Connect with us


Workers’ Salaries Increased To Cushion Rising Cost – Wema Bank




Wema Bank has raised the salaries of its employees to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

It said this was necessary because it prioritised its employees’ welfare.

The bank said the current economic realities, which had witnessed recent spikes in fuel, electricity, and other prices, required employers to prioritise the welfare of their workers.

The bank disclosed the salary increase in a statement signed by its Divisional Head, People, Brand & Culture, Ololade Ogungbenro.

Beyond financial incentives, she said, the bank provided opportunities to its workers for personal and professional growth by nurturing a culture of learning and development.

She said, “Wema Bank’s vision extends beyond its bottom line; with this salary increase for its staff, the bank expects the ripple effect of positive change to extend to the wider industry and world of work.

“Wema Bank’s unwavering support for its employees lies at the heart of this expected transformation.

“The impact of this salary increase bears more than mere numbers on a pay slip, employees are experiencing a renewed sense of motivation and dedication to their roles, knowing that their hard work is genuinely recognised and rewarded.”

According to her, the bank valued every individual’s contribution, regardless of employment status.

This is a way of fostering a sense of belonging in its staff, she noted, ensuring that each member felt like an integral part of the bank’s success story.

She expressed optimism that the increment would boost the morale of the employees, leading to enhanced productivity, improved teamwork, and reduced turnover rates.

Ogungbenro said the financial institution was creating a more harmonious and dynamic work environment where the creativity and innovation for which it was acclaimed, flourished very well.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


ELECTRICITY METERING: NERC Orders Discos To Refund Customers



Pre-paid meter to be replaced after 10 years

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has directed customers to seek refund in form of ‘Energy Credit’, spanning a period of three years, from Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, for prepaid meters purchased under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme.

The electricity regulator indicated that the directive was in compliance with the national mass metering regulations 2021.

The Order No: NERC/2023/001, which was obtained by Vanguard, was signed by Chairman of the Commission, Sanusi Garba and Commissioner, Legal, Licensing & Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye.

The order is coming at the backdrop of the recent upward review of the prices of the single-phase and three-phase meter which rose to N81,975.16 from N58,661.6, and N143,836.10 from N109,684.36 respectively.

The new directive titled, ‘Order on the Reimbursement Meter Cost,’ stated that pre-paid meters have an average usefulness of 10 years.

NERC, in the directive, stated: “The Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulations, 2021 (the Regulations) Section 8(f) provides that Distribution Licensees are obligated to reimburse customers who pay for meters under the MAP framework through equal installments of energy credits, at the time of vending, with the cost of the meter amortised over a maximum period of 36 months.

“Section 24(1) (b) of the Regulations provides that where a Customer elects to make upfront payment for meters under these regulations, the cost of the meter shall be refunded through energy credits by the distribution licensee.

“The reimbursement schedules shall be as approved by the commission, having regard to an evaluation of the financial standing of the distribution licensee. This provision also applies to upfront payment made by customers upon commencement of the MAP framework in 2018.

“The Commission conducted an evaluation of the financial standing of the DISCOs which resulted in a review of the hitherto 36-months reimbursement period.”

NERC explained that the order seeks to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability of the metering process under the MAP framework, adding that it provides a fair mechanism for the reimbursement of meter costs to customers under the scheme.

It added, “The Order also aligned the amortizations period for reimbursement with the 10 years average useful life of electronic meters. It also aligned the amortisation period of the cost of MAP meters with the repayment of the concessionary tenor of other financing sources for metering and recognise meters installed under the MAP framework in the Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) of DISCOs.”

The regulator maintained that it imposed the regulations as an obligation on the DISCOs to reimburse customers that paid for meters under the MAP scheme through equal installment of energy credit over a 36-month period.

However, it added that the cost of the prepaid meter paid by the customers under MAP shall be amortised over 120 equal installments and reimbursed through energy credits computed based on the prevailing tariff at the time of vending.

It stated that, “Where a customer does not vend in a given month or months, the DISCOs shall at the point of the next vending, refund the accumulated energy credits due to the customers for the period not vended. Where a postpaid customer purchased a meter under the MAP framework, the reimbursement by the DISCO shall be in the form of a rebate on customers.

