ByÂ Franklin Alli
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has advocated the grant ofÂ import duty concessions and tax holiday to investors in Independent Power Projects (IPP).
NACCIMA President, Dr. Simon Chukwuemeka Okolo, said that such incentives including a one stop shop for licensing procedure among others, would facilitate appropriate investment response and boost power generation requirements for the economy.
â€œIndependent Power generating plants should be commissioned and built in each state of the country to supply power to that state alone. Each state should maintain such facilities when built. Government should support independent power projects and all other initiatives for the exploration of alternative sources of power.
“The technical and commercial performance of all business units of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) should be improved upon by ensuring adequate capacity building of all concerned staff even as the government must introduce further measures to fully liberalise the transmission and distribution of power supply and remove its monopoly from PHCN to encourage efficiencyâ€ Okolo urged.
He also urged the Federal Government to accelerate upgrading of infrastructures in the country.â€œThe pace of improving the state of infrastructure as enunciated in the 2009 budget, in the areas of rehabilitation, maintenance and construction, particularly, of roads, energy and power supply, has not been satisfactory. Most federal roads especially in the Southern and Eastern parts, are in very bad state, which have hampered economic activities in these areas,â€
â€œGovernment should without further delay commence rehabilitation of existing federal and interstate roads that are characterised by potholes and have become death traps throughout the country by dualising them to assist the free flow of persons and goods and create room for traffic.
â€œRather than revocation of the contract signed with Chinese Government, Government should jump-start the contract for quick resuscitation of the railway system in the country.â€
He further said that “As a short term measure,Â government should immediately commence provision of adequate and reliable infrastructure for road, rail, air and waterways transportation, including effective road transport system management in order to achieve supply chain efficiencies, adding that government should further develop Nigeriaâ€™s inland waterways by dredging the River Niger so as to create inland ports at Onitsha, Idah etc.
Okolo who called for a National Master Plan with targets on how to resuscitate the railways, said government , on medium term, should rehabilitate the transport system, especially Nigeriaâ€™s rail, water and air transport so as to reduce the undue pressure on the road networks even as it works to up-grade the countryâ€™s major interstate roads, including dualising it and if possible adopt private-public partnership such as Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement in its maintenance.
â€œOn the long-term government should explore the concept of privatisation for transportation infrastructure, in line with Build, Operate andÂ and Transfer options.Railway North-South, East-West, inter state, and intra city), waterways, etc should be constructed and rehabilitated.