Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), says it has begun aggressive metering under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) and National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) Scheme to bridge the metering gap within its operational network.
Mr Godwin Idemudia, General Manager, Media Communications, EKEDC, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.
Idemudia said that the scheme had enabled the company to have higher metered population than post-paid.
He said the company had ensured that distribution transformers were metered, to allow a robust calculation for customers on estimated billing, pending metering of all customers.
According to him, NMMP is currently suspended as Phase 1 is yet to commence.
Idemudia said that the disco was currently working on the MAP Scheme, where customers could get meters within 10 working days of payment confirmation.
“All is to eliminate estimated billing and bridge the metering gap.
The more customers that participate in the scheme, the earlier our chances of metering all customers.
“As at the start of the NMMP Phase 0, an initiative of the Federal Government, where meters were provided to customers for free, the goal of the initiative was to meter our entire population within five years (2025),” he said.
On energy theft and other offences, Idemudia said that about 160 people were either been convicted or pending conviction since the inception of power sector privatisation.
He said the company had over 365,255 prepaid customers, 173,663 post-paid customers and 7.65 billion key customer group.
Idemudia said, “We have purchased tools and equipment to aid the speedy restoration of faults in areas with underground cables.
“In addition to that, we are working on replacing the cables, but are pacing ourselves as it is a huge CAPEX investment.
The EKEDC spokesman said that the company was actively exploring possible partnerships with several entities to improve power supply via embedded generation.
He added that a substantial amount of these engagements were at advanced stages and shall be executed in due time.
According to Idemudia, the company is gender sensitivity and inclusivity remains a priority for the company.
“Our managing director, a large number of our top management team and line-workers are female.
“Our culture of female empowerment in the work place cuts across our organisation.
“We are also heavily involved in female empowerment through CSR programmes where we promote STEM, affiliations with agencies such as USAID and women in energy.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today contributed $36.7 million on behalf of the American people to help the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) provide food assistance at peak of the lean season between October and March next year.
In a year marked by COVID-19, climate shocks and rising food and fuel prices, the contribution will help WFP assist some 700,000 people in eight districts of Zimbabwe: Bikita, Buhera, Chivi , Hwedza, Mangwe, Mt. Darwin, Mudzi and Nkayi.
To cope with the lean season, the period between the depletion of household food reserves and the next harvest, rural Zimbabweans often reduce the amount of quality food consumed daily and borrow or sell their productive assets.
Food assistance will help mitigate these negative coping strategies and prevent the most vulnerable from falling further into food insecurity.
The latest estimates from the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report, coordinated by the Food and Nutrition Council, show that some 3.8 million people will not have enough cereals to eat during the peak of the next growing season.
With contributions from USAID and other donors, the WFP will complement the National Food Deficit Mitigation Program and will distribute food in partnership with the Ministry of Public Administration, Labor and Social Welfare to 3.8 million people.
“Achieving food security during Zimbabwe's lean season is always a challenge.
Geopolitical events on the other side of the world have made it even more so this year.
But the United States of America is ready to help.
Today, I am pleased to announce $36.7 million in funding for the 2022/23 Lean Season Assistance provided by the US government.
As food crises fall, USAID realizes that more investment is needed in early warning systems and resilience building.
Smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe are less likely to fall repeatedly into food insecurity if they have access to productive assets and are able to save, borrow and lend money.
The US government also pledged an additional $9 million for WFP's Food Assistance for Assets program in 2023.
Through this initiative, WFP will provide life-saving food in exchange for work on community assets such as feeder roads.
, community gardens, dams and irrigation systems.
The community-focused approach also promotes nutrition, gender equality and social protection.
“WFP and the United States are committed to supporting humanitarian and social assistance for those most in need in Zimbabwe,” said Roberto Borlini, WFP Country Program Manager.
“While we will provide short-term assistance during this lean season, we will also continue to create livelihood opportunities to increase the purchasing power of families, enabling them to meet their food needs,” he added.
The latest contribution brings total USAID funding to WFP activities to US$44.2 million for 2022.
The United States remains the largest bilateral donor of emergency humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe.