“The DISCOs have, therefore, been advised to file monthly reports with NERC containing a breakdown of the total monetary value of refunds to customers through energy credit in accordance with the Commission’s prescribed template.

“The Order further emphasised that the whole meter installed under the MAP framework shall be included in the Regulatory Asset Base, RAB, of the DISCOs by the commission at the next major or extraordinary tariff review.”


Continue Reading


Nigeria In Revenue Crisis With Huge Public Debt — Adedeji, New FIRS Boss



…Says FG’s spending of 96% of revenue on debt servicing unsustainable
…N8.5 trn collected by mid-Sept, says immediate past FIRS chair, Nami

ABUJA — The new chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Dr Zacch Adedeji, said yesterday the nation is in a revenue crisis and requires urgent steps to change the narrative.

Adedeji, who stated this while taking over the mantle of leadership of the agency from his predecessor, Muhammad Nami, noted that about 96 per cent of Federal Government revenue was spent on debt servicing last year, stressing that the situation is not sustainable.

This is even as the former chairman of the revenue agency, Nami, said the FIRS generated N8.5 trillion in revenue into the federation account as of mid-September.

Recall that one of the main reasons the government removed subsidy from petrol is inadequate revenue to run the affairs of the country.

Adedeji said: “We are in a revenue crisis, government revenue is low amid a huge public debt.
Last year, 96 per cent of government revenue went into debt servicing.

“Where debt has grown bigger than the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and debt servicing faster than revenue, immediate actions have to be taken to remedy the situation.”

On his agenda to optimise revenue generation, he said: “In this direction, therefore, we will key into the reforms being made by President Bola Tinubu who has since inaugurated a Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee.

“The mandate of the committee is to, among other things, evolve an effective design and implementation of fiscal policy and tax reforms for economic prosperity.

‘Need for tidy fiscal landscape’

“At FIRS, we will embrace efforts being made to design a tidy fiscal landscape for the country and in the process, address some of the obstacles impeding effective operations of the service as the primary agency of government responsible for administration, assessment, collection, accounting as well as enforcement of taxes and levies.

“We need to innovate and build our operations on foolproof technology, while also evolving a hub of fresh ideas and creativity. “

The new tax-master pledged to eliminate leakages in the system, with a view to raking in all tax revenues into government coffers.

“We must definitely plug leakages. We need to strengthen our internal processes and control mechanisms. We must put a high premium on effective coordination of assigned tasks and delegated responsibilities,’’ he added.

Adedeji said he will stimulate voluntary compliance among taxpayers to fulfil their obligations as, according to him, his team will engage stakeholders and sensitise them on the need for voluntary compliance.

‘No forcing things down the throats of stakeholders’

His words: “Under me, we will not force things down the throats of our stakeholders. I will always be ready to engage with them, work with and through them, to jointly build a tax administration that we will all be proud of and one that enjoys the trust and confidence of all.

“Broadly, we intend to come up with a menu of strategies that will stimulate voluntary payment of taxes and levies.
“Yes, this is achievable because Nigerians acknowledge the need for the government to increase its revenue to be able to meet its obligations to them.

“In doing this, we will build a tax system that is smart and modern, one with unquestionable integrity and will earn the trust as well as admiration of stakeholders.”

Dr. Adedeji charged management and staff to “work with uncompromising integrity, uphold taxpayers’ confidentiality, and demonstrate a high level of professionalism, fairness and show exemplary public service.”

N8.5 trn already collected this year — Nami

In his remarks, the outgone chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, disclosed, however, that the agency was on its way to setting a new revenue record in 2023, having collected N8.5 as at September 14.

He added that within the period under review, his administration assessed, and recovered another N4 trillion from the Nigeriian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL.

Nami said he had surpassed his 10 per cent Tax-to-GDP target of four years, having achieved 10.86 per cent in two years.

He said the 18 per cent target in four years, set by the current administration was not only achievable but could be surpassed.

