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Aba Power Distributes Over 22,000 Prepaid Meters in Six Months, Plans Increased Rollout

“We are deploying prepaid meters feeder by feeder. In the past six months, we have covered four feeders: Aba Township, Aba East, Ehi Road, and the World Bank. We are about to commence work on the fifth feeder. Our chairman, Professor Bart Nnaji, has directed us to always prioritize manufacturing firms as they were instrumental in bringing Geometric Power to Aba, a key industrial city. We prioritize them to help reduce their operational costs, which will make their products more affordable, benefiting the general populace.” Opiegbe

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Aba Power Limited, Nigeria’s newest electricity distribution company, has successfully distributed over 22,000 smart prepaid meters since the launch of its Mass Metering campaign in November 2023.

“Although our stakeholders are pleased with our progress since the program’s inception,” remarked Ugo Opiegbe, Managing Director of Aba Power, during a press briefing in Aba, “we aim to significantly accelerate our efforts over the next six months and achieve even greater milestones thereafter.”

The estimated cost to install meters for approximately 200,000 registered customers in the Aba Ring-fenced Area is projected to be at least N32 billion.

Aba Power began its commercial operations in September 2022 and currently supplies electricity to nine out of the 17 local government areas (LGAs) in Abia State.

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To alleviate the financial strain on the power distribution company, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) instructed Aba Power to collaborate with meter vending companies. These companies now charge customers between N129,000 and N147,640.01 for a single-phase meter, and between N227,207.76 and N241,875 for a three-phase meter, up from the previous rates of N88,124 and N154,624 respectively.

“We regret these increases during such challenging times for Nigerians, but they are unavoidable due to the depreciating value of the naira against the dollar,” Opiegbe explained. “The positive aspect is that customers will recover these payments over a 10-year period through electricity credit.”

Opiegbe revealed that Aba Power is currently collaborating with two meter vendors but is considering expanding the number of vendors to eliminate the practice of estimated meter readings entirely. “Estimated bills are unacceptable to us because they undermine accountability and transparency,” he stated. “They erode customer confidence, which is crucial for customer satisfaction.”

Some vendors initially considered but not hired due to concerns about quality and integrity may now be engaged as they have made improvements and are “willing to meet our standards, which must be international,” according to Opiegbe.

There have been unconfirmed reports of certain agents from the vending companies charging illegal fees to individuals and businesses. Opiegbe declined to comment on these allegations.

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Aba Power is currently partnering with Holley Metering Ltd and the KAYZ Consortium to install smart prepaid meters across its coverage area. The company operates 31 feeders, which complicates the simultaneous provision of smart prepaid meters to all customers.

“We are deploying prepaid meters feeder by feeder,” Opiegbe noted. “In the past six months, we have covered four feeders: Aba Township, Aba East, Ehi Road, and the World Bank. We are about to commence work on the fifth feeder. Our chairman, Professor Bart Nnaji, has directed us to always prioritize manufacturing firms as they were instrumental in bringing Geometric Power to Aba, a key industrial city. We prioritize them to help reduce their operational costs, which will make their products more affordable, benefiting the general populace.”

Engineer Dike Ejike, an electricity consultant based in Enugu, praised Aba Power for prioritizing industrial clients. “Manufacturers in Nigeria are facing tough times and must be supported to retain their workforce. Their failure would have catastrophic consequences not just for the economy but for Nigerian society as a whole,” Ejike stated.

Aba Power’s initiative to distribute prepaid meters is a crucial step towards improving transparency and efficiency in electricity billing, benefiting both individual and industrial customers. With plans for an even more aggressive rollout in the coming months, the company is committed to enhancing the reliability and accountability of power supply in its service areas. GMTNewsng

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Federal High Court Nullifies Reappointment of Sanusi as Emir of Kano

The controversy began when the Kano State government initiated steps to repeal the emirates law, which had been previously used to create new emirates and diminish the influence of the Kano Emirate. This move was widely seen as a political maneuver to weaken the power of Emir Sanusi, a vocal critic of the state government. In response to the repeal, Sanusi was reappointed as the Emir of Kano, a decision now rendered invalid by the court.

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Danladi Muazu (Abuja)

In a landmark ruling, the Federal High Court in Kano has set aside all steps taken to repeal the emirates law, thereby nullifying the reappointment of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. The decision, delivered by presiding Judge Abdulahi Liman, has significant implications for the traditional and political landscape of Kano State and has sparked a wave of reactions from various stakeholders.

