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Army to address security dark areas in Enugu – COAS, Lagbaja

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja has assured that the Army would strengthen security efforts in a few dark areas in Enugu State, such as Isi-Uzo Local Government Area.

He commended the government and people of the state for being good partners in the fight against insecurity.

Lagbaja said the desire and effort of the Government of Enugu State aligned with the goal of the Army to expand the frontiers of peace and stability for law-abiding citizens to thrive and thanked the governor and good people of Enugu State for the support provided to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, the Garrison, 103 Battalion and other deployments across Enugu State.

Lagbaja, who was accompanied by the Army high command, gave the assurances during a working visit to the Government House, Enugu, on Tuesday, as part of his effort to assess operational situations under the jurisdiction of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army.

He said: “Following my assumption of office as the Chief of Army Staff on the 23rd of June last year, I have taken time out to visit the formations and units of the Nigerian Army to assess the deployment of our troops across the country in a bid to address some challenges confronting the troops in order to improve their operational effectiveness.

“I have been rest assured of the support of the governor of Enugu State as well as the other governors in the South East to the efforts of our troops to create a stable, peaceful, and enabling environment for the economy of the South East to thrive.

“The desire of the Nigerian Army aligns perfectly with that of the government and the good people of Enugu State; and that is to rid our society of criminal elements and to ensure that peace and stability prevail for law-abiding citizens going about their lawful businesses.

“I have taken note of the brief of the GOC, 82 Division, and even my private chat with His Excellency, Dr. Peter Mbah, the governor. The Army Headquarters will address all issues raised, including having boots on the ground in Isi-Uzo with the desire to rid the area of criminal elements and to ensure that economic activities thrive in that area.

“The army headquarters will take steps to address some dark areas that have been pointed out in a bid to expand the frontiers of our peace and stability in this state.

“I also want to pledge a continuous support of the formations and other units of the Nigerian Army to the effort of the Enugu State Government to ensure that peace reigns in the state.

“The Nigerian Army will continue to remain a loyal and worthy partner to you towards realising your wonderful plans for the people of Enugu State.”

Speaking, Governor Mbah said his administration was on course to fulfilling the promises it made to the people of Enugu State because the Army had been very supportive of his government’s efforts to stamp out every trace of insecurity in the state.

“We executed a social pact with the people of Enugu State. We promised them that we envisioned an Enugu State that would be one of the top three states in the country in terms of gross domestic product, GDP, and that we were going to grow our economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion.

“We also said to them that we were on a mission to make Enugu State the premier destination for investment, business, tourism, and living.

“We recognise that this growth will not come from the public sector. It would all come from the private sector, and the private sector investment does not agree with insecurity, which is why we spared no time in declaring war on insecurity.

“I must also, at this point, recognise and acknowledge the tireless efforts and commitment you and your men have invested in securing Enugu State.

“Today in Enugu State, we can proudly say that we are on the path of fulfilling those promises we made to our people.

“We also want to assure you on our part as a government that we are going to continue to provide necessary support to sustain and indeed improve the state of security in Enugu State.

“We have also made a lot of commitments in investing in our people because we recognise and understand that a number of these challenges may also require some non-kinetic approaches,” Mbah said.

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NERC transfers regulatory oversight of Enugu Electricity Market to EERC

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Following the Enugu State Electricity Law signed by Governor Peter Mbah and the recent constitution of the Enugu State Electricity Regulatory Commission, ESERC, by the Mbah administration, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has formerly transferred the regulatory oversight of the Enugu State electricity market to the state agency effective May 1, 2024.

This is the first time NERC would be ceding such regulatory authority to any state electricity regulatory agency.

The transfer was made known by NERC on Monday in an April 22, 2024 Order No. NERC/2024/039 signed by the Commission’s Chairman, Sanusi Garba, and the Commissioner for Legal, Licensing, and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye.

The transfer is sequel to the amendments of the Paragraph 14 (b) of the Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution by the 9th National Assembly in 2023 as well as the Electricity Electricity Act 2023, both of which effectively devolved power generation, transmission, and distribution from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List and also empowered the states to manage and regulate their electricity markets within their jurisdictions.

It is recalled that the Mbah administration initiated the Enugu State Electricity Bill 2023, which the governor signed into Law in September the same year and also set the pace in March 2024 constituted the Enugu State Electricity Regulatory Commission (ESERC) led by Chijioke Okonkwo as the Chairman/CEO.

The Electricity Act 2023 provides that within 45 days of receiving formal notification of the enactment of the law under subsection (1), the Commission (NERC) shall draw and deliver to the State Regulator a draft order setting out a plan and timeline for the transition of regulatory responsibilities from the Commission to the State Regulator, which transition shall be completed not later than 6 months from the date on which the formal notification in subsection (1) was delivered to the Commission.