The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa), an NGO, has donated 500,000 dollars to USAID to strengthen fight against Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Nigeria.
ASR Africa, which is partnering the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on the project, would have the donation drawn from the Annual ASR Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal.
Mr Ubon Udoh, the Managing Director of ASR Africa, who presented the donation award letter at a ceremony on Thursday in Abuja, said the initiative was committed to the development of Nigeria’s healthcare sector.
He said the end-to-end diagnosis-to-treatment partnership with USAID, would provide additional capacity and expand efforts at tackling TB and HIV across Nigeria.
Udoh said the effort would include provision of 11 loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification Diagnostic machines, also known as TB-LAMPs as well as laboratory reagents and consumables.
“About 10 Tuberculosis Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) centres will be renovated across the country.
“The TB-LAMP diagnostic machines will enable 11 facilities to effectively diagnose TB, which continues to be a challenge in under-resourced health facilities across Nigeria.
“Meanwhile, those diagnosed will be placed on treatment at the TB DOT centres to be renovated by ASR Africa,” he said.
Udoh said besides TB and HIV, the initiative would also provide 1, 200 dignity kits for survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) across selected states in Nigeria.
Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu, founder of ASR Africa, thanked USAID for the partnership.
“ASR Africa will continue to invest its resources toward tackling pressing developmental issues in health, education and social development across Africa in line with its mandate.
“ASR Africa’s contribution of dignity kits will also strengthen services for survivors of GBV.
“This includes medical and psycho-social services at Sexual Assault Rescue Centres (SARCs) that are supported through USAID’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Programme,” he said.
Ms Anne Patterson, Mission Director, USAID Nigeria, thanked Abdul Samad Rabiu for reinvigorating the fight against TB and HIV in Nigeria.
Patterson, who was represented by Rachel Goldstein, USAID Office Director for HIV & Tuberculosis, said the partnership with ASR Africa would provide support in reducing the burden of the diseases.
He also said the partnership would ensure better quality of life for those affected.
USAID has partnered with the government of Nigeria on the tuberculosis response since 2000, and the HIV response since 2003. This has contributed to a reduction in tuberculosis-related deaths, by nearly 50 per cent.
Through PEPFAR, USAID is providing comprehensive life–saving HIV treatment services for more than 663,000 people and procuring and delivering medicines for over 1.9 million Nigerians on antiretroviral treatment.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that ASR Africa is the brainchild of Industrialist, philanthropist, and founder of BUA Group, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu.
It was established in 2021 to provide sustainable, impact-based homegrown solutions to developmental issues affecting health, education and social development in Africa.
The Federal Government has renewed its commitment to improve maternal and infants nutrition in the country.
The Minister of State for Health, Mr Joseph Ekumankama, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of the Accelerating Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutritio, (MIYCN) project.
Represented by Dr Salma Ibrahim-Anas, he decried the slow progress recorded in maternal and infants nutrition.
Ekumankama government would upscale its collaboration with relevant stakeholders to achieve the goal.
He noted that the 5-year MIYCN project was been implemented by an NGO, Alive and Thrive (A&T), and funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation The minister said the slow progress was from a survey currently going on supported by Acceleration of Reduction of Nutrition in Nigeria, which recently launched the preliminary findings.
He, however, added that the survey showed progress in immunisation coverage and family planning.
“We are still not yet there, we have also seen progress in immunisation coverage, family planning which is associated with child survival and nutrition of children.
“But in other aspects of nutrition, we are still lagging behind.
The progress has been very slow,” he said.
According to him, malnutrition contributes to developmental delays, impaired educational ability, lifetime of poor health, increased risk of diseases especially chronic diseases and decline in human development.
While emphasising on the optimum requirements of nutrition to the growth and health of the mother and infant, he added that the MIYCN project would address the challenges and bring about the desired goals.
“We are not yet there.
We need to double our efforts to ensure that we really put in enough time and resources, most importantly, we need to acknowledge that there is a problem.
“What we give to the children really matters and what the mothers eat at that time, also matters.
“I believe that this project will not only accelerate maternal, infant and young children feeding interventions, but it will greatly impact the nutrition narrative in the country by directly addressing nutrition issues,” he said.