The court’s decision came after a detailed examination of the legal framework surrounding the emirates law. Legal analysts have interpreted the ruling as a reaffirmation of the judiciary’s role in upholding the rule of law and ensuring that due process is followed in governmental decisions. “This ruling underscores the importance of adhering to established legal procedures when making or repealing laws,” stated Barrister Ahmed Suleiman, a prominent legal expert.

The controversy began when the Kano State government initiated steps to repeal the emirates law, which had been previously used to create new emirates and diminish the influence of the Kano Emirate. This move was widely seen as a political maneuver to weaken the power of Emir Sanusi, a vocal critic of the state government. In response to the repeal, Sanusi was reappointed as the Emir of Kano, a decision now rendered invalid by the court.

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Speaking on the ruling, Dr. Amina Mohammed, a political analyst, highlighted the broader implications for governance and traditional authority in Nigeria. “The nullification of Sanusi’s reappointment raises questions about the balance of power between state governments and traditional institutions. It also highlights the potential for legal recourse when procedural irregularities occur,” she said.

Emir Sanusi, known for his progressive views and outspoken nature, has yet to make an official statement regarding the court’s decision. However, sources close to the emir suggest that he remains committed to advocating for reforms and good governance, irrespective of his official status. “Sanusi’s influence extends beyond his title. He is a thought leader whose ideas resonate with many Nigerians,” commented Professor Ibrahim Musa of Bayero University.

The Kano State government, on the other hand, expressed its intention to comply with the court’s ruling while exploring possible avenues for appeal. “We respect the judiciary and will abide by the court’s decision. However, we believe that the actions taken were in the best interest of the people of Kano, and we are considering our legal options moving forward,” said Governor Abdullahi Ganduje in a press release.

The ruling has prompted discussions about the future of the emirates law and the role of traditional rulers in contemporary Nigerian society. Legal scholars suggest that a comprehensive review of the emirates law could provide clarity and prevent future conflicts. “There is a need for clear guidelines and consistent application of the law to ensure stability and respect for traditional institutions,” noted Dr. Chinedu Nwankwo, a constitutional lawyer.

Community leaders and residents of Kano have also weighed in on the issue, with many calling for dialogue and reconciliation. “The people of Kano deserve leaders who are committed to unity and development. It’s time to put political differences aside and focus on what benefits the community,” urged Alhaji Usman Danbatta, a respected elder in the state.

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As the situation unfolds, the legal fraternity and political observers will be closely monitoring the responses from both the Kano State government and Emir Sanusi. The court’s decision, while resolving the immediate legal dispute, has opened up a broader conversation about the intersection of law, tradition, and politics in Nigeria.

In the wake of this ruling, it is crucial for all parties involved to engage constructively and work towards a resolution that upholds the rule of law while respecting the cultural heritage of Kano. The way forward, as suggested by many, lies in dialogue, legal clarity, and a shared commitment to the welfare of the people of Kano.

Judge Abdulahi Liman’s ruling marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing debate over the role of traditional authority in Nigerian governance, and its ramifications will likely be felt for some time to come. GMTNewsng

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Governor Fubara Swiftly Appoints Caretaker Committees Across All Rivers State’s 23 LGAs

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Siminalayi Fubara

▪️Boughayefa Tonye-Graham (Port Harcourt)

In a move to maintain administrative momentum following the tenure expiration of elected council chairmen and councillors, Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has appointed new Chairmen and members for Caretaker Committees across the state’s twenty-three (23) Local Government Areas (LGAs).

The newly appointed Caretaker Chairmen and their committee members were meticulously screened today by the Rivers State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Voctor Oko-Jumbo. The screening process, which was announced in an earlier public declaration by the Clerk of the House, G.M. Gillis-West, Ph.D., required nominees to present twelve (12) copies of their Curriculum Vitae (CV) along with the originals and photocopies of their credentials. The screening exercise was monitored on Channels TV.

