Plateau: 21 suspects held

Some of the suspects...yesterday
TWENTY-one suspects have been arrested over the Plateau State killings, according to the special military task force Operation Safe Haven (OPSH).
Among them are those found with arms and suspected hoodlums who hijacked the protests sparked by the killings.
The special task force comprises police, Air Force, Army and paramilitary security agencies.
The suspects were paraded yesterday at the OPSH Headquarters in Jos by the media officer of the task force, Major Adam Umar and Police Public Relations Officer Tyopev Terna.
Major Umar said: “Out of the 21 suspects we arrested so far, 11 of them are those arrested in connection to the killings in Barkin Ladi and environs while 14 of them were arrested from the scene of the civil disturbances after the attacks.
He added: “In our efforts to fish out the criminals carrying out attacks in some villages in the state, particularly in Barkin Ladi, we have been able to arrest some people from the scene of attacks.
“The suspects we are parading were arrested with arms, some of them with locally made guns, revolver and other dangerous weapons which they are not supposed to have as citizens.
“Information we extracted from the original suspects led us to trace some other accomplices and we have also arrested them. And there is the possibility of making more arrests over those killings as we intensify our efforts to get to the root of these killings in pursuant of our mandate to stop the killings, prevent further killings and restore total peace in the state.
“In our commitment and desire not to give the attackers opportunity to operate or opportunity to escape after attack, the commander of OPSH has relocated to Barkin Ladi based on his resolve to remain with the villagers and monitor things closely and to be able to respond faster to distress calls from residents in danger.
“To be able to achieve better results in tracking these criminals, we are appealing to members of the public to oblige us with credible and useful information. This battle against these criminals should be seen by the general public as a collective one. We need everyone’s cooperation to do more than we are doing.”
Most of the suspects paraded have blood stains on their dresses. One of the suspects wore military trousers. Some victims alleged that some of the assailants were dressed in military uniform.
The task force did not however disclose the names of the suspects.
The Plateau Government has reviewed the curfew it imposed in three local governments of Jos South,  Riyom and Barkin  Ladi to 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily
On June 24, the Government of Plateau, imposed a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew in Jos to avert a further breakdown of law and order, following the killing of scores of people in some communities.
The downward review of the curfew was announced in a statement yesterday by Secretary to the State Government Rufus Bature.
“The period of curfew earlier imposed on Jos South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areass has been reviewed.
“The period of the curfew is now 10pm to 6am daily,” Bature said.
The statement advised citizens to go about their lawful duties and continue to be vigilant.

NASA launches TESS satellite to search for alien worlds

NASA launches TESS satellite to search for alien worldsThe $337m planet-hunting space telescope launched on Wednesday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, is the agency’s most ambitious quest yet to scour planets' atmospheres for any life.

The search for alien worlds has taken another big step with the launch of NASA's latest satellite.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is the agency's most ambitious attempt in the search for worlds like our own

An 'internet civil war' has erupted in Russia

Russian authorities started blocking the messenger app Telegram on April 16 [File: Dado Ruvic/Reuters] Russian authorities started blocking the messenger app Telegram on April 16 [File: Dado Ruvic/Reuters]

When Evgeny first heard that Russia's communications censor Roskomnadzor was going to block the popular messenger app Telegram, it brought to mind a Soviet-era slogan. The Communist Party said: "It must be done!" The Komsomol - the party's youth wing - responded: "Aye!"
Policies today get applied without much deliberation, just like Soviet times, he explained. "It feels as though it's a bunch of ignorant people who don't understand anything, who did not consult any experts, that did this," said Evgeny, who requested that his second name not be mentioned for fear of intimidation by the authorities.
On April 16, Roskomnadzor started trying to block Telegram after what it said was the company's failure to comply with a Russian law on dissemination of information. But by the time the censor told mobile operators to limit access to the app's services, Evgeny and the team of the start-up he works for had already set up a proxy service to ensure that internal communications chats and their company Telegram channel continued to work smoothly. He said he and his team would not give up using the app.
Reacting to the use of proxies, Roskomnadzor had to expand its blocking efforts, inadvertently affecting IP addresses of various other companies. 
"[Roskomnadzor] managed to block [other businesses], cashiers of supermarkets stopped working. Imagine, I go to the store, and I can't buy food because of Roskomnadzor," Evgeny told Al Jazeera in a call over Telegram.
The "collateral damage" caused outrage across Russia, evoking even criticism from government officials.
A week into Roskomnadzor's campaign, it not only has failed to fully block the app, but it has made it more popular. In fact, the backlash against the censor and acts of defiance by Telegram users have already made some in Russia talk of an "internet civil war".

Durov vs the system

The standoff between Roskomnadzor and Telegram goes back to June 2017, when the communications censor issued an open letter saying the app was violating Russian law on "organisers of information dissemination". The law - part of a number of anti-terrorism measures passed by the Russian Duma in the early 2010s - stipulates that entities designated by the state as such have to store user information in Russia for six months and give access to it to law enforcement.
Roskomnadzor demanded the company hand in encryption keys, so that security agencies could access user messages. Russia-born Telegram CEO Pavel Durov responded that the encryption technology used in the app did not allow its creators to have access to those keys.
Eventually, a Russian court ruled in Roskomnadzor's favour, allowing the censor to proceed with blocking the app.
Preempting the move, Telegram had already introduced a proxy option that enabled users to log in with an IP address from another country, circumventing geo-blocking.
Most Telegram users Al Jazeera talked to said they had enabled the option; others, such as Evgeny, installed their own VPN services, which not only allow users to log in from other countries but also encrypt the data they send.
State institutions, many of which also operate official Telegram channels, had also bought VPN equipment ahead of the blocking campaign. Various news outlets also started circulating instructions on how to use proxies and VPN services.
Foreseeing a storm of negative reactions from the Russian public, Pavel Chikov, a lawyer and member of the rights organisation Agora, which represents Durov in the case, posted on his Telegram channel on April 16: "An internet civil war has started."
Throughout the week, Russian Telegram users and media continued to report that they were using the app without a problem.
Durov also posted on his Telegram channel that there hasn't been "a significant drop in user engagement" and that to support "internet freedom", he would start giving out bitcoin grants to "individuals and companies who run socks5 proxies and VPN".

