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Expert wants FG to reduce import duties on raw materials

An Expert in Power, Mr. Kunle  Olubiyo,  has appealed to the Federal Government to reduce customs import’s duties and other critical statutory charges at the port of entry and land border.

Olubiyo, who is also the President of the Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, said this on Thursday in Abuja while speaking to the News Agency of NAN about the recent tariff increase. He said that this would reduce the costs of doing business in the country.

NAN reports that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Wednesday approved an increase in electricity tariff paid by Band A customers from N68/KWh to N225KWh.

According to NERC, Band A are those customers who enjoy electricity supply for 20 hours per day.

He said that the import duties and other charges had helped in increasing the costs of importation of raw materials and semi-finished goods.

Olubiyo said the increase in production costs generally translates into an increase in the costs of essential materials and goods and services in the country.

“The implications of the recent increase in electricity tariff are far-reaching

“The consequential effects of about 400 per cent increase in electricity tariff will no doubt have negative multiplier effects on cost of doing business in the country.

“These include but not limited to, job losses and closures of several local industries due to high production costs and attendance pressure from workers for wage increase, ‘’ he said

Olubiyo said that the increase in electricity tariff alone was not a silver bullet solution to the myriad of challenges bedeviling the post-privatised electricity sector.

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“The question is, what is it that we are going to do differently this time around that is going make the consequential effects outcome different from past efforts, ‘’ he said.

Olubiyo urged the NERC to direct the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos)  to ensure that all the customers and end users’ customers on Band A were metered effectively.

He also said that the customers on 33-kilovolt (KV) Feeders should also be metered.

Olubiyo said that in Nigeria, 90 per cent of Indigenous manufacturers and assembly plants depend largely on alternative sources of energy.

“The cost of sourcing alternative energy from the array of available energy mix accounts for about 65 per cent or more of the cost production.

“Service providers shall henceforth be made to take responsibility for non-performance and non-adherence to existing rules, ‘’ he said. (NAN)

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