OPS seeks concession for members over new electricity tariff

25 June 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – NIGERIA’S organised Private Sector has urged the Federal Government to give concession to the real sector under the new electricity tariff regime.

In a statement, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Yusuf, said this was necessary to encourage job creation.

He lamented that the real sector contributes less than 10 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), stressing that the cost of energy was one of the major problems stunting the growth of the sector.

Commending the government for the concession given to the poor under the new tariff, Muda said the increase of a monthly fixed charge of N500 to over N1,000 is worrisome.

“There is no justification for this under the new tariff since the tariff is now cost reflective. Imposition of fixed charge irrespective of whether there is power supply or not, is exploitative and would encourage inefficiency and should, therefore, be reviewed,” it added.

The Chairman, Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), Apapa brach, Mr John Aluya, who supports concession for his colleagues, said there is need for the government to consider manufacturers.

He said increasing tariff was wrong because manufacturers have suffered a lot.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) is set to launch a Guarantee scheme of its member firms.

Its President,Mr Chuku Wachuku, said the programme is aimed at filling gaps for members who lack collateral to support their credit proposals to banks.

He said the scheme will enable its members to obtain loans from financial institutions without collaterals.

He said since it has become difficult for many members of NASSI, who do not have collaterals to obtain loans, the association would assist some of them.

He said the support would come after the beneficiary met the requirements set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Wachukwu explained that following a meeting of the Southwest Zone, NASSI set up a six-man committee comprising three men from NASSI and the others from the NEXIM Bank to work out ways of actualising the objectives.

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