In 2022, the FIRS set a revenue target of N10 trillion and collected N10.1 trillion within the period. Similarly, in 2023, it set a target of N12 trillion in revenue and has collected N8.5 trillion, with about four months to the end of the year.


Continue Reading


Fresh Fuel Price Hike Brews, As Crude Hits $94



The rise in the cost of crude oil, coupled with the depreciation of the naira against the United States dollar, might lead to a hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, oil marketers stated on Sunday.

It was also gathered that the sharp rise in crude oil price to about $94/barrel and the crisis around forex, had warranted a gradual increase in the amount being quietly spent as subsidy on petrol by the Federal Government.

Dealers in the downstream oil sector explained that the cost of crude oil and the exchange rate of the dollar accounted for over 80 per cent of the cost of PMS.

Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, rose to $94/barrel on Sunday, the highest figure in 2023. Oil had started the year at about $82/barrel, dipped to $70/barrel in June, but traded above $92/barrel in the past week.

Also, The PUNCH reported on Thursday that the naira weakened to N950/dollar as forex scarcity worsened.

The report stated that the naira fell further against the dollar the preceding day (Wednesday), after closing at 950/$ at the parallel market.

Bureau de Change operators had told The PUNCH that the naira, which earlier closed at 930/$ at the close of operations on Tuesday, was bought and sold at 935/$ and 950/$ on Wednesday.

Although the Federal Government and its Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited had insisted that subsidy on petrol had ended, following the deregulation of the downstream oil sector, operators insisted on Sunday that the government was implementing quasi-subsidy.

They explained that with the latest rise in crude oil price, the cost of petrol was meant to increase, stressing that if the government insists on leaving the commodity at N617/litre, then subsidy on PMS had been returned quietly.

The marketers explained that in July when the cost of petrol was raised to N617/litre, crude oil traded around $82/barrel, while the the exchange rate was not as high as N950/$ at the parallel market.

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners corroborated the concerns of marketers, as it stated that the price cap on petrol had made it tough for marketers to comply with the demands of NARTO with respect to increasing the cost of transportation for petrol.

“The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, in one of his statements, had pointed out that as long as the dollar continues to rise, Nigerians should not expect petroleum products prices to be pegged. The cost of crude oil is also on the rise and it impacts on petrol price, because PMS is derived from crude.

“So in this price deregulation regime, once the dollar increases, automatically it means that the cost of importing petroleum products will also increase. And the cost of every other related service will rise,” the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, stated.

He added, “So the fuel we are buying today at N617 or N596 depending on where you buy it and based on the nearness to depots, is actually below what the price should really be, going by the rise in dollar and crude oil price.”

Ukadike stated that though the rise in crude oil price would increase Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, the forex was being used to import refined products.

“I said earlier that what we are experiencing now is quasi-deregulation. The rise in crude oil price has both positive and negative effects on Nigeria. It is positive because it increases our generation of dollars when we sell the crude.

“But it is negative in the sense that we still use that dollar that we have got to import the finished products of crude. That is the problem. For if Nigeria is refining products, then there will be a windfall, but since we import with the dollar that we make, then it makes no sense.”

On whether the rise in oil prices would warrant further hike in the cost of PMS and other finished products, thereby increasing subsidy on petrol particularly, Ukadike replied, “Yes, of course.

“The gap is becoming too much. Also, the exchange rate gap between the official and parallel markets is widening. And these gaps have to be filled by the government through quasi-subsidy on petrol.

“You also know that most of the investors who tried to import products when it was announced that the subsidy on petrol had been removed, are now finding it very difficult to do so.

“This is because after buying the dollar in the parallel market, they cannot recoup what they have invested. So the government must be transparent with this subsidy removal thing. It should apply it to the fullest, so that competition can set it.”

On his part, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said though the cost of crude had been rising lately, the NNPCL should be able to manage it for the benefit of Nigerians, with respect to petroleum products prices.

“Crude oil is selling at a higher price and that price should impact positively, because the major importer of petroleum products is the NNPC and they do that on a swap basis, unless they are telling us that the swap is not efficient.