Collateral damage

According to Stanislav Shakirov, technical director of Roskomsvoboda (a wordplay on Roskomnadzor meaning RoskomFreedom), an anti-censorship NGO, Telegram has managed to weather the pressure because of its well-made architecture.
"[Telegram architects] had set up a rotation of servers which the app links up to. This makes it difficult for Roskomnadzor to block it," Shakirov explained.
"By the time Roskomnadzor requests mobile operators to block an IP address, the app had already moved onto another."
The use of VPN and proxy services has also helped. Traffic to, a website Roskomsvoboda set up as a guide to using VPN services, increased 15-20 times, he said.
Scrambling to block a massive number of IP addresses, which reached 20 million on April 19, Roskomnadzor ran up against another problem: the disruption of other services using the same IP address clusters as Telegram.
Mid-week, reports started coming in of various companies experiencing difficulties with their online operations: from international companies such as Viber and taxi service Gett, to Russian ticket booking service Kupiblet and supermarket chains like Diksi.
On Thursday, Chikov reported on his Telegram channel that some 120 companies - among them small businesses, internet stores and VPN operators - had reached out to Agora requesting help to get unblocked.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, Roskomnadzor's press office said that "most disruptions in the functioning of websites which have been announced were due to other reasons and were not at all connected to measures undertaken against Telegram".
On Sunday, access to Google's search engine was also limited for Russian users. On its page on social media platform VKontakte, Roskomnadzor announced it was blocking many IP addresses of Google's cloud service because the company refused to stop helping Telegram evade blocking.
The growing discontent over the disruptions prompted German Klimenko, adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin on internet development, to say that Roskomnadzor should apologise for the problems it had caused.

'Subversion and guerrilla tactics'

The campaign against Telegram has also had some unintended consequences. Russian media outlet RBC reported that Telegram traffic in Russia increased early last week, while the number of downloads from the Android app store doubled compared with a week earlier.
On Sunday, many Russians, like Evgeny, heeded a call by Telegram's CEO to join a symbolic gesture of support for the company and throw a paper plane out of a window - a reference to the app's logo. Videos of the campaign flooded social media. 
According to blogger and activist Alexander Brusentsev, the blocking efforts have also boosted the technical literacy of some Russians by encouraging them to learn about proxies and VPN services, which they wouldn't have done otherwise. It has also driven some to resist Roskomnadzor's censorship efforts.
"People find it interesting to watch how Roskomnadzor can't do anything, and they find it even more interesting to help make sure this continues to be so," he told Al Jazeera via Telegram.
"Subversion and guerrilla tactics are actively being used and will continue to be used in the future."
Brusentsev himself ran into problems with Roskomnadzor in 2017 and had to leave Russia temporarily after the censor accused him of "tampering" with the blocking of websites.
Throughout last week, Roskomnadzor's website was intermittently unavailable. The censor blamed the disruption on DDoS attacks.
Asked about whether there was indeed an "internet war" in Russia, the censor's press office responded that, "Roskomnadzor is taking a set of measures in order to fulfil a decision by a Russian Federation court in relation to a company that is ignoring Russian law."

China-style 'Great Firewall'

It is not the first time that a product developed by Russian entrepreneur Durov was hit by controversy. In 2006 he founded the social network VKontakte (In Contact), which quickly came to dominate the Russian market.
Eight years later, he resigned as CEO and left Russia. Durov claimed he was forced out because he refused to shut down Russian opposition activist Alexey Navalny's account in VKontakte, and because oligarchs close to Putin wanted "full control" over the social network.
It is also not the first time that Roskomnadzor, which was established as a separate agency 10 years ago, has blocked messenger apps.
In May 2017, the censor included the apps BlackBerry Messenger, imo, Line, и Vchat on its list of banned websites after they also refused to comply with provisions of the "organisations of information dissemination" law. The registry of banned websites was established in 2012.
According to Shakirov, Russian authorities could be using the blocking of Telegram as a test before they go on to other much bigger internet companies.
"Our government wants the Chinese model in which all Western services are replaced by local, sovereign ones. They've started with Telegram, which is popular but not so powerful service," he said.
If the plan of establishing a China-style "Great Firewall" in Russia goes forward, IT giants such as Facebook could face a choice between "losing the Russian market, or losing their reputation", he said.
But Roskomnadzor's actions against Telegram and the pursuit of greater control over the internet could have far-reaching negative consequences on Russian businesses as well. According to Evgeny, the blocking of Telegram already has negatively affected the business climate.
Over the years, he has observed a notable trend of capital flight from the country, as many companies have registered in Western countries to avoid being subject to Russia's ever-changing laws.
"We are kind of tired of such [decisions] by the state: Let's block this or let's ban that," he said. "Let's just live like North Korea without internet.

University of Maiduguri produces 78 First Class graduates

University of MaiduguriThe University of Maiduguri on Monday said it produced 78 First Class graduates for the 2015/ 2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr Ibrahim Njodi, made the disclosure at a pre-convocation press conference in Maiduguri.
Njodi said that a total of 17, 895 graduates would be conferred with various degrees and certificates during its 23rd combined convocation ceremony scheduled for Saturday, April 28.
He explained that 3, 527 students were graduands of the Post Graduate School programmes comprising of 56 Ph.D graduates; 570 Masters Degree graduates and 2, 901 Post Graduate Diploma graduands .
Njodi added that the statistics of the undergraduates showed that 8, 643 graduands would be awarded degrees, 7, 278 of the number were from the regular programmes, 573 from affiliated colleges and 714 were Distance Learning programmes.
He disclosed that 5, 725 graduates would received diploma certificates, adding that 106 and 102 graduates would receive awards for the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions, respectively.
The Vice Chancellor disclosed that three lecturers would also be conferred with the title of “Emeritus Professor”, for their outstanding performance and contributions to the development of the university.
“We remain committed and resilient to excel in our academic pursuit inspite of the challenges posed by the insurgency.
“The University continued with its services and achieved significant feat in the past nine years,” he said.
Njodi disclosed that the university with support of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund ( TETFUND ), United States Agency for International Development ( USAID ), corporate organisations and philanthropists executed viable projects in the school.
He explained that the projects were designed to provide an enabling teaching and learning environment, as well as research, to enhance academic excellence.
He listed the projects to include Senate Complex Building, Mega House, Veterinary Centre and Instructional Technology Centre.
Njodi added that the projects were completed and billed for inauguration as part of activities lined up for the convocation ceremony.
According to him, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC ); Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and a philanthropist,  Alhaji Muhammadu Indimi, pledged to execute various projects in the University.
Njodi lauded the Borno State Government, stakeholders, security agencies and members of the public for their support to the University.