Below is the list of the approved nominees capturing the critical leadership roles for each LGA:

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Victor Oko-Jumbo, Speaker, RSHA

1. Abua/Odual Local Government Area

Chairman: Madigai Dickson
Members: Akpila Asuo, Obiavel Abigo, Mayiton Adokiye, Ngozi Chioma, Egbagiri Udume Ebenezer, Gilbert Onyiwayi

2. Ahoada East Local Government Area

Chairman: Hon. Happy Benneth
Members: Chime Ezebalike, Harold Edema, Kenneth Kpasa, Udomazubuike, Mrs. Rachael Odum, Edward Azubike

3. Ahoada West Local Government Area

Chairman: Mr. Daddy John Green
Members: Mr. Awuche Chukwuemeke Gideon, Nnamdi Osokolo Esq, Avor Green Egbo, Ordu Chisa, Ben C. Obobula, John Paro

4. Akuku Toru Local Government Area

Chairman: Barr. Otonye Briggs
Members: Nyenemi Briggs, Isimama Ikiriko, Christian Obene, Bitebobo Nelson Amieye, Ekarika Emmanuel, Okorite Bob-Manuel

5. Andoni Local Government Area

Chairman: Barr. Reginald Ekaan
Members: Okereke Uche Kalu, Inwon Fyneface Ayayi, Kpenunkpo-Agok-Awayi Amakiri Gogo, John I. Idante, Warisofini E. Nkere, Emem Timothy Ekanem

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A cross-section of Chairmen and members of the LGAs

6. Asari Toru Local Government Area

Chairman: Orolosoma Amachree
Members: Jengoa Cotterel, Mrs. Akuroma-A Kenneth Abbey, Umualapuye Sukubo, Dagogo Churchill Whyte, Lolo P. Clifford, Lawal Sabiu

7. Bonny Local Government Area

Chairman: Alabota Anengi Barasua
Members: Warisenibo Opubo-Wilcox, Alali Hart, Sodienye Amah Pepple, Tamunosisi David Jumbo, Doris Hart Francis, Lukumanu Sdanu

8. Degema Local Government Area

Chairman: Anthony Soberekon
Members: Johnny Braide, Valentine Moses, Opunabo Benebo, Obrasua Johnbull, Jemina Erekosima, Remi Suku

9. Eleme Local Government Area

Chairman: Brain Gokpa
Members: Okaka Obe, Godwin Ollor, Patience Dabor, Emmanuel Osarokio, Mimi Gospel, Dikko Mohammed

10. Emohua Local Government Area

Chairman: David Omereji
Members: Uche Minikwu, Light Olomi, Jaja Dimkra, Monday Chima, Ngozi Okenwe, Ifeanyi John

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A cross-section of Chairmen and members of the LGAs

11. Etche Local Government Area

Chairman: John Otamiri Nkugbo
Members: Promise Onygam, Kingdom Nwakwoala, Austine Amadi, Nwodu Chima, Florence Nwala, Charles Echelobia

12. Gokana Local Government Area

Chairman: Kenneth Kpeden
Members: Dumiye Monday, Kogbara Aator Mrs, Isreal Mgbuelo, Leesi Susan Naasi, Kpobari Zarakpeye, Akaraka Nwaeze

13. Ikwerre Local Government Area

Chairman: Dr. Darlington Orji
Members: Engr. Newton Amadi, Engr. Chiene Wodike, Mr Daniel Eluke, Dr. Aaron Chiliobu, Ichem Thankgod, Onuocha Harold Onyema

14. Khana Local Government Area

Chairman: Amb. Marvin Yobana
Members: Legborsi Yamaabana, Chief Charity Deemua, Mr Effort Ndeesor, Constance B. Nwifa, Jumbo Neenaenee, Joseph Akpasa

15. Obio/Akpor Local Government Area

Chairman: Amb. Chijioke Ihunwo
Members: Frederick Ihuigwe, Owhorngu Nyache, Michael Out, Chile Ogwutum, Abigail Chiorlu, Dr. Mrs Eucharia Ibeabuchi.

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16. Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area

Chairman: Princewill Ejekwe
Members: Major Anthony, Kenneth Ebiri, Dr. Lucky Nwaoburu, Eric Ogbamgba, Kingsley Ogwe, Akuwata Egbo

17. Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area

Chairman: Rt. Hon. Evans B. Bipi
Members: Mr. Aribibia Ngerebara, Mr Daddy Ogu, Kenneth Akari Wakama, Tarila Nyanabo Peaceman, Daniel M. Wisdom, Mutaga Muhammed

18. Okrika Local Government Area

Chairman: Princess I.B. Ogan
Members: Toku Obianime, Ameietamunopirp Loveday, Tamunosiki Longjohn, Christian Kendrick, Daniel Isaiah O., Andy Okereke

19. Omuma Local Government Area

Chairman: Promise Reginald
Members: Chinedu Nwodu, Hon. Chika Nweke, Tony Nwuji, Kingsley Ogbonna, Michael Onwuli, Okechukwu Mmakwe

20. Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area

Chairman: Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam
Members: Goddy M. Pepple, Chariah Fiberesima, Godwin Jacob, Harvey Jim Jaja, Diri Dandison Tumini, Mr. Eno Peter.

