Democracy Day: LCCI seeks more holistic approach to power sector’s challenges
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for a more holistic approach to the challenges of the power sector as the nation marks the June 12 Democracy Day.
Mr Muda Yusuf, Director General, LCCI, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos, noted that the power sector reform had not delivered the desired outcomes.
Yusuf said the entire experience had given privatisation a bad name.
He said: “There were issues of due diligence, technical capacity, financial capacity, political interference, metering issues, commercial losses, technical losses, tariff rigidities and the economics of the private sector investment in the sector.
“There are diverse internal and external factors impeding the achievement of the desired outcomes of the power sector reform.
“Meanwhile, it is important to have a more holistic approach to the issue of power. There should be greater emphasis on off grid solutions in order to ensure the decentralisation of the power sector.
“The current model of high dependence on the national grid has not worked well to serve the economy. The country is too vast for the highly centralised regime of national grid.”
According to him, it is also important to ensure the rapid promotion of renewable energy solutions through the enactment of policies that will make it more affordable.
Yusuf noted that the current high cost of acquiring renewable energy equipment and accessories was a major impediment to solutions to the challenges of the energy sector.
He said, for instance, the cost of solar panels and batteries were very prohibitive.
” I submit that import duty and taxes on solar equipment, solar batteries and inverters should be scrapped to improve access to renewable energy solutions.
“The implementation of the energy mix programme of the government needs to be accelerated,” Yusuf said.
Yusuf, however, commended the Federal Government’s deal with Siemens which aims to scale power supply capacity to 25,000 megawatts by 2025.
He said the move was a welcome development that would improve the performance of the power sector.