and they are an offshoot from JN.1 – a variant that could transmit efficiently through one or two additional mutations.

As of April 2024, three strains of the FLiRT variant have been responsible for 40% of all Covid cases in the UK, namely KP.1.1, KP.3 and KP.2, as per data from the UK Health Security Agency. KP. 2 is believed to have sparked a surge of infections in May before handing over to KP.3, which has almost doubled UK infections to 44% in less than a fortnight.

Meanwhile, KP.2’s share has dropped to 22%, yet hospital admissions increased by 24% in the week leading up to Sunday, rising from 2.67 people per 100,000 to 3.31 per 100,000, according to fresh figures from the UKHSA.

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Vinicius announces his departure from Real Madrid

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

A Real Madrid player, Vinicius Tobais has announced his departure from Santiago Bernabeu.

The youngster announced he is leaving the club this summer in an Instagram post.

The contract of Vinicius, 20, runs out at the end of June, after which the player will be looking for opportunities elsewhere.

He made just a senior appearance for Real Madrid during his time at the club.

It is no surprise that the right-back is seeing the exit doors.

He wrote, “It was two nice years of a lot of learning, experience, and growth. To the technical staff, directors and colleagues, my eternal gratitude. Just thankful for the opportunity to wear this shirt.

“We’ll see you again Madridistas. Thank you for everything. Hala Madrid!

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