International Identity Day: ID4Africa, NIMC, others to petition UN

NIMCThe ID4Africa, National Identity Management Commission ( NIMC ) and other international organisations have decided to petition the United Nations ( UN ) to declare September 16 of every year as International Identity Day celebration.
Dr Joseph Atick, the Executive Chairman, ID4Africa Movement, made the disclosure on Monday at a news briefing to commence the 4th annual meeting of the organisation in Abuja.
The ID4Africa is a multi-stakeholder movement that promotes the transparent and responsible adoption of digital identity in the service of development in Africa.
The 2018 ID4Africa Conference is scheduled from April 24 to April 26 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Atick, who said that the petition would be launched on April 24 at the opening session of the conference, added that the campaign would be taken to New York until the success would be achieved.
According to him, the petition is calling on the United Nations to recognise September 16 of every year as International Identity Day.
“I want to make an announcement that it is going to be launched; another first African announcement which we will start here in Africa on April 24.
“We will continue all the way to New York until we reach a successful end. The announcement is that we will be launching a petition tomorrow; a petition to the United Nations.
“This petition is supported by the General Secretariat of the ID4Africa, the board of advisers of ID4Africa which has membership or representatives of the World Bank, UNDP, Centre for Growth and Development and of course NIMC, among others.
“Together, we are launching a petition and the petition is that we are calling on the United Nations to recognise September 16 as International Identity Day,” he said.
Explaining why September 16 should be declared as the day, Atick said the organisation adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals and that number 16.9 of the SDGs pushed for legal identity for all by 2030.
“We have worked for many years together to establish what I called the Sustainable Development Goals. So government has responsibility by the year 2030 to give everybody in the country legal identity.
“We want a day because identity is one of the most important aspects of human experience in a modern society.
“We want to celebrate it, we want to create awareness for it, we also want to measure our progress towards the ultimate goal.
“Once we get the United Nations declaring that as international day, different countries diversify it and observe it with different activities. So April 24, it is going to start in Abuja,” he said.
Atick, who expressed optimism that 193 nations of the UN would vote in its support, said about 47 African nations would be attending the conference.
The Director-General of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Aziz, however, said this year’s conference is tagged: “Harmonisation,” adding that it aimed at addressing issues of duplication of data by different agencies of government.
He said the conference would be dealing on how to develop artificial intelligence, how to utilise it and how to get market intelligence in improving, especially agriculture.
The Chairman Board of Director of NIMC, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said the news briefing was to acquaint everyone with the conduct of the conference on ID4Africa.
He described the organisation as a movement of countries within the continent that have come to the understanding of leveraging ID ecosystem on digital system.

Looters’ list: Court restrains Fed Govt from further mention of Secondus

SecondusA RIVERS State High Court in Port Harcourt has restrained the Federal Government from further mentioning the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, in the looters’ list published by the government.
The Chief Judge of Rivers, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra, who gave the order on Monday, also ordered that the hearing notice be served on the respondents by the plaintiff.
The order followed a motion brought by Secondus seeking an interlocutory injunction against further publication of his name on the list.
Secondus is suing the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Federal Government and Vintage Press for alleged libel.
He is asking the court to award him N1.5 billion damages for the alleged libel.
He said listing him as a looter, who collected N200 million on February 19, 2015, from the Office of the National Security Adviser was libellous.
The PDP chairman’s counsel, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), said the judge could hear the suit because his client was defamed by the publication.
The respondents were not present in court and the judge adjourned the matter until April 28.

