By Yinka Kolawole
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said that the suspension of electricity tariff increase as announced by the federal government yesterday is only a temporary relief and called for wide consultations that will lead to lasting solution.
Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, stated this in a statement made available to Vanguard yesterday.
He stated: “The news of Federal Government directive to the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the implementation of the duly performed minor review from N2 per kWh to N4 per kWh till the conclusion of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee’s work at the end of January 2021 is only a temporary relief.
“Apparently, the three weeks respite is to accommodate the spirit of the agreement between Labour and the Federal Government on tariff increase since last year.
“Even though there is a possibility that the increase may be reconsidered during this period, there is no doubt that the NERC is already anticipating an increase. This is why the calls for circumspection and pragmatism in the matter of increase remains relevant. No matter what becomes the outcome of the Ad-Hoc Committee’s work, an increase at this time is ill-timed and not manufacturing friendly.
“The Government ought to go beyond the reasons given for the timed suspension, to include consultations with other economic actors, including manufacturers. They are the major consumers of electricity and they are the ones whose businesses would be most impacted by the increase.
“As indicated in the previous press release, the sector is already groaning under inclement operating environment, including the debilitating impact of COVID-19 disruptions and deteriorating infrastructures. It is important for us to avoid this additional burden.”