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Experts canvass renewable energy, tax holiday


Babatunde Ruwase

Industry players at the ongoing Power Nigeria Conference and Exhibition, have advised government to embrace renewable energy to boost power availability in the country.They said renewable energy is the way to go, as it would aid the decentralisation of power in various states, and encourage individuals to venture into the sector for more innovative solutions.

The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Babatunde Ruwase, said the move demands that government subsidised renewable energy products rather than consumption to discourage corruption.He noted that it is necessary for them to create tax holidays on all renewable materials for the sector to thrive, because Nigeria lacked local capacity for some of these components.

Ruwase, who also argued that government should enable financing to assist individuals access credit at low rates from banks, because the initial cost for renewable, is capital intensive, but the long term benefit is enormous. “If we do so, we are on our way out of power our problems,” he remarked.
Ruwase, who appreciated government’s efforts for investment in the industry, urged that they should rather empower investors and create an enabling environment for business to flourish rather than just rolling out figures.

Commenting on the challenges faced by distribution companies (DisCos), the Head of Revenue Protection Unit, Asset Protection, Ibadan Electricity Distributor Company, Jude Ugwuoke, cited energy theft as a major challenge, because customers are not ready to pay for what they use.He said the company loses about N1 billion monthly to energy theft, which poses a major setback to the DisCo’s operations.

Ugwuoke explained that even though they have invested in a lot of metering, but currently about 60 per cent of the meters under its franchise are nothing to write home about because customers are by passing the meters.He therefore appealed to Nigerians to desist from energy theft to boost operational efficiency, while also pleading for a legislation on the issue.

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Babatunde RuwaseLCCI
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