Explaining further, NERC said the ESERC now holds the exclusive power to set and adopt end-user electricity tariffs within Enugu State, tailoring these charges to local conditions and requirements.

Also, while ESERC manages local tariff methodologies, any electricity sourced from grid-connected plants and the related tariffs for generation and transmission services must still receive approval from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), ensuring alignment with national energy policies.

Furthermore, the final tariffs approved by ESERC for consumers in Enugu State will be definitive for the state, with the Enugu State Government responsible for supporting and implementing tariff-related policies, ensuring that electricity pricing is both fair and attuned to the specific needs of the state’s residents.

Consequently, NERC ordered that: “Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC, EEDC, is hereby directed to incorporate a subsidiary EEDC SubCo under the Companies and Allied Matters Act for the assumption of responsibilities for intrastate supply and distribution of electricity in Enugu State from EEDC.

“EEDC shall complete the incorporation of EEDC SubCo within 60 days from the effective date of this Order and, EEDC SubCo shall apply for and obtain a licence for the intrastate supply and distribution of electricity from EERC.

“EEDC shall identify the actual geographic boundaries of Enugu State and carve out its network in Enugu State as a standalone network with the installation of boundary meters at all border points where the network crosses from Enugu State into another state.

“EEDC shall create an Asset Register of all its power infrastructure located within Enugu State.

“Evaluate and apportion contractual obligations and liabilities attributable to EEDC’s operations of its subsidiary in Enugu State.

“Identify all the applicable trading points for energy o take for the operations of EEDC SubCo in Enugu State

“Confirm the number of employees that are required to provide service to Enugu State as a standalone public utility; and transfer the identified assets for operations in Enugu State, contractual obligations, liabilities and employees to EEDC Subco.”

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Eko Disco: WPG sacks Tinuade Sanda

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West Power & Gas Limited, WPG, the majority shareholder of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, has terminated the appointment of the former managing director of the Disco, Tinuade Sanda.

WPG disclosed this in a recent letter signed by the chairman of WPG, Charles Momoh.

The letter noted that Sanda was no longer an employee of the company on April 17, 2024.

“We refer to your contract of employment dated April 1, 2022, signed between you and WPG Limited. At this moment, we advise you that your service is no longer required, and accordingly, your employment with WPG Ltd is hereby terminated effective April 17, 2021, by clause 10.2 of the Contract. “WPG is obligated to pay you three months’ salary instead of notice and advises that the due amounts have been credited to your account. You are requested to kindly return all the Company’s properties (whether WPG or EKEDP ) in your possession, including but not limited to laptops, identity cards, and status cars upon receipt of this letter.”

The Development comes amid controversy surrounding Sanda’s removal by EKEDC.

Sanda was earlier seconded to the Disco and had returned to WPG when she was removed as EKEDC MD. Mrs. Rekhiat Momoh was appointed as Sanda’s replacement.

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NAPTIP reunites 2 Gombe kidnapped children with families

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Monday, reunited two kidnapped children with their parents in Gombe State.

Mr Aminu Shira, the NAPTIP Commander in the state, who stated this in Gombe, listed the children as Usman Kabiru, 11 and Aisha Shehu, four-month-old.

He said that Kabiru and Shehu were rescued in Lagos and Abuja, respectively, and handed over to the agency by the Gombe State Police Command.

Shira said the agency would ensure that the children receive proper care from their families.

He also said the Police Command on Jan. 16, handed over nine suspects and five victims of child trafficking to the agency in the state.

The NAPTIP official said that cases of child trafficking, sale of babies and sexual exploitation were instituted against the suspects currently undergoing prosecution.

Shira, however, said the victims were undergoing rehabilitation and skills acquisition training at the agency.

“Three victims were empowered by the command for full rehabilitation and re-integration into the society.

“Two female victims had been enrolled into skills acquisition training (tailoring) for six months here in Gombe.

“The agency sponsored all financial bills for the training and monthly allowance for the victims during the period of the training.

“One male victim has enrolled into Sheikh Jafar Memorial Primary School Arawa, Gombe, to continue of his education sponsored by NAPTIP,” Shira said.

He urged residents of the state to report suspected human traffickers to the agency, adding that: “NAPTIP will always remain committed towards the prevention of all forms of exploitation against women and children and liberating the vulnerable in the communities towards ensuring a safer and better society”.

It would be recalled that the Police Command on Jan. 10, confimed arrest of 16 persons for alleged child trafficking and criminal conspiracy in the Gombe State.

It also rescued three children from the suspects.

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