Buhari’s 2019 bid and matters arising

Buhari to host ECOWAS conference on farmers/herders clashesThe country is gearing itself up for the general elections in February next year and with President Muhammadu Buhari announcing that he will bid for the governing party, APC’s (All Progressives Congress) ticket to run for a second term, all hell has been let loose by the chaotic and ill-prepared opposition camp.
A joke on WhatsApp last week was about the abuse and insults heaped on Muhammadu Buhari, attacking him for everything wrong with the country but failing to answer an important question: who do you have that is better?
In democracies around the globe, second terms by incumbents are usually harder to get simply because, somehow, there is always some kind of anti-incumbency leading to a loss of faith among those supporters.
For President Buhari, who won with massive votes in 2015, his major challenge is to do as well as he did, or even better. He came to power with a lot of expectations and Nigerians had, justifiably placed very high hopes on him. As we said sometimes back, he as a consequence, has became a victim of the tyranny of expectations. The weight of unrealistic expectations has evidently blinded many of the people from seeing the revolutionary changes happening across the nation.
Nigerians expected him to undo the damage in several decades of misgovernance and naturally, many are already feeling frustrated that he hadn’t done that in three years.
The problem with our opposition is that beyond fault-finding, they are unable to give or, innovate a vision of their own on how they can make the nation better.
A so-called Third Force has failed to get political traction since it birth. This is understandable, given that they have promised to give the country everything that is new but have so far produced no new faces, no new ways of doing things. Certainly, there is no face that can be called the President of Nigeria.
For the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) parading itself on the glory of being the largest opposition, the party has not less than 10 leaders acutely ambitious to rule Nigeria. It will take them minimally two to three terms of presidential tenure that is eight to 12 years to reinvent the party.
Looking at the entire opposition landscape, it can be said that they cannot be united by ideology, the type that made the pre-2015 opposition fuse into a formidable challenger that pushed an incumbent out of office. There is in no way therefore, they can choose leaders with unanimity.
What then they have taken to, is scaremongering by fanning ethnic and religious divisions among the minorities especially in the Middle Belt where hundreds of innocent citizens are confronted with violent death.
Before they take the words out of my mouth, let me state that the spate of those killings are tragic and unacceptable. They ought not to happen, and I am aware of how sad the Presidency is about these unfortunate goings-on. And there is so much that is being done to end the killings.
More, however, could still have been achieved if there is cooperation extended to the security agencies by everyone, and by everyone, I mean especially the political opposition. A political warlord recently ordered the provocative stoning of a Nigerian Air Force personnel as their chopper landed in a Northeastern state.
Today, the government has irrefutable evidence that much as most of these killings are arising from herdsmen-farmers attacks, some of it is driven by politicians. The recent arrests by the army in Taraba State point to a clear political sponsorship, and the kingpins, some of whom have been arrested have been handed over to the DSS for further investigation. Others who are being sought have either gone into hiding or they are pulling strings of blackmail to force the hands of government to abandon the search for them.
It is clear by now that the Middle Belt killings, even if they are not caused by the opposition, are no doubt, seen as a political opportunity to set the tone for the 2019 elections.
Another matter of great disappointment is the ongoing attempt to victimize a group of religious leaders, the Arewa Pastors Initiative for Peace, representing 45,000 members, simply because they paid a visit to President Buhari. We see this development as an unnecessary distraction at a time the country should be united against its common problems and challenges.
We are both mystified and disturbed by the growing lack of tolerance and accommodation by some groups who see it as their birth right to visit and address the President on their issues but lack the modicum of respect for others to do the same. It is regrettable that an innocuous visit is becoming a subject of needless and unprintable attacks on the President and his visitors for doing nothing wrong.
For the avoidance of doubt, the President would not want to set a dangerous precedent for the country by discriminating against any group exercising their democratic rights of freedom of speech and association.
The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, told the tale of the toad at the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Colloquium recently in Lagos.
“Let’s discuss tails,” the toad was told. It, not having a tail, the toad said, “no, let’s talk about other things.”
Rather than coming to the table to discuss what has been achieved or not in key areas of policy, the conversation is today limited to one, the morbid tale of the relationship between farmers and herders.
Sad as these incidents involving farmers and herdsmen are, I wonder what the result will be if half the newsprint and airtime devoted to this is used to draw attention to malaria which kills 300,000 Nigerians every year; the 88,000 malnourished children and the 230,000 malnourished, pregnant women in the northeast, a quarter of whom the UNICEF said would most likely not make it.
An important motivation for President Buhari’s bid for second term is that the gains made from 2015 should not be frittered. Buhari is not involved in corruption and is not desperate for the office. He is among the few leaders we have who are not obsessed with money, cars and homes but working passionately for the country’s economy, peace and safety. If a corrupt politician wins, we will go back to where we were in 2015.
Many, by now, have forgotten where we are coming from. The daily bomb blasts in our cities between 2012 and 2015 including the deadly attack on the United Nations Office in Abuja have been forgotten by many. The Juma’at Mosque bomb attack on Kano that left 300 dead and the theft of 270 girls in Chibok as they assembled to write their final exams, with 113 yet to return have for many, faded into history.
We lived in perpetual fear. I remember the story of the roadside Mosque in one settlement in which a black plastic bag was noticed by the congregation as the Imam led in prayer. The entire congregation fizzled out, the Imam, realising that he was left alone, only from the eerie air of silence after everyone had quietly left.
Today, religious gatherings and crowded markets have resumed. Witnesses reported that Abuja and Kaduna witnessed the largest simultaneous assembly of people when the Tijjaniyya Islamic movement celebrated their Maulud a week ago without the fear of bomb blasts.
Cabinet meetings are now about how trillions of Naira are to be used to provide long delayed infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railway, power, drugs and equipment for hospitals. Grand corruption, by which ministers sat around the table to share money drawn from the treasury, has been ended.
A majority of our people are farmers who depend on good rains, access to land and fertilizer to grow the food they eat and sell the surplus to make money for school fees for their children and where possible, add a wife or two and make the Hajj or other plans.
This administration has broken the jinx of fertilizer shortage and its high cost and has put land clearing for agriculture on a priority. Loans at low or no interest rates are being given by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Bank of Agriculture, the Bank of Industry and the Development Bank. It will take years to raise our rising population from poverty. Even in China, with the world’s fastest growing economy, this, still, is a work in progress.
The administration is doing so much for women, children and our enterprising youths. This is the first time anyone has given our country a social welfare scheme.
By it, 7.5 million children are served free meals in schools. This has improved school attendance. Two Hundred thousand graduates are now enrolled in N-Power, and 300,000 have just passed screening in the biggest, most audacious employment scheme on the continent. Our youths have a lot of ideas and many who need support, mentoring and guidance under the various schemes under the Social Investment Programme (SIP) of the government are getting help.
Three years on, the economy has seen a paradigm shift with agriculture getting a pride of place. We are importing 90 percent less rice than we did three years back. The World Bank has certified Nigeria as being one of the top ten most improved economies in the world. Power ministry has done commendably well, raising generation from an average of 2,600 megawatts (mw) to 7,500mw.
Today, each state has a minimum of between one to five federal roads under construction or reconstruction. Some have as many as eight or nine. The legendary Second Niger Bridge is by now 44 per cent complete, putting to shame the many years of platitude and lies by several past administrations.
With the advent of the Buhari administration, foreign policy has become robust. Nigerian enjoys a good reputation in West Africa, Africa and the world.
What this government is doing is different and the results are showing, for example:
  • Reversing the decline which began in 2014 and stabilizing the economy for Nigerians.
  • Recovery of stolen national assets.
  • Economic restructuring for the growth of private sector as the best solution to unemployment.
  • Demonstrable infrastructure improvement: roads, power and energy.
  • Re-establishment of collaborative working relationship between the President and the Vice President as model of how Northern/Southern, Muslim/Christian, Older/Younger Nigerians can and should work together.
The thing about second term in all political climes is that voters must have a practical reason to vote for someone. President Buhari has not given anyone an excuse not to choose him on this count. His is an administration that has something for everyone.
Supporters, who talk about a noticeable loss of faith by some, must note that there is nothing permanent in politics. Many of the allies will, in pursuit of power, come back to the APC, being the party with superior power.
The party did extremely well in the North to come to power and every indication is that in 2019, it will do in the South, what it did in the North in 2015.
By the way, did anyone notice the poll on who to choose in 2019 by a young man, Mark Essien @markessien on Twitter? Buhari supporters need to read that to cheer up!
Garba Shehu, is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on   Media & Publicity

