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Oyo Senator, Balogun breaks silence, kicks against electricity tariff hike

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Senator Kola Balogun, representing Oyo South Senatorial District, last Thursday broke silence on the electricity tariff hike.

Balogun, who is also a member of the Senate Committee on Power kicked against the increase in electricity tariff implemented by power distribution companies across the country, just as he absolved the Senate of being part of the decision.

The lawmaker maintained that any policy that will further inflict more hardship on the masses will always be rejected.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had on August 27 informed that electricity tariff reviews, going forward will only follow service-based principles.

According to NERC, DiSCos will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with them and commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and quality of service.

Senator Balogun, during a media parley with the Southwest Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital further disclosed how the Committee rejected the plan to increase electricity tarrif at a meeting organised by the National Electricity Regularly Commission (NERC), in Lagos.

“Sometimes last year,  NERC invited us to a meeting in Lagos where they came up with this proposal to increase electricity tariff and quite a number of us on that day rejected it out rightly, we said we will not support it.

“Because, how can you charge people for what they are not getting? That’s our position. Go and improve on your performances.

“Look at the telecoms. When NITEL was unbundled and we now have GSM, people are willing to pay, they are still paying because they are getting the services .

“So, how can I go back to my district and tell them that I agreed with the tariff to pay more for what they are not getting, it doesn’t make sense. I know we spoke against it and we left it at that. So we didn’t support it”, he explained.

Balogun, however continued, “But, it is safe for us to pass a law or amend an act to stop any situation, that is what is binding. As we speak I still don’t support it because timing is wrong, even if they have enough reasons to increase, how can you do that at this material time of COVID?”, he questioned.

The PDP chieftain noted that the problem in power sector started with the way and manner the system was unbundled. He alleged that the players lacked the wherewithal; both technical and financial muscle to perform optimally.

“Already we have 8,000MW, deliverable is still about 3,000-4,000MW; because they are not investing in transmission infrastructure.

“So, they don’t give them more than they can take, because if the load goes back, it will damage the system. And of course, distribution also has its own problem.

“If we have 5,000 MW deliverables, Nigerians will witness mass improvement in our electricity supply and then you can imagine if we have about 7, 000 MW deliverables.

“They said they don’t have the off takers which is not true. They also complained about inability to collect revenues from the general public and that the federal government is also owing them a lot of money. But, we say go and get prepaid meters. So what the federal government is trying to do now is likely to procure prepaid meters for them. If you have prepaid meters you make more money because nobody will take your electricity without paying”, he  submitted.

Balogun also commended the federal government for bringing Siemens to invest in transmission infrastructure.

According to him, “What the federal government is doing now, I am in support of it. The federal government is bringing Siemens to invest in transmission infrastructure. In fact it took a little argument before the owners of the transmission business allowed that to happen because there is always an agreement.

“In fact, we have to really be diplomatic, almost being persuasive for them to allow Siemens to come in and they have done a lot of feasibility study and they are bringing in almost everything that we would need to invest in transmission infrastructure; although with a loan from France”, he added.

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Catholic bishops advocate review of Nigeria’s security architecture

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Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province, comprising Ibadan Archdiocese, Ilorin, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osogbo Dioceses, on Tuesday called for a thorough review of Nigeria’s security architecture.

The bishops, who gathered at the Jubilee Conference Centre in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, also expressed concern over the rising insecurity in the country, adding that it was unfortunate that the Federal Government has remained impervious to this call.

The meeting had in attendance, Most. Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin, (Ibadan), Most. Rev. Felix Ajakaiye (Ekiti), Most. Rev. Emmanuel Badejo (Oyo), Most. Rev. Felix Job (Ibadan).

Others are: Most. Rev. AyoMaria Atoyebi (Ibadan), Most. Rev. John Oyejola (Osogbo), Most. Rev. Jude Arogundade (Ondo) and Most. Rev. Paul Olawoore (Ilorin).

According to them, “With the current realities, it has become more necessary than ever to demand the review of Nigeria’s security architecture. Given  the campaign promises of the present government and the cauldrons of insecurity erupting all over the country, it is unfortunate that the Federal Government has remained impervious to this call. As a consequence, we parade a Nigerian Army that has not been able to effectively check the atrocities of Boko Haram for over a decade. How does one deny the allegation that kidnapping and banditry are abetted by government when  even State governments pay bandits and herdsmen as a means of placating them?

