Generator importers shortchange govt, says FCCPC
Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera, has said the organisation had discovered anti-free market practices such as price-fixing being perpetrated by importers and sellers of generating sets in Nigeria.
He said through intelligence gathering, FCCPC also saw that some of the companies were equally shortchanging government in payment of duties for imported spare parts.
Irukera, in a live programme at the weekend, added that the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020 had limited powers of the Council on Nigerian banking industry in dealing with complaints by customers.
He said some of the companies importing and selling generators took ‘undue advantage’ of the opportunity provided by government through exemption of duty payment on imported Completely Knocked Down parts (CKDs) intended to boost alternative energy and increase affordability of alternative power sources for consumers.
The FCCPC boss explained that the policy is part of government’s efforts to address power generation, transmission and distribution deficits in the country for the people to access supply at an affordable price.
He said: “The least that a society should experience is that the candle doesn’t burn from both ends and is not shortchanged even with respect to cost of providing alternative power, typically referred to renewable energy.”
Irukera continued: “So, we got credible intelligence that in the generator sector, there were a few things that were going wrong.”
Number one, in order to address generation, transmission and distribution deficits, one of the things the government has done is to relax certain rules with getting your alternative power.
“One of them is reducing or even eliminating duties with respect to CKDs to build a