On his part, Dr Victor Ogbodo, the Country Project Director, A&T, said the project would be implemented in Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Sokoto and Yobe States to increase access to high-quality maternal and child nutrition services Ogbodo said: “We are building the capacity of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and strengthening primary healthcare platforms for efficient and integrated delivery of maternal and young child services.
“This is in collaboration with government, the CBOs and other nutrition stakeholders.
” Mr Likoma Julius, representing the Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning, urged the benefitting states to ensure sustainability of the project.
Also, Ms Laurie Rushton, representing USAID, while reiterating their commitment towards improving Nigeria’s health status, assured that the project would enable Nigeria achieve the World Health Assembly Nutrition target 2025. Speaking on behalf of the focal states, Dr Tijjani Hussain, the Executive Secretary, Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board, pledged their support to the success of the project.
“The launch of this project comes at the right time that the states are making concerted efforts to improve nutrition.
“It will complement what the states does as it will improve our system and we stand to benefit from it.
“I wish to express our commitment and we will provide the needed support to make sure the project succeeds,” he said.
Mr Ifedilichukwu Innocent, the Chairman, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), said they would support nutritional needs of women and children, especially in poor and hard to reach communitities.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a three-year, $12 million agreement to continue the United States government's long-standing support for independent media in South Sudan and the disputed area.
of Abyei on the border between South Sudan and Sudan, as an essential element of democracy.
This new initiative, the Sustainable Independent Media Activity, will improve access to credible, accurate and trustworthy information for the citizens of South Sudan by promoting the sustainability of high-quality independent radio operations.
The initiative, to be implemented in South Sudan by PACT Inc. and sub-awardee IREX and other partners, will provide citizens with a platform to foster a more responsive government for South Sudanese citizens by improving access to credible, accurate information and confiable; promote financial, institutional and social sustainability; and invest in high-quality, credible journalism.
Radio remains the most widely used and accessible source of information in South Sudan, according to the USAID-funded 2021 South Sudan National Audience Survey.
The Sustainable Independent Media Activity will build on the achievements of USAID's 2013-22 i-STREAM activity implemented by Internews, which built sustainable independent radio in South Sudan and improved media content and the professionalism of broadcast stations.
The Minster of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, has affirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to ensuring solid foundation for energy infrastructure is laid down to upscale energy provision in the country.
Mr Odutayo Oluseyi, Assistant Director, , Ministry of Power made this known in a statement in Abuja.
Oluseyi also said that solid foundation for energy infrastructure would attract more investors to Nigeria.
According to him, the minister said this when Mr Mark Carrato, Coordinator, US Government’s Power Africa Programme, and his team paid him a visit.
Aliyu said that the energy transition programme of the Federal Government was to increase the operational capacity through the vision 30-30-30 in which 30 per cent of Nigeria energy would be renewable.
He thanked the delegation for their willingness to align with the Nigeria Energy Transition Programme adding that Nigeria’s hope at attaining 0% fossil energy by 2060 is on course.
Aliyu said that the Federal Government would continue to work frantically to abate the security challenge which is yielding results so as to attract more investors.
The minister commended the USAID for their continuous technical support adding that the various areas of interventions in the power sector are opened for investors and would be spelt out in the course of further discussions.
Speaking earlier, Carrato said that the USAID Power Africa Nigeria Sector Programme (PA-NPSP) had worked closely with Nigeria over the years.
He said that the five-year USAID Power Africa Nigeria Sector Programme (PA-NPSP) was a pointer to their commitment to increase electricity availability, access and reliability.
Carrato assured the minister of continuous engagements to actualise the goal of power Africa, ”he said
The United State Agency International Development (USAID) State2State activity in Adamawa has trained stakeholders on development of the state’s budget manual for accountability, transparency and effectiveness.
Speaking at the three-day workshop on Wednesday in Yola, Suzanne Myada, Public Financial Management Specialist, said the objectives of the workshop are to improve budget execution and reporting.
“To provide the state with a comprehensive budget manual and budget calendar to guide the budget cycle.
