Some electricity distribution companies may have charged some customers under the new tariff regime that has been suspended by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, according to the Vanguard. According to the paper, despite loud opposition from labour unions and some civil society groups and an interim reversal of the new tariffs by the FG, DisCos might not have had enough time to implement the new directive. Customers who had recharged their prepaid meter across the country on 30 September were forced to pay the new cost-reflective tariff issued on 1 September. The DisCos, who confirmed this situation, said the directive was only given on 29 September and modalities for its implementation would need time. Postpaid meter customers were unaffected by the change as they are being served bills for August which carries the old rate and not September. A statement from the NERC confirmed that the suspension was issued on 29 September.
The Federal Executive Council has approved a budget estimate of ₦13.08 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the council meeting, presided by President Muhammadu Buhari. Ms Ahmed disclosed that the budget proposal was designed to enable the country to attain inclusive growth. The budget contained a 3% economic growth target and an 11.95% inflation target. The budget assumptions include a $40 per barrel oil benchmark and 1.86 million barrels per day of crude production through the year. Ms Ahmed said the government expects total revenue of ₦7.89 trillion against an expenditure profile of ₦13.08 trillion in 2021. She put the current 2020 budget performance at 68 per cent as of July.
Fitch, a global credit rating agency, has revised the outlook on Nigeria’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) to ‘stable’ from negative and affirmed the IDR at ‘B’. The outlook released on Wednesday shows a decrease in the level of uncertainty surrounding the impact of the global pandemic shock on the Nigerian economy. Fitch said the ‘B’ rating reflects weak fiscal revenues, comparatively low governance and development indicators, high dependence on hydrocarbons, and a track record of subdued growth and high inflation. “These rating weaknesses are balanced against the large size of Nigeria’s economy, low general government debt relative to GDP, small foreign currency indebtedness of the sovereign and a comparatively developed financial system with a deep domestic debt market,” the report read. Fitch said it expects the government to cover most of its funding needs in 2020-2022 domestically, supported by ample liquidity in the non-banking financial system as highlighted by the negative real rates on local currency debt.
The Chief Executive Officer of Total SE Patrick Pouyanne has requested that European nations should help Mozambique fight an insurgency, backed by Islamic State, in part of the country where the energy company is developing a natural gas project. Pouyanne, who met Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi to discuss the situation last month, said he can help by bringing the attention of European nations to the issue. He said France has a vested interest in the region because it owns Mayotte, an island located between Mozambique and Madagascar. Militants have occupied a town about 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of where a group led by Total plan to spend $20 billion to extract gas from below the ocean and export it to European and Asian customers for more than a month. The violence, including alleged human rights violations by security forces, is now creeping toward Total’s Mozambique LNG project in the far northeast of the company. Earthworks at Mozambique LNG have progressed, and a landing strip, as well as jetties for boats, have been built, Pouyanne said. Mozambique LNG, the biggest private investment in Africa, is due to be completed in 2024. Total bought a 26.5% stake in the project for $3.9 billion in 2019. It’s one of Total’s biggest projects to boost its production of liquefied natural gas in the second part of the decade, alongside operations in the U.S., Russia and Papua New Guinea.