The FG has inaugurated the Police Public Complaints Committee to investigate and address brutality and rights infringement by members of the Nigeria Police. Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja on Wednesday, said the development was a result of last year’s #EndSARS protests following the incidences of police brutality. The Ministry of Police Affairs is to chair the PPCC, while the Police Inspectorate Department will serve as the secretary. Other members of the committee are the Police Service Commission; Ministry of Justice; National Human Rights Commission; National Intelligence Agency; the CLEEN Foundation; Nigeria Police Force; Police Community Relations Committee and the Department of State Security Service. Dingyadi said the objective of the PPCC was to serve as an institution that has oversight on the activities of police personnel viz-a-viz their interaction with the public. The minister noted that the complaints against police misconduct at police stations or commands have not achieved the desired results. He said, “Once the PPCC becomes operational, I will expect it to swing into action by embarking on wide publicity and sensitisation campaigns to enable Nigerians to be aware of its existence and its functions and thereby recognise it as the proper avenue to channel their complaints against police personnel.” Dingyadi said the committee was also expected to create a platform and special dedicated phone numbers through which the public can channel their complaints. He urged the PPCC to decentralise its structure to ensure that Nigerians have easy access to it by opening channels of communication at all local government headquarters. He added that the PPCC was designed to have a sub-committee to be known as a special investigation unit that will be made up of professionals. “The Committee is not out to witch-hunt the men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force, rather it is to work in synergy with police to ensure it carries out its mandate effectively,’’ he stressed.
Nigeria is working on issuing eurobonds and plans to pick advisers through an open bid process, the head of the debt office told Reuters on Wednesday. Patience Oniha, the director general of the Debt Management Office (DMO), said the amount to be raised would be within the foreign borrowing plans for 2021. The country budgeted to raise ₦2.34 trillion ($6.14 billion) from foreign sources. Nigeria had planned a eurobond issue early last year after its sixth sale in 2018 where it raised $2.86 billion. But it decided to defer the 2020 sale due to the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, it trimmed offshore borrowings in a new debt strategy after it repaid a $500 million eurobond in January. Oniha had said the DMO was monitoring international markets for new issues by frontier countries. Last week, West African neighbour Ghana raised $3 billion via eurobonds, a year after COVID shut developing countries out. The Institute of International Finance had said it expected African governments to return to capital markets this year to sell bonds as investors embrace more risk. The country has been in talks with the World Bank for a $1.5 billion loan but approvals have been delayed due to concerns over reforms to its currency. Nigeria emerged from its second recession since 2016 in the fourth quarter but growth is fragile. The government expects a 2021 budget deficit of ₦5.60 trillion to be financed largely from foreign and local borrowings.
Many people were killed during a military operation on Tuesday in a community in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The Nigerian military carried out aerial bombardment in the community – Ntak Ikot Akpan – which it said was targeted at miscreants who attacked and killed some police officers in the local government area recently. Three police officers were killed last week, while four are still missing in the area. The Nigerian Army said, Wednesday that those killed during the military operation were ‘hoodlums.’ It did not, however, mention the number of people killed in the operation. The identity of those behind the attack on the security agents and why they did it is still unknown. The army also did not mention who was behind the attack on the police, apart from saying that some miscreants were trying to perpetuate crimes in the area. Increasing attacks on police officers and police facilities in Nigeria’s South-east and South-south could complicate the worsening insecurity in the regions. Essien Udim Local Government Area, which shares a boundary with the neighbouring Abia State, has been notorious for cult-related violence and killings. The military operation in Akwa Ibom happened on the same day that eight soldiers were killed in an ambush around Bonta, a community in Konshisha LGA, Benue State. The troops were part of a deployment to keep the peace between Bonta in Konshisha LGA and Ukpute-Ainu in Oju LGA. In response, the military raided and destroyed some hideouts with 12 suspected bandits killed and arms recovered in the process. The Benue state security council have convened an emergency meeting believed to be connected to the attack.
Power generation companies were not paid 59.17 percent of the invoices issued last year for the electricity produced and fed into the national grid. The government-owned Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc buys electricity in bulk from generation companies through Power Purchase Agreements and sells through vesting contracts to the Discos, which then supply it to the consumers. NBET received a total invoice of ₦739.68 billion from the Gencos last year but only paid ₦320.02 billion to them. The 11 Discos were given a total invoice of ₦730.71 billion for the energy received in 2020 but paid only ₦220.18 billion to NBET, according to NERC data. The regulator said electricity consumers paid a total of ₦542.73 billion to the Discos last year, out of a total bill of ₦816.15 billion. According to the Association of National Electricity Distributors, Discos only collect an estimated 24 per cent of the tariff revenue, while the balance goes upstream to transmission, generation and other industry stakeholders. The Nigerian Gas Association and other stakeholders had said in January that the liquidity issues hampering returns from the power sector should be speedily resolved to address legacy debts and facilitate full recovery of gas revenues from the Nigerian electricity supply industry. NERC, in its latest quarterly report, noted that the financial viability of the Nigerian electricity supply industry had remained a major challenge threatening sustainability. “The liquidity challenge is partly due to the non-implementation of cost-reflective tariffs, high technical and commercial losses exacerbated by energy theft and consumers’ apathy to payments under the widely prevailing practice of estimated billing,” it said. It said the period of the lockdown introduced by the Federal Government as a measure to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 further affected Discos’ billing of postpaid customers.