“Provide capacity to the state officials to be able to revise the manual whenever the need arises.
“And mainstream citizen engagement, gender and social inclusion (GESI) and conflict sensitivity in budget process,” she said.
She explained that the Budget Manual is the document that provided the template for the entire budget cycle starting from the calendar, through the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) process into the annual budget preparation, review, approval and execution.
Mrs Wufe Anthony, the Permanent Secretary, Adamawa Ministry of Finance and Budget, appreciated USAID State2state for organising the workshop and described it as timely for the development of the state.
Anthony, who was represented by Mr Danyaro Iliya, the Acting Director, Budget, advised the participants to actively participate for and come up with effective manual for the state.
Malam Salihi Sabana, the state Director Taxes, Board of Internal Revenue, commended USAID State2State for ensuring that the state apply international best practices for transparency and accountability.
According to him, the state is opened to global best practices to simplify the budget process from the beginning up to execution aimed to move the state forward.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the participants were drawn from Ministries of Water Resources, Finance and Budget, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Planning Commission, Debt Management Agency, Civil Society Organisations and Office of Accountant General.
Others are Adamawa House Assembly, State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Board of Internal Revenue and Bureau for Public Procurement.
USAID/DIV (https://bit.ly/3MnYG6V), USAID's open innovation program, recently awarded a grant to Baobab+ (www.BAOBABPlus.com), the leading distributor of solar home systems in West Africa and Madagascar.
Empowering millions of lives with solar energy...
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the need for access to energy is enormous, with an estimated 9 percent having access to electricity.
Many of the 11 million households without electricity rely on expensive and polluting small diesel generators, as well as charcoal and wood.
These standard power sources deplete the forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and often require long-distance travel to obtain supplies, a burden that often falls on women and children.
Solar energy is an exceptional opportunity for rural households that do not have access to electricity.
Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) technology breaks the cost barrier, allowing the customer to make daily, weekly or monthly payments according to their cash flow to activate their product on the way to obtaining the property.
Since its launch in 2021, Baobab+ is currently in the Kinshasa, Kwilu and Kikwit areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and will soon enter Kwango.
Baobab+ is located in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Madagascar, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has equipped 250,000 households serving more than 1.5 million beneficiaries in the last six years.
...Access to finance and digital!
A large proportion of the population in sub-Saharan Africa also lacks access to credit (74% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 80% in Senegal) due to a lack of collateral or credit history to obtain loans.
To increase access to finance in sub-Saharan Africa, Baobab+, in partnership with its microfinance parent company, the Baobab Group, complements its energy business by offering nanoloans to clients with a successful track record of repaying their loans for solar products.
DIV is also supporting this pilot nanoloan project in Senegal to help reach the bottom of the pyramid; this offer will also be available later in other countries.
For Baobab+, access to energy is also a springboard to enable all African households to participate in the digital revolution.
In Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali and Madagascar, Baobab+ has pioneered the launch of a PAYG smartphone offer.
In association with local startups, Baobab+ offers additional content that meets the needs of its customers, such as e-education, health or small business activity management.
To date, Baobab+ has equipped more than 110,000 homes with digital solutions.
The pan-African group has proven its strength after the Covid-19 pandemic crisis: in 2021, Baobab+ saw sustained business growth of more than 42% per year.
Alexandre Coster, Co-Founder and CEO of Baobab+: "We sincerely thank DIV for their support.
This grant was key in our development.
It allowed us to expand in the DRC and get started faster."
This press release is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The contents are the responsibility of Baobab+ and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government."
The United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has contributed $5 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support an integrated health response for communities affected by crises and acute food insecurity in South Sudan.
This funding brings USAID's fiscal year 2022 humanitarian contribution to health care services in South Sudan to $34 million.
The country is experiencing its worst food crisis since independence in 2011 due to ongoing conflict, four years of persistent flooding, 18 months of localized drought, and the impact of a global food and fuel crisis exacerbated by Russia's unjust and unprovoked war.
With support from USAID, WHO will reach an estimated 1.1 million vulnerable IDPs, returnees, and host community members who are at risk of high disease burden and death from disease in 20 counties in Jonglei, Lagos, Unity and Upper Nile in South Sudan.
, Warrap and Western Equatoria states facing severe levels of acute food insecurity.
Specifically, the new funding will ensure the procurement and distribution of interagency emergency health kits for partners providing essential health and nutrition services to people affected by the crisis.
In addition, it will allow WHO to strengthen its capacity for prevention, early detection, investigation and response to disease outbreaks through increased deployment of rapid response teams and improve coordination for effective humanitarian response and integration of service delivery.
at all administrative levels.
This will also include detection and treatment of severely malnourished children in food insecure areas.
USAID Director of Mission Kate Crawford said, “The United States and USAID continue to support the people of South Sudan facing humanitarian disasters, food insecurity, and violence.
This contribution to WHO will improve the quality of life and health of South Sudanese.
In the meantime, we continue to urge the Government of South Sudan to address the causes of persistent subnational violence and take responsibility for the health and well-being of its citizens.
We also call for better protection of aid and humanitarian workers.” “We appreciate the timely contribution of USAID to support the health response in communities affected by the crisis and acute food insecurity, which will contribute to the reduction of illnesses and preventable deaths from infectious, non-communicable and epidemic diseases related to food insecurity.
insecurity, flooding and subnational violence in the country's high-risk priority counties,” said Dr. Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Acting Representative for South Sudan.
"USAID's support will allow us to improve coordination for effective humanitarian responses and ensure that affected communities have access to critical services."
The United States has been the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance to the people of South Sudan since independence.
This new assistance brings total US support to South Sudan to more than $706 million so far in 2022 alone.
The Police Commissioner in Borno, Mr Abdu Umar has said that 389 policemen paid the supreme price and 450 others injured in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency from 2011 to date.
He said that over 24 police barracks and 30 stations razed or destroyed, while several fighting equipments carted away or destroyed by the terrorists.
Umar made this known on Saturday during the inauguration of the newly constructed Police Station and barracks at Beneshiek, headquarters of Kaga Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba-Alkali inaugurated the edifice as part of his working visit in the state.
Umar said that, “it will be recalled that at the height of the insurgency, precisely between 2011 and today, over 30 Police and 24 Police Barracks burnt or destroyed by the insurgents.
“389 policemen lost their lives, over 450 policemen injured while several crime fighting equipment carted away or burnt.
“The losses suffered by the Police Command in the state attracted numerous interventions amongst which we are witnessing one of such interventions today,” he said.
He commended the IGP for his interventions towards providing conducive working environment and bringing the service of the police closer to the people, adding that the command would ensure proper utilisation of the facilities for maximum result.
He also lauded the state government for its support to the police, adding that the government reconstructed some of the vandalised police stations across the state.
The Commissioner further commended donors and development organisations for their contributions towards rebuilding destroyed police structures and other facilities in the state.
He listed the organisations to include the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative, Victim Support Fund (VSF), Nigeria Police Trust Fund, North-East Development Commission (NEDC), North-East Regional Initiative (NERI), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In his remarks, Baba-Alkali reiterated commitment to the improved welfare of the police and tasked them on good maintenance culture.
He thanked the state government for its sustain support to the police and urged the people to embrace community policing by supporting the police with credible information on suspecious persons and movements in their localities.
The IGP said the recently recruited 10,000 constabulary had been deployed to thier respective states to promote community policing.
While urging politicians to play the game according to the rules in 2023 general elections, Baba-Alkali advised political parties and candidates to adhere to security advise and regulations for hitch free electioneering campaigns.
“We (police) are preparing, training and equipping ourselves to see election come and go free, fair and credible,” he said.
Gov. Babagana Zulum applauded the IGP for his commitment towards addressing challenges confronting the Force, adding that the gesture was key to sustainable growth of the Nigeria Police Force.
The governor said his administration accorded priority to the construction and rehabilitation of police stations and barracks to fast track restoration of civil authorities at the grassroots.
“It remain relevant to my administration ongoing reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement programme” While appreciating the Police and other security agencies for their efforts towards peace restoration, Zulum lauded the synergy among security agencies and urged them to sustain the tempo.