Thousands of applicants were locked out of the offices of the National Identity Management Commission on Thursday morning, following a strike embarked on by NIMC staff. The notice of strike was signed by the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, NIMC branch, Lucky Michael, and its Secretary, Odia Victor. It read in part, “All members at the local government offices and special centres are advised to stay away from their various centres as a task force and implementation committees would be on parade to ensure total compliance to the directive.” The Nigerian Communications Commission had last month asked all telecoms firms to disconnect the SIM cards of all persons who have not integrated their National Identity Numbers with their phone lines by the end of January. Currently, over 100 million Nigerians have yet to do so which has caused huge crowds to gather at the various offices of NIMC in breach of the COVID-19 protocol. According to a communiqué issued at the end of the congress meeting of the ACCSN, NIMC branch, the strike had become necessary due to the exposure of staff to COVID-19 risks, lack of personal protective equipment, irregularities in promotions and poor funding.

Power minister, Sale Mamman, says that the FG has asked the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to suspend the recently adjusted electricity tariff. NERC had on Tuesday increased the electricity tariff payable by power consumers across the country. The hike in tariff which varies, based on different consumer classes, took effect from 1 January 2021. The regulatory agency blamed the 2 to 4 per kilowatt-hour tariff adjustment on inflation and movement in foreign exchange rates. Labour unions have threatened a showdown over the development, saying the government was insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, considering the fact that there was an increment in the last two months. But in the statement on Thursday, the minister said there was a committee working on the new electricity tariff regime and the committee should be allowed to complete its work before any development or adjustment. Mr Mamman, therefore, directed NERC to suspend the recent increment until the committee concludes its work by end of January.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, on Thursday, said the country currently has over two million displaced persons. She said the affected persons were displaced as a result of the activities of insurgents and bandits or through communal clashes. Ms Farouk said this after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The minister said, “As of today, we have over two million displaced persons in the country, ranging from those displaced by insurgency, banditry, communal clashes and so on. She said, “The ministry is doing its best to see that people who are displaced in this country are given the necessary support by way of supporting their livelihoods, rebuilding their homes in areas of disasters and settling those who have fled their places seeking refuge, provided their communities are safe for them to return. This is what we are working on and we hope to achieve the desired result.” On the purpose of her visit to Buhari, Ms Farouk said it was meant to thank the President for his support on issues relating to persons with disabilities in the country. She recalled that the President had in January 2019 assented to the bill on the prohibition of discrimination against persons with disabilities in the country, describing it as the first milestone. “Mr President also graciously appointed the chairman, board members and the executive secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities. “So, this is a visit to demonstrate our appreciation and our commitment to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari,” she said.

Ghana is set to open sub-Saharan Africa’s first liquefied natural gas-to-power project as it moves to position itself as a hub for the cleaner and cheaper fuel in the region. LNG-to-power projects have been booming from Asia to Latin America in recent years as they allow nations to switch from dirtier fossil fuels to keep the lights on. And for sellers, integrated LNG-to-power provides a guaranteed outlet for the fuel. Tema LNG Terminal Co. received the floating regasification unit from Jiangnan, China on Wednesday, paving the way for the supply of 1.7 million tons of natural gas per year for power generation sometime this quarter, Edmund Agyeman-Duah, project manager at the company said. The company, backed by Helios Investment Partners and Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers, began building the $350 million project about two years ago. “Ghana can now start to service the rest of the region with fuel that is continuously growing in popularity because of the cost and the significant environmental benefits it provides,” Agyeman-Duah said.