Power Drops Below 2,800mw– NERC

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that power supply through the national grid which peaked to 5000mw in past two weeks had dropped below 2,800mw due to vandalism. Dr. Anthony Akah, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the commission disclosed this while signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Consumer Protection Council (CPC). A statement issued on the ceremony by Dr. Usman Abba- Arabi, Head, Public Affairs Department of NERC was made available to newsmenon Wednesday in Abuja. In the statement, Akah expressed dissatisfaction and worries over the spate of vandalism in the power sector. It stated that the NERC boss enjoined the public and the CPC to collaborate with Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and security agencies to safeguard electrical installations. The statement also said that the NERC would soon compel the DISCOs to publish their meter deployment schedules. It added that the publication would ensure adherence to the meter roll out plan contained in the performance agreement signed with government by the utility firms. “Such publication will make unmetered customers to be aware of the estimated period they have to wait before they can be metered,’’ it stated It stated that NERC had issued warning to the DISCOs against wrongful estimated billings and the acts of compelling customers to buy, install and repair transformers and poles. The statement said the MoU between, NERC and CPC was part of concerted efforts to reduce the incidence of estimated billing completely. According to the statement, the Director General of CPC, Mrs. Modupe Atoki, commended NERC for the long standing relationship between the two agencies. Atoki, according to the statement, expressed CPC’s cooperation and renewed effort to protect electricity consumers from abuse of their rights.

Credit: Vanguard

Oil Prices Rebound After Falling Below $30

Oil prices rebounded in Asia Wednesday, halting a plunge that saw crude fall below $30 a barrel for the first time in more than 12 years, but analysts warned of further pressure on the commodity.

Investors have an eye on the release later in the day of US commercial crude stockpiles data, which is expected to show another increase, further exacerbating a global supply glut that has hammered the market for 18 months.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February rose 38 cents, or 1.25 percent, to $30.82 per barrel at around 0600 GMT. European benchmark Brent rose 26 cents, or 0.84 percent, to $31.12.

On Tuesday, WTI fell at one point to $29.93, a level last seen in December 2003, although it was given a lift later by a private report pointing to a drop in inventories.

However, experts warned that prices remained fragile.

“The supply and demand landscape for oil continues being bearish as prices continue to take discounts,” Daniel Ang, an analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore said in a market commentary.

“US oil supply continues to remain strong.”

Bernard Aw, a market strategist with IG Markets Singapore said the long-term trend is for prices to fall, with the supply glut not showing any let up.

Oil-reliant OPEC member Nigeria on Tuesday called for an emergency meeting of the grouping to address collapsing prices, which have rattled world stock markets and hammered energy firms.

The Nigerian petroleum resources minister, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, said he expects an extraordinary meeting of the group in “early March” to discuss the crisis.

“We did say that if it hits the $35 (per barrel level), we will begin to look (at)… an extraordinary meeting,” Kachikwu said at the Gulf Intelligence UAE Energy Forum.

Poorer members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have been clamouring for a cut in the high production levels in a bid to drive prices higher.

But influential OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia have rejected any such move, preferring to fight for market share against rival producers, particularly the United States.

Crude accounts for 90 percent of Nigeria’s export earnings and 70 percent of overall government revenue.

Credit: Vanguard