By Udeme Clement
The 50 percent reduction in electricity tariff by the Federal Government is generating reactions. While some people say government’s intervention came when consumers, especially manufacturers, had suffered losses due to sky-rocketing tariff amid erratic power supply, others believe government acted in the nick of time to prevent the industrial sector from collapse.
In a chat with Sunday Vanguard in Lagos, an entrepreneur and Chancellor, Akpabio Centre for Leadership Development, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), set up for entrepreneurial development and capacity building in Nigeria, Mr. Bassey James, said that the 50 per cent slash in power tariff is a well thought-out initiative by government to boost industrial growth.
According to him, “Government’s decision to slash power tariff is a clear demonstration of it plan to build local capacity. This implies that government is looking inward to stimulate tangible growth in the manufacturing sector of the economy. The good thing is that government is putting measures in place to revamp manufacturing industries across the country. The policy in electricity reduction now is a deliberate attempt by government to enhance entrepreneurial development and wealth creation in the economy”.
He added, “With the current cut in electricity tariff many industries would expand their operations. The reason being that, they would now channel their income into exploring new window of investments, instead of paying high electricity bills. I commend President Goodluck Jonathan and his economic team for taking this pragmatic step to move the economy forward. I am calling on all Nigerians to support Jonathan for policy continuty in Nigeria. Also, the operators of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country would benefit a lot because this is an opportunity for more SMEs to spring up in different parts of the country.”
He went on, “This is a laudable policy for all consumers of electricity, in particular the entrepreneurs. The efforts of the current administration in growing non-oil export sectors is for people to understand that Nigeria can build an economy without dependent on crude oil revenue. Already government is investing so much in agriculture and other sectors of the economy. This is the time for all Nigerians to join hands together with the President to build a united nation and a strong economy.”
On what impact the reduction in electricity tariff can make, as power supply currently is not constant, he said, “The reduction in high electricity tariff is a major step that government has taken at present. I am aware that government is also doing so much in trying to increase electricity generation and distribution in the country by giving financial support to the private investors running the power plants. Most recently, Jonathan, commissioned the Olorunsogo power project in Ogun State, designed to add 750Mega Watts (MW) of electricity to the current capacity. The Ogun power plant is the third in the series of 10 power stations to be commissioned under the current administration. Similar projects were launched in Kogi and Ondo States all in a bid to ensure sufficient power supply in the country.
Responding to the recent launch of G-WIN project by Jonathan, he explained, “The G-Win project is designed to empower women and girls across the country. I am aware that the project has international recognition from both the African Development Bank and the World Bank. You can recall that government initially launched the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin) programme designed to create 80.000 jobs for entrepreneurs between the ages 18 and 45. So, the G-WIN programme is a follow-up to YouWin scheme”.