22 December 2015, Abuja – National Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has cautioned the federal government against increasing electricity tariffs.The National Vice-President of NACCIMA, Prince Billy Gillis-Harry, who gave the warning in Abuja, said there was need to involve stakeholders in the deciding what the consumer will pay
Gillis-Harry said it was not proper for the government to just wake up and say this is what the consumer would pay for electricity without involving them.
“The decision should come from pool of opinion every stakeholder should be part of it because the negative impact would be on all looking at economy that is.”
He insisted that before the proposal for the increase in tariff, consumers have been paying more than what they consume because of the compromise in the system.
“Actually we do not need to muzzle Nigeria because for any policy or projection, ordinarily a minister should not be the one canvassing for that, there should be processes by which those cost should be evaluated.
“Whether we like it or not, we are paying more, because if your bill is N2,000 you will discover that your consumption is not up to N1000. There is a compromise in the system.
“We don’t want Nigerians to be discouraged. Before the federal government takes any policy decision to make this increase, they should work with the stakeholders and check what it is,” he said.
Gillis-Harry said that the country had passed the stage when anybody would wake up and say “this is what I want to do.”
Continuing, he said: “We need to know why you want to do it, what is the history, the reason why it has not happened or why it has failed, and we must be able to talk about it.”
According to him, Nigerians need to be told what is happening, we need to know what is happening, why we should do that and what is the expectation from such change. If we know that paying more for electricity will give power 24/7 which is better than using generator, we will be willing to pay,” he said.
While commenting on the plan to remove subsidy on fuel, he called on the government to thread softly stressing that whatever decision is being taken should impact positively on the populace.
“I believe that Nigerians are willing to embrace change for the value that will give them a better standard of living.
“You cannot wake up and say that you are removing subsidy on fuel. Yes, we are the ones advocating for it to give room for competition but there has to be a process for how it should be done not just a policy statement coming from a minister,” he said.