Daily Watch – Nearly 60 die in bloody weekend, Unmetered power customers reach 7mn

3rd July 2023

Five people have been killed and 11 others injured after suspected jihadists fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a town in Borno, two anti-jihadist militia commanders told AFP on Sunday. Scores of fighters attempted to invade the town of Damboa late last  Friday but met stiff resistance from the anti-jihadist militia, a paramilitary outfit that works alongside the armed forces, the militia said. The five dead victims were buried on Saturday while the injured were flown to the regional capital Maiduguri aboard a helicopter for medical attention. Gunmen on Saturday attacked two communities, Teng and Pwaskop, in Mangu local government area of Plateau, killing two persons. The attack, which lasted for several hours, saw the assailants also burnt several homes. On the same day, gunmen stormed a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) parish in Ogun, killing the pastor and abducting seven worshippers. The Ogun State So-Safe Corps Commander, Soji Ganzallo, confirmed the incident, saying his officers rescued seven church members and killed one of the kidnappers. In Taraba, at least 50 people have been reportedly killed and several houses burnt as fresh communal clashes erupted on Saturday in Karim Lamido Local Government, witnesses said according to Premium Times.

Power distribution companies installed a total of 560,965 meters in 2022, as the number of unmetered registered electricity consumers increased to 7,017,235, the Federal Government has said. The latest figures were obtained from the new fourth quarter 2022 report of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. Data collated by The Punch from the regulators’ fourth, third, second and first quarter reports showed the slow pace of metering by all the 11 power distribution companies despite the various metering programmes in the power sector. An analysis of the reports showed that in the fourth, third, second and first quarters of 2022, the Discos installed 164,612 meters, 142,887 meters, 167,956 meters and 85,510 meters respectively.

Ghana’s independent power producers (IPPs) suspended a threatened shutdown from 1 July after reaching an interim deal with the state-run Electricity Company of Ghana over arrears owed to them, the group said in a statement last Friday. In late May, the IPPs rejected a government proposal to restructure $1.58 billion in arrears owed by the state as part of the West African country’s efforts to implement a $3 billion loan deal from the International Monetary Fund to address its worst economic crisis in a generation. The group later warned of outages from July if its members did not receive an interim payment of 30 percent of the arrears to cover key operational costs and their own overdue debt service.

The United Nations Security Council last Friday, unanimously voted to end a decade-long peacekeeping mission in Mali after the West African country’s military junta abruptly asked the 13,000-strong force to leave – a move the United States said was engineered by Russia’s Wagner mercenary group. The 15-member council adopted a French-drafted resolution asking that the mission on Saturday begin “the cessation of its operations, transfer of its tasks, as well as the orderly and safe drawdown and withdrawal of its personnel, with the objective of completing this process by 31 December 2023.” As the Security Council voted, the White House accused Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin of helping engineer the departure of U.N. peacekeepers from Mali and said it has information indicating Mali’s authorities have paid more than $200 million to Wagner since late 2021. Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Anna Evstigneeva told the Security Council that Mali had made a “sovereign decision.”