“For if it is efficient, they should have more money for the size of crude oil they sell, which should impact on the price they pass on to Nigerians. Yes, today it is a commercial company, but it is still owned by Nigerians and is a sovereign company.

“And the fact that Nigerians must benefit from their natural endowment by God should be reflected in the pricing of products by NNPC. That is all I’ll say about this issue,” he stated.

Earlier, the National Secretary, IPMAN, Chief John Kekeocha, had asked the Federal Government to come out clean with respect to fuel subsidy, instead of mandating oil marketers not to dispense the product above a stipulated band.

In August, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, had told State House correspondents that President Bola Tinubu had instructed that the cost of petrol should not increase.

“Mr. President, wishes to assure Nigerians following the announcement by the NNPC limited just yesterday (Monday) that there will be no increase in the pump price of PMS anywhere in the country. We repeat, the President affirms that there will be no increase in the pump price of PMS.”

NNPCL had also in August stated that it was not raising petrol price.

“Dear esteemed customers, we at NNPC Retail value your patronage, and we do not have the intention to increase our PMS pump prices as widely speculated. Please buy the best quality products at the most affordable prices at our NNPC Retail stations nationwide,” the company had stated.

NNPC Retail is the downstream subsidiary of NNPCL that retails refined petroleum products for the group.

Kekeocha had told our correspondent that the decision of the Federal Government to put a cap on petrol price meant that subsidy on petrol had been reinstated.

He said, “The government is not being very transparent with this issue. When you say you have removed fuel subsidy, you don’t come again and moderate prices. Is like speaking with the two sides of the mouth.

“Removal of subsidy means you have removed your hands and the prices have to follow demand and supply. So if the NNPC says it is getting forex (foreign exchange) to import products and reduce prices for marketers, are they going to do the same for other importers? Remember the government gave import licenses to about seven marketers?

“Are they still going to moderate prices for those people when they bring in the products? No! You don’t blow hot and cold at the same time. There is no way they can bring in products and reduce the price and peg it for marketers to sell at a certain level, it means they are indirectly bringing back subsidy.

“If they want to bring back subsidy, let them say it openly, that ‘we are going to come back to subsidy because of the pains the country generally is going through.’ This is because the initial things they are supposed to do they did not do it. We have always been clamouring, let the refineries work.”

NARTO raises concern

The National President, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, Yusuf Othman, said despite the high cost of operations in the downstream arm of the oil sector, the government had stopped increasing the pump price of PMS.

He noted that since marketers could not raise their pump prices for petrol, it had been impossible for them to increase their costs for the transportation of PMS, stressing that this had made the cost of doing the business unbearable for transporters.

“NARTO is complaining that the high cost of diesel is unbearable. Even if you discuss it with the oil marketers, all they tell you is that government has fixed the pump price (of petrol) at N617/litre, that since they cannot increase pump price, they cannot increase the fare for us. So we are in trouble,” Othman stated.

He said the government should look into the pump price of PMS in order to enable marketers consider raising the transportation price for transporters.

“This is because without looking at the pump price, marketers cannot increase transportation price. And if they do not do that we have no choice than to continue to park. And if we continue to park it will create unwanted disruption of supply and we don’t want that,” Othman stated.

NNPCL appoints EVPs

This came as the NNPCL, on Sunday, announced the appointments of three new Executive Vice Presidents.

It named Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan as the new Executive Vice President, Upstream; Olalekan Ogunleye, Executive Vice President, Gas, Power, and New Energy; and Adedapo Segun, Executive Vice President, Downstream.

The announcement, which was posted on the company’s X (formerly Twitter) handle early Sunday, stated that the appointment of the new EVPs was with immediate effect.

This leads to the compulsory retirement of the company’s three former Executive Vice Presidents, including Abdulkabir Ahmed, Gas, Power and New Energies; Adokiye Tombomieye, Upstream; and Adeyemi Adetunji, Downstream.

In July last year, the national oil firm, formerly known as Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, transited fully into a commercial entity, becoming the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

Continue Reading


Copyright © Estreet On TV 2023