Daily Watch – FG looks to triple electricity tariffs, Youths kill 12 in S’Sudan

3rd April 2024

The Federal Government is planning an almost 300% increase in electricity tariffs in the coming weeks to attract investment into the sector, according to Bloomberg. Unofficial sources state that electricity firms may hike tariffs for those in urban areas to ₦200 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from ₦68. Those in urban centres represent just 15% of the population but reportedly consume around 40% of the country’s power, the source said. The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, told Bloomberg that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission  (NERC) would announce a price increase soon and the government cannot speak on the matter for now. In a related development, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has increased the price of one million British thermal units (MMBtu) of domestic natural gas used in generating electricity to $2.42 from $2.18. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will arraign Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, the two top Binance officials, on five counts of money laundering. The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the Binance officials, who escaped from lawful custody on 22 March and fled Nigeria, will be arraigned before the Federal High Court, Abuja. In the charge dated and filed on 28 March by the anti-graft agency, the defendants are being accused of money laundering to the tune of $35,400,000. Count one accused the defendants between January 2023 and January 2024 in Abuja of carrying on specialised business of other financial institutions without valid licence. On 28 March the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said that it would arraign them on allegations of tax evasion on 4 April.

President Akufo-Addo has made adjustments to his government through a minor reshuffle, reassigning Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Stephen Amoah, as Deputy Minister for Finance. According to a press statement released by Eugene Arhin, the Communications Director at the Presidency, this decision takes immediate effect on 2 April.  The reshuffle follows the unfortunate passing of Deputy Finance Minister and Member of Parliament for Ejisu, Dr. John Kumah, on 7 March. Following the reassignment of Stephen Amoah as Deputy Minister for Finance, President Akufo-Addo has appointed, subject to parliamentary approval, Kofi Ahenkorah Marfo, Member of Parliament for Achiase, as Deputy Minister-designate for Trade and Industry.

Youths attacked a village in eastern South Sudan and shot dead at least 12 people while 15 children are missing, officials said. Youths attacked Ajwara village in Pibor’s Pochalla county, Abraham Kelang, Information Minister of Greater Pibor Administrative Area, said. “Twelve people were killed, 10 injured and there were some cattle that were raided,” he told Reuters, adding that most of the dead were elderly. The attackers, from the Murle ethnic group, are also suspected of abducting children, Owety Olung, the acting commissioner of Pochalla County, said. “We have 15 children who are still missing right now,” he told Reuters. Meanwhile, Sudan has suspended Saudi state-owned broadcasters Al Arabiya, Al Hadath and UAE-owned Sky News Arabia channel “due to its lack of commitment to the required professionalism and transparency and failure to renew its licenses,” the Sudanese State News Agency (SUNA) said.