“How can we claim to have a Nigeria Police, when the body is no longer trusted to protect the same people it was set up to serve in many parts of the country?”, the bishops questioned.

The Catholic Bishops, in a communique jointly signed by the President, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin and the Secretary, Most Rev. John Oyejola  at the end of  their first meeting for the year 2021, identified the ongoing effort of the governors of some South Western States  to regulate the activities of Fulani herdsmen within the zone, noting that insincerity, selfish interests and lack of political will had in the past, caused needless destruction of life and property and inflicted untold pain and hardship on innocent citizens.

However, they urged the governors to shun deceptive adulations and empty promises on issues that impact the security of life and property.

The communique read, “they must work with the security agencies to courageously implement the law in all cases and sanction those who blatantly and murderously flout it in their territories. No Nigerian or foreigner should be above the law in any part of the country.

“It is frustrating to see Governors, constitutionally empowered  as the first security officers of their States, being impeded and rendered ineffective by mitigating actions and pronouncements allegedly made on behalf of the Federal government, when they take lawful steps to respond to security needs in their States. Such manner of governance, that exerts itself to protect the interest of a segment of the population at the expense of the security of life and property of the majority, makes the emergence  of militias and self-appointed messiahs inevitable.

“We therefore join all well-meaning Nigerians who have called on the authorities to allow alternative and lawful initiatives which are established for protecting life and property like the South Western Security Network (SWSN), codenamed Amotekun, to thrive. Such initiatives deserve to be supported and optimised  as a complimentary security organization for the benefit of the people in different parts of Nigeria”.

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Properties worth over N50m lost to inferno – Sunday Igboho reacts

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Yoruba activist and Oodua  Republic agitator, Chief  Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as ‘Sunday Igboho’ has said that properties worth  over N50 million has been lost to the early Tuesday morning inferno at his Soka residence in Ibadan

Reacting on Tuesday, shortly after his house went up in flames, Sunday Igboho explained that the arsonists broke the gate to the building to gain entrance before setting the house on fire.

He stressed that the two people living in the house fled for their lives in the chaos.

“Around 03:30 am this morning, my siblings living in my old house came to alert me that some hoodlums were at the house, shooting sporadically, and that they had forced the gate open and set the house ablaze.

“My siblings escaped unhurt but my house was burnt. When we got there, the hoodlums had escaped so we called the fire service to put out the fire.

“I am surprised that some Yoruba people could be supporting killer herdsmen to destroy my house. This saddens me.

“My agitations are for all of us to come together against killer herdsmen who have been terrorizing the Yorubas by kidnapping, killing our brothers, and raping our women in Yoruba Land.

“To my amazement, some Yoruba people are aiding these killer herdsmen.

I expected them to come and attack my residence where I live now to show that they mean business.

“I assure you if they had, I would have been able to give you evidence of the hoodlums that did this.

“The property destroyed in that inferno would not be less than fifty million”, he added.

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2 Operatives Injured , As Youths Attacked Amotekun In Oyo {Photos}

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The Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun, in Oyo state has confirmed that two of its operatives from Ilesiwaju Local Government Area of the state were attacked by some ‘misguided youths’.

Oyo Amotekun also informed that though, there was no loss of life, but the officers were severely injured and are in critical condition at an undisclosed hospital.

It added that vehicles belonging to Itesiwaju Area Command were completely vandalized .

The state Command, in a statement issued on Monday explained, “On the 23rd of January 2021, two of our operatives from Itesiwaju LGA were travelling to Ago-Are enroute Tede were brutally attacked without provocation.

“They were granted free passage at Ago -Are end upon the explanation that they were from Itesiwaju LG and are on routine mission.

“However, at Tede end some misguided youths attacked the operatives with guns, matchetes and axes.

“Though there was no loss of life, our two operatives were severely injured and are in critical condition at the hospital.

 

“Unfortunately, after this unprovoked attack and assault, our vehicles belonging to Itesiwaju Area Command were completely vandalised and damaged”, the statement concluded.

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