My daughter seduced me, says incestuous dad

Oyelabi... yesterdayThe was the one who seduced me, she kissed me and I warned her. A particular day, she grabbed me and was trying to have sex with me. I beat her up but later I fell for it and slept with her. It was the devil that made me to fall.
Those were the words of a 50-year-old man, Taiwo Oyelabi arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for sleeping with and Impregnating his daughter, Nibila, 21.
According to the suspects, his daughter started leaving with him seven-months-ago after his sister brought her back from France.
Oyelabi said Nibila and her twin were abandoned by their mum when they were two-year-old, adding that his siblings took them from him until last November when she was brought home.
After sleeping with her the first time, Oyelabi said he reported the incident at a Celestial Church, where they performed deliverance.
“But after that, he said, I slept with her four more times. It was not four straight times.  We were leaving together and I decided that she needed to learn a skill to keep her occupied. I took her to a place where they produce nylons for her to learn and I paid for it.
“But after two weeks, she repeated the same action again and we slept together. Then, I am a security man at Obadore. Each night I want to go to work, she would say she cannot sleep alone that she was scared.
“So, I used to take her to my workplace and we would also have sex at night there. It was my landlord who leaked the news of our sexual affairs. He did it because we had an argument.
“I did not know that my daughter was already pregnant. She was three months and few weeks gone. I am not the one who deflowered her. She was not a virgin when we started sleeping together. She had a man friend, Azeez.
“I do not think I am responsible for her pregnancy because I was not the only one sleeping with her. I wanted to commit suicide when I learnt of the pregnancy. I tried to kill myself three times but people stopped me.
“The first time I tried to drink Snipper insecticide but a neighbour stopped me. I later jumped into a well but I was rescued alive. Then, I bought some drugs but people saw it and they collected it. It was the devil that led me to it.”
According to Police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal, the suspect was arrested by operatives attached to Igando Police Station, adding that the matter was later referred to gender section of the command for detailed investigation.

Armed policemen storm Melaye’s Abuja house

Dino MelayeArmed policemen on Monday stormed the Abuja home of embattled Senator Dino Melaye to arrest him.
The Kogi West senator also had a brush with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport where he was stopped from leaving the country.
Our reporter, who visited Melaye’s 11 Sangha Street, Maitama, Abuja, residence, witnessed a horde of armed police personnel milling around his house.
Apart from the presence of the police in their numbers, an unmarked police pick up van was also used to block the street near Melaye’s residence.
All vehicular movement in and around the house was blocked by police forcing motorists to beat a retreat.
The policemen were led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) who refused to disclose his name.
Asked why the policemen besieged Melaye’s house, the ACP declined comment and directed journalists to refer their enquiry to the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood.

Philippine museum traces war to lost tribal kinship

Cotabato Museum houses implements from Mindanao's centuries of warfare [JC Gotinga/Al Jazeera]Cotabato Museum houses implements from Mindanao's centuries of warfare [JC Gotinga/Al Jazeera]

North Cotabato, Philippines - 
Visitors at the brand new Cotabato Museum begin their tour by watching a short animated film.
It's crude compared with the average Hollywood cartoon flick, but the audience leaves the mini-theatre enchanted.
It tells the legend of two devoted brothers at the time when Islam came to Mindanao, the largest southern island in the Philippines.
One of them, Tabunaway, chose to embrace the new faith while the other, Mamalu, held on to his traditional beliefs.
Their parting of ways eventually set off what would become the bitter conflict that's tearing their descendants apart to this day.
More than 100,000 people have died in Mindanao's successive wars since the 1970s, according to several non-government research groups.
The conflict has also set the region's economy back by about $14bn.
Although the violence in Mindanao is often characterised as being between its native "Moro" Muslims and Christian settlers from the country's northern islands, the reality is far more nuanced and complicated.
There is a third voice - the Lumad - caught in the fray.
The Lumad are an indigenous group composed of more than 100 distinct tribes.
In mythology, they are the descendants of Mamalu, who moved to the highlands when Islam became the predominant religion in the lowlands.
The Lumad are gentle by nature, leading simple lives close to nature.
A long history of discrimination and neglect by the government has left them desperately poor and vulnerable to many kinds of abuse, including the usurpation of their ancestral lands.
The Lumad were forced to fight.

'spread subversive ideas'

In July last year, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a public speech that he would "bomb" the Lumad's schools because they "spread subversive ideas", accusing the group of supporting the communist rebels, the New People's Army (NPA).
At the Cotabato Museum's inaugural ceremony, Duterte's secretary for the peace process, Jesus Dureza, said: "More than 70 percent of the NPA's fighters are Lumads."

The government has recently reopened channels for peace talks with the communist rebels, and Dureza's lumping the Lumad with them was not necessarily an indictment.
Many Lumad leaders deny supporting the NPA, but not the fact that they have, in recent years, banded together their own small army to fight for their cause.
Although the Cotabato Museum tells history from three vantage points - the Muslim, Christian and Lumad narratives - it highlights that of the Lumad, not only because it is the least heard among them but also because it is the most ancient.
"Everyone was a Lumad," said museum co-curator Antonio Montalvan, "and that is what we want the Cotabato people to always remember, that they come from one source."
As visitors go through the museum's collection of weapons and implements from Mindanao's centuries of warfare, they should have in mind that all of it are symbols of a broken vow.
That is if they had paid attention to the animated film at the start of their tour.
Before they parted ways, Mamalu and Tabunaway made a pact of peace - that even though their beliefs had become different, they would forever remain brothers.
The museum challenges their descendants to keep that promise

Soyinka delivers Elizade varsity lecture

One hundred and five students of Elizade University, Ilara-mokin in Ondo State will receive their first degrees at the second convocation ceremony of the institution slated for Friday.
As part of the activities, Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka will on Thursday deliver the convocation lecture titled: “Tending the tree of commencement”.
Addressing reporters in Ilara-mokin, the Chairman, Ceremonies/Honours Committee, Omololu Adegbenro, said of 105 graduating studnets, 16 are in first class, 50 in second class (upper) and 39 in second class (lower).
Adegbenro, the registrar,  recalled that the institution, which began operation on January 6, 2013 with 31 students, now has 1,121 students.
He said the university  started with 12 programmes, but now has 31 programmes spreading across five faculties.
The registrar said the 25 programmes matured for National University Commission’s (NUC’s) accreditation were given full status.
He said over N25 billion had been invested in the university by its founder, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, who, according to him, had contributed over N200 bilion as yearly taxation to the government’s coffers since inception.

About 4,765 Nigerian doctors working in UK, says Anyaoku

•’Govts must uplift health sector’
MEDICAL doctors are abandoning Nigeria for greener pastures overseas owing to inadequate management of hospitals by the three tiers of government, former Commonwealth Secretary General Chief Emeka Anyaoku said yesterday.
He said over 4,765 Nigerian doctors were working in the United Kingdom (UK), which, according to him, constitute 1.7 per cent of the European country’s medical workforce.
Anyaoku spoke yesterday during the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital and the launching of an ultramodern Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra State.
He said Iyi-Enu Mission hospital had been no exception from the general decline of institutions throughout the country.
According him, “People of my age (85) feel nostalgic for the old days in the early years of our country’s independence.
“During that period, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, the Commonwealth ranked Nigeria fourth in the hierarchy of health sector efficiency countries.
“In fact, at that time, ours was a country that itself was attracting medical tourism on account of the quality of the services offered by the University Teaching Hospital Ibadan (UCH).
“But today, it is lamentable that the Federal Government’s endorsement of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation that 13 per cent of the national budget should be allocated to the health sector, as well as the African Union’s Abuja declaration in 2001 that 15 per cent of the national budget should be allocated to the health sector, only a paltry sum of between about 3.4 per cent and 5.6 per cent are allocated.”
The elder statesman said the result of the low budgetary allocation to the health sector over the years and “the Nigerian factor” had assailed the country with ill-equipped hospitals with low grade facilities.
“Indeed, most of our hospitals have been reduced to mere consulting clinics.
“Recently, we had a big shock to the national psyche, when it was revealed that even the Aso Rock Clinic that attends to the nation’s highest political leaders and their families was completely lacking in basic facilities like drugs and even syringes.
“It is, therefore, no surprise that when he visited Nigeria recently, Bill Gates, the Chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in criticising Nigeria for spending relatively far too little on the development of its human capital, pointed to the nation’s health sector alongside the education sector as some of the most neglected,” the elder  statesman said.
Anyaoku said Bill Gates’ reference to the Nigerian health sector was not comforting.
“Yet, Nigeria’s dismal record and bad reputation in the health sector cannot come to anybody as a surprise, not when highly qualified Nigerian doctors are voting with their feet, fleeing and abandoning the country in droves to work abroad,” he said.
He, therefore, hailed the authorities of Iyi-Enu Hospital under the leadership of the Bishop on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo, for accepting the challenge of restoring the health facility to its past glory.
“But in this highly desirable restoration, I enjoin the management to take seriously, the importance of specific training of technicians for the maintenance of the sophisticated diagnostic, dialysis and the MRI equipment that are installed, “Anyaoku said.
The event was attended by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the traditional ruler of Ogidi, Igwe Alex Onyido and others.

Electricity Distribution Companies: Service or trouble providers?

The complaints of electricity consumers in Nigeria has shifted From erratic supply, arbitrary disconnections and poor customer service, the complaints of electricity consumers have shifted to outrageous estimated billings, which the Distribution Companies (DisCos) do without remorse. Rather than monitor the consumption of power by customers, DisCo workers prepare for and send bills to unoccupied and abandoned buildings. Pushed to the wall, customers are ready for a showdown and they have the current backing of the National Assembly, reports EMEKA UGWUANYI.
FOR almost two decades, Nigeria has been in search of stable and efficient electricity supply. After experimenting with not a few models, the Federal Government settled for the privatisation of the power sector.
The anomalies in the sector over the years were blamed on long years of non-investment in power infrastructure by successive military administrations and alleged corruption in the sector as encouraged by government ownership and management.
Besides, the metamorphosis of the utility from Electric Company of Nigeria (ECN) to the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA); to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Plc, and to the unbundling of the PHCN into 18 successor companies – six generation companies (GenCos), one transmission company (TransCo) and 11 DisCos), which today bear different names.
The search for regular power supply began with the inauguration of a Technical Committee on the defunct NEPA by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2002. The committee chaired by the former Power & Steel Minister and one-time Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke. The Imoke-panel had a mandate to raise the generation capacity from a little above generate 1000 megawatts (mw) to 4000 mw.
The failure of that effort to yield the expected dividend brought about the introduction of the Electric Power Sector Reform Bill, which the National Assembly passed in March 2005.
By July 1, 2012, NEPA transformed to PHCN Plc, which was unbundled and by November 1, 2013, the private sector was privatised, giving birth to the current 11 DisCos. They are: Eko, Ikeja, Port Harcourt, Benin, Abuja, Ibadan, Yola, Kano, Enugu, Kaduna and Jos.
Also in 2005, the Federal Government established the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) superintended by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) to intervene in all the power value chain to make power available.
The NDPHC established to fast track an infrastructure development company to manage the power projects under the NIPP scheme of the three-tiers of government (federal, states and local). The NIPP is an emergency intervention scheme to tackle the deficit and expand power sector infrastructure in the country.
The company had a mandate to develop 10 power plants with a designed ISO capacity of 5,067mw, 102 transmission lines and substations projects and over 291 distribution- injection sub stations and gas infrastructure with over 22,000 completely self-protected transformers among other critical projects. It has over 3,000mw of generation capacity available for deployment to the national grid.

The challenge

The expectations of consumer were that the privatisation of the sector in 2013 would end their plights, light would be stable, operational capacity of the DisCos would substantially improve and service delivery and customer relations would be standardised.
However, four years after, the customers’ dilemma has grown from bad to worse.  Power supply has not improved and the bills continue to grow every month. The customers that are billed on estimation are worst hit. The marketers engaged by the DisCos must meet revenue targets to keep their jobs. Their employers must remain in business to service others on the value chain – the GenCos and TranCos.
The DisCos are the only part of the value chain that interfaces with power consumers (customers) and generates the income that serves the financial needs of the value chain – generation, transmission and distribution. Since the privatisation of the sector, the government has drastically reduced its financial intervention in the sector even though it still has 40 per cent equity in the 11 DisCos.
Meeting the financial needs of the sector has been herculean for the DisCos. According to the DisCos, the customers are under-billed and for them to be efficient as expected, the power sector regulator – the Nigerian Electricity Regulator Commission (NERC), should make customers to pay cost-reflective tariffs.
The DisCos have been fighting battles on multiple fronts – with customers, the power generators and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) that has accused them (Discos) of under-remitting their collections.
To prevent total collapse of the sector, the Federal Government came up with an intervention fund of N701 billion. It is to pay the power generators and by extension, gas suppliers, should DisCos and NBET fail to pay.
But ironically, as the government solved the problem in the power supply value chain, consumers’ pains tripled. The DisCos went on the rampage with outrageous billing.
The metering of customers dropped abysmally in some DisCos in preference for estimated billing. But officials of the DisCos denied having preference for estimated billing to properly metering customers. They told The Nation that estimated billing was helping them to recover their costs.
It was learnt that the customers that are billed on estimation pay for the power lost in transit during the transportation of the energy to the DisCo from the grid, or power lost as a result faulty facilities and also stolen power by customers that feed on illegal connections and customers that bypass their prepaid meters.
An official explained: “Therefore, what the DisCos do is that when they buy power, whatever is the percentage cost of the purchase realised from customers that are metered, the remaining part of the cost including anticipated profit is factored into the unpaid cost and shared among customers on estimated billing.
“Unfortunately, the DisCos do this without checking customers’ consumption and were sending huge bills even to unoccupied premises.”

Customers’ outrage

With no end in sight for estimated billing, customers have been sending complaints and petitions to DisCos’ Complaint Centres and the National Assembly. Sometimes out of anger, customers swoop on DisCos’ staff when they go for disconnection. There have been series of protests by customers at the offices of DisCos over shoddy services.
Not a few customers are armed with their petitions to the National Assembly. The Nation learnt that the members of the Journalists’ Estate Residents Association (JERDA) Phase I, Arepo and Mokore Residents Association, Warewa are collating  complaints and petitions against outrageous billing. Both communities in Ogun State fall within the network of Ikeja Electric (IE). The action they plan to take after the collation is being kept secret.

The public hearing

Following the complaints and petitions from consumers that are before the National Assembly, the House of Representatives constituted the House of Representatives ad- Hoc Committee on Electricity Customers’ Complaints, to look into the problems and proffer solutions.
The committee began its intervention in Lagos last week by holding a public hearing for customers in the Southwest geopolitical zone. At the hearing were representatives of the DisCos in the Southwest geopolitical zone, excluding Ekiti, whose customers are serviced by the Benin Electric Distribution Company (BEDC). In attendance were: Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Ikeja Electric and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company and representatives of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The committee Chairman, Israel Ajibola Famurewa, said: “We have received a lot of complaints, petitions from Nigerians about outrageous billing and poor services rendered by the DisCos. It has got to a stage that if the House doesn’t do something about the matter, it may lead to a breakdown of law and people may take laws into their hands.
“The House in its wisdom constituted this committee to interface with the consumers, DisCos and the regulatory body (NERC) and find lasting solutions to the problems.
“We had an interactive session with some stakeholders in Abuja and decided to have proper interactions with consumers, DisCos and NERC in different geopolitical zones. We have started with Lagos in Southwest, from there to Enugu in the Southeast, Port Harcourt in Southsouth, Yola in the Northeast, Kano in the Northwest, Nasarawa in the North -central before we have a proper public hearing in Abuja.
“At the end of this exercise, hopefully we believe, I will tender our report in the House. We will look at the laws that guide the sector holistically.
“If need be to repeal some laws and re-enact, we’ll do, or amend some laws, we’ll do.  We are representatives of the people, we will do everything possible within the legislative framework to protect the interests of Nigerians who we are representing and make sure their rights are adequately protected.”
Famurewa told The Nation that his committee has six weeks to submit its report to the Green Chamber within six weeks.

Complaints all the way

The Southwest public hearing was explosive as customers hit the DisCos hard for giving them outrageous bills without commensurate power supply.
Some customers called on the Federal Government to review power sector privatisation as the DisCos, according to them, lack the capacity and competency to handle power business.
Many customers from Ikeja, Eko and Ibadan DisCos that cover the Southwest, urged the government to carry out holistic review of the activities of some distribution companies in the region over non-performance.
In his submission, the Chairman, Magodo Phase I Community Development Association, Bode Ojomo, urged the committee to enact a law that would restrain distribution companies from carrying out estimated billing without reading of meters.
He said “We are battling with overbilling and estimated billings from the distribution company, despite non-supply of power to the estate in the last three months.
“Ikeja DisCo has failed in its responsibility to customers. I urge the electricity regulator to attach stiffer sanction to non-performing Discos. Enough is enough; we cannot continue to be paying for darkness. We are paying over N35, 000 monthly on three bedroom apartment.”
Ojomo said IE needs to audit its staff as many of them are ignorant of the job they do.
“They sit in the office, make up figures and share among customers as bills. He noted that the Ikeja DisCo does not read meters, querying how houses in the estate could get the same amount on the bills issued. Do they have the same consumption level? It is not possible to have the same bills, it is fraud”, he added.
Another consumer, Mrs. Ladun Lawal, a retired civil servant in Ife, Osun State, condemned IBEDC for persistent high bills given her by the company without corresponding energy supply. Mrs. Lawal said the phenomenon of crazy bills had become a monthly ritual, which she had to contend with.
She urged the IBEDC management to train their workers on manners and how to attend to customers. According to her, the DisCo lacked service delivery, customer relations and notorious for issuing fictitious bills to consumers.
Mrs. Lawal claimed that the installation of pre-paid meter by IBEDC to customers has become a taboo as they live fat on estimated billing.
Her words: “I paid over N80, 000 for the pre-paid meter since 2016, but I am yet to receive the meter and they keep sending bills of over N200, 000 monthly to my place. It is painful that this is happening in this country. How will one access light from the IBEDC for just three hours in the entire month and the bill is mind-boggling.’’
Mrs Abosede Ogunyemi, a trader from Ekiti State under Benin DisCo, lamented the crazy billing in spite of the epileptic power supply. She added that many had waited for years to obtain prepaid meters. Mrs. Ogunyemi described the fixed and estimated billing system as fraudulent, saying the system has also been faulted by the NERC as cheating of consumers.
She decried consumers’ arbitrary billing by the BEDC over the year, adding that the estimated billing system had become means of exploiting Nigerians.
Mrs. Ogunyemi urged the government to intervene by making durable prepaid meters available to consumers.
“I stopped using public power supply since two years ago due to poor supply and unscrupulous officials of the distribution company. The officials would bring between N35,000 and N47,000 monthly when their company did not supply us power up to three hours in a whole month,’’ she said.
Another customer under the IE network said her bills were increased every month in geometrical order, from N40, 000 to N80,000 and N160,000 until it reached N400,000.
According to her, when the bill got to N80, 000, she reported at the undertaking office and they didn’t treat her matter.
She said: “So, when they (IE staff) came again, she willingly asked them to cut her supply off as it was far cheaper for her to run fuel. Besides, I only occupy the apartment with my mother and siblings and we don’t produce manufacture anything.
“I was out of grid supply for six months before the problem was resolved but throughout the six months, the bills continued coming. I have copies of the bills with me here, she told the committee.”
The same scenario played out in Enugu when the committee staged a public hearing for the customers in the Southeast at the weekend. The customers urged the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company to install prepaid meters for them and stop the over-billing and estimated billing that cause disagreements between them (customers) and the utility.
A consumer from Akwa Ibom, Mrs. Eunice Nwoye, said estimated billing made it difficult for artisans to make profit because it was high and not commensurate with the energy consumed.
She said: “It is unbearable for someone operating hair salon to pay as much as N5, 000 when the person hardly gets supply in a day. I believe if functional prepaid meters are installed, customers definitely will pay for what they use.”
Another consumer from Ogbete area in Enugu, Enugu State, Chidi Madu, complained about inconsistencies in the estimated bills for his flat.
“My estimated bills have continued to increase from N6,000 to N8,000 and now N10,000,” he said, noting that only prepaid meter would stop Nigerians from paying for what they did not consume.
Famurewa, said his committee’s report would be guided by the aggregate of the consumers’ views and their challenges.

Pockets of protests

On Thursday, last week, Badagry residents protested what they called four-hour weekly power supply and huge bills.
Women Arise President, Mrs. Joe Okei-Odumakin joined scores of the protesters who said in the last decade, they only get four-hour supply in a week. The protesters, who carried placards, marched through the coastal town, causing heavy traffic congestion on the Badagry–Lagos Expressway.
Mrs. Okei-Odumakin said: “Badagry is written in gold in our history books because it is the cradle of civilisation. So, it’s saddening that such an important place doesn’t have power supply. I learnt that for over 20 years, the power supply in the city has been extremely terrible and despite all these, residents still receive estimated bills for services not rendered. Estimated billing is evil and part of corruption. So, it must be eradicated totally. This protest would drive home our request that something must be done in that aspect.”
Ayo Akinde, a resident of Itoga Road, said Badagry residents only got a maximum of four-hour power supply weekly in the past 10 years.
According to him, Badagry residents have not enjoyed two hours of uninterrupted day time power supply in the past decade.
Akinde said: “The power situation in Badagry has become so bad that many people have moved out of the ancient town to other areas such as Agbara and Ibereko where there is improved electricity supply.”

DisCos as no respecters
of customers

Not even the lawmakers, including House of Representatives the Speaker Yakubu Dogara, were spared of the ordeal and embarrassment caused customers by the DisCos.
But the legislators have begun a progress to criminalise electricity estimated billing system.
The lawmakers said the process to proscribe the issuance of estimated bills to consumers is to propose a bill seeking to amend the Electricity Power Reform Act.
Sponsored by the House of Representatives Majority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila and others, the Bill has scaled second reading on the floor of the Green Chamber. If passed, every electricity consumer must be provided with a prepaid meter, thus ending the regime of paying for power not consumed.
The lawmakers also proposed to criminalise non-provision of prepaid meter after application and illegal disconnection of consumer’s light, among others, with a fine of N500, 000, or six-month jail term.
Failure to carry out the provision of the proposed law was to attract a six-month jail term, a fine of N1 million, or both.
The development followed the second reading of a bill where Section 67, sub-Section 1 of the Principal Act among others was amended. Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, Gbajabiamila said that feedback from Nigerians showed deliberate extortion of consumers by the DisCos.
On the need to back the prohibition of estimated billing by law, the House Leader pointed out the difference between regulation and law.
He said: “The Electricity Regulatory body  can direct that all consumers be provided with prepaid meters immediately and by the stroke of a pen, can also direct  that the prepaid meter no longer be provided for one reason or another. So, if this is backed by law, such can no longer happen.”
Other lawmakers relived their experiences in the hands of Discos officials on estimated bills.
Dogara said he had to disconnect his house in Bauchi that was not occupied but receiving N80, 000 monthly on estimated bill.
Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Pally Iriase, described estimated bill as a serious financial oppression, adding that the sale of the National asset was faulty from the beginning. The arbitrariness of the billing is real, Iriase regretted, adding that “the people who were handed our commonwealth for nothing and making millions out of it could not add any value to it.
“These are the same people who don’t want to install the meters even after the consumers have paid for the meter, they kept on giving excuses.”
Muhammad Monguno (APC, Borno) wonder why estimated bill was alien to Nigeria’s less-developed neighbours like Chad and Sudan and others that Nigeria supplies power to.
Mrs. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (PDP, Abia) regretted that corruption has eaten deep into the system. She described as unacceptable a situation whereby an entire community in parts of Southeast gets one prepaid meter while the bill, running into hundreds of thousands are shared by individuals within the community.
“Billing on one prepaid meter by the entire community is always causing problems every time”, she added.
Sergius Ogun (PDP, Delta) lamented that the N215 billion intervention fund given to the sector, and by extension to the DisCos, has yielded no result.


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