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21. Oyigbo Local Government Area

Chairman: Hon. Gogo Phillip
Members: Mr. Ihuoma Samuel, Mr. Okedinachi Uchenna, Mr Eric Alozie, Ikechi Golden Ugwuoma, Christian Nwankwo, Ujalele Mathew

22. Port Harcourt Local Government Area

Chairman: Ichemati Ezebunwo
Members: Chief Ogbams Ojimah, Matthew Tekena Gbosi, Amadi Kinikanwo, Olumati Isaiah C., Chinwe Nmerukini, Lukeman Oladele

23. Tai Local Government Area

Chairman: Hon. Matthew Dike
Members: Hon. Leyii L. Cuninwa, Hon. Brownson Nkpen, Hon. Letura Sampson, Sunday Baribie Denebari, Ntar Big Jop E., Ikechukwu Adimonye

Governor Fubara’s initiative to instate these Caretaker Committees ensures the continuation of governance in the LGAs, thus maintaining stability and administrative efficacy in Rivers State. The swift screening and approval by the House of Assembly reflect the urgency and dedication to uphold the functionality of local governments as new elections are on the horizon. GMTNewsng

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Governor Fubara Pledges Unwavering Protection for Rivers State Citizens

Clarifying the tenure of local government chairmen, Governor Fubara said, “The law is the law. The law has said that there is no extension of tenure. The court said so, and whoever is assuring anybody otherwise, I advise them to desist from it because peace is what we need in this state.”

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Governor Fubara

▪️Boughayefa Tonye-Graham (Port Harcourt)

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has firmly committed to fearless leadership aimed at maintaining peace and protecting citizens who stand for truth within the state.

Addressing the press after a State Security Council meeting on Tuesday with security agency heads at Government House in Port Harcourt, Governor Fubara assured, “I will lead the way to ensure peace continues to prevail in Rivers State and protect all patriotic supporters for their stand on the path of truth.”

Dismissing any attempts to unjustly arrest these supporters, Governor Fubara declared, “Let me also say this: I’m also aware that there is a grand plan to come and arrest some of our supporters. This time around, you have to pass through me to arrest them because I don’t think there is anything that any of those people following us has done. Rather, they are standing on the side of truth.”

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Rivers State governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara (middle); State Director, DSS, Clara Olika (3rd right); Commander, 6 Division Garrison & Commander, Sector 3, Joint Task Force (JTF), South-South Operation Delta Safe, Brig.-Gen. Eddie Effiong (2nd right); Commander, 115 Special Operations Group, NAF, Group Captain Ali H. Idris (right); State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu (2nd left); and State Commandant, NSCDC, Mr Basil Igwebueze (left); shortly after the State Security Council Meeting in Government House, Port Harcourt today.

He further reinforced his commitment, stating, “If it will cost us our lives to stand on the path of truth, we will do that. And I will be the one that will lead the course.”

Clarifying the tenure of local government chairmen, Governor Fubara said, “The law is the law. The law has said that there is no extension of tenure. The court said so, and whoever is assuring anybody otherwise, I advise them to desist from it because peace is what we need in this state.”

Expounding on the recent Security Council Meeting, the governor noted that it was convened due to threats posed by outgoing local government chairmen. “You are all aware that the tenure of the council chairmen ended yesterday, 17th June, 2024, and today, we have ordered the Heads of Local Government Administration to be in charge while they await further directives,” he elucidated.

Governor Fubara condemned the invasions of council secretariats in some local government areas as disturbing and unfortunate. He assured, “We have called the Security Council Meeting so that the needful will be done. We are also aware that our enemy is planning a lot of things. But we will not fall into that plot. We will not also allow them to destroy the peace that we are enjoying in the state.”

He expressed gratitude to the media and the peace-loving people of Rivers State for their support, urging everyone to remain law-abiding for the unity and progress of the state. GMTNewsng

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