Impacts of 2019 Investigative Stories

Over 30 investigative stories were published in 2019, all supported with several infographics. Below are some of the impact of some stories.

Plateau electricity project abandoned for 20 years:

After this report was published, a Good Samaritan donated a transformer to Guranpwana community in a bid to help them access electricity. We learnt also that a staff of Jos Electricity Distribution Company who allegedly took money from the community with the promise to purchase electricity poles but did not, was mad to refund the said amount after the story was published. Community members said they were yet to be connected to electricity because there was still the need for high tension poles and cables to be installed. On the other hand, reports from Yelwa Ngaher indicated that they had received promises from the state government to have them connected to the national grid.

Electricity: Abuja residents, others flout safety laws, live under high tension

Upon the publication of this report, the Managing Director, Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), reacted to say the agency had continually sensitized people to stay away from power lines. He said they would increase that sensitization along the power lines in the FCT. At Dutse community in Abuja, it was observed that AEDC had put caution signs on some of the lines. Its officials said they had carried out sensitization programmes to discourage people in Mpape, Dutse, Kubwa, and Kuje areas of the FCT and other parts of its franchise areas from trading or living near or under power lines.    The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which is building a substation under its own right of way, also provided responses, saying it did not have  a virgin land around the Dawaki/Gwarimpa area and had to use the empty right of way since the project was still a power line.

Katsina wind farm: N4.4bn down the drain, yet zero electricity

Some of the reactions that followed after this story was published included an immediate rejoinder published in the Daily Trust ‎by one of the contracting firms. In it the organization explained the circumstances surrounding the delay in their operations.  But some contractors resumed work at the site with additional wind turbines being erected. The state government, represented by the Special Adviser on power, led a delegation to the concerned ministry with a view to getting firsthand information on why the stalemate at the site. Also, then Special Adviser told our reporter that a contracted had returned to site at a substation in Katsina in order to evacuate and distribute the generated power.  A coalition for civil society organisations in the state has intensified their ongoing advocacy on the project. They are advocating for its completion.

NIBET boss, Marilyn Amobi, in trouble over N2bn fraud

This story generated a lot of reactions, including a libel suit instituted against Daily Trust by the director of NIBET. But government fired her from that position on the eve of Christmas in 2019.

Rural electrification: N1bn projects not connected, require maintenance

As a result of this story and several others on the inefficiency at the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), government suspended the boss in December 2019. FG axes NBET boss, Amobi over complaints, suspends REA MD.

Buhari reverses former REA MD’s suspension

Fraud, fake vendors mar Bauchi homegrown school feeding

As a result of the stories on the fraud in the school feeding programme, government took some drastic steps. One of such steps was government’s decision in December 2019 to audit the school feeding programme in all participating states in Nigeria.

‘Third-party’ cooks serve homegrown school meals in Niger

Like the above (No.7), due to complaints of fraud and delay in they payments to food vendors, the Federal Government paid the outstanding debts to vendors nationwide in December, 2019:

How erratic power supply cripples DisCos revenue generation

The first reaction came from AEDC who, on sighting the report, alerted NERC. Shortly after, the commercial losses data which was accesses from NERC’s website were cleared and replaced with new figures.  Then AEDC called to notify the reporter that he erred. But when the reporter told the officials that he had downloaded the page while writing the report and still had soft copies of the data, the electricity body became silent.  Meanwhile the area in Uke, Nasarawa State, where an electricity customer said they were reluctant in paying bills because of the erratic supply and the ever-increasing bill, has started witnessing improved electricity supply. A new transformer was installed there about a month after the publication of our story.

Illicit transformer deals: Electricity consumers suffering extortion as AEDC fails on mandate – Investigation

After the investigation, Apmma Village, Angwan Doka, a community in New Nyanya, Nasarawa State, was provided with a transformer by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to stop the extortion. The transformer, according to residents, was installed on Friday, October 11, 2019 by AEDC engineers, as demanded by the residents to boost the economic activities of the area. Secondly, AEDC has enlightened Electricity Consumers not to pay money to any of its staff without receipt. In fact, the company advised customers to pay money only at AEDC designated points of payment.

Electricity: Benue rural communities lament flat rate, estimated billings

Though the estimated billings have not changed, community leaders said after the report was published, they became more aware of their rights and would continue to press home their demand for JED to act appropriately.

Peace Ibeh
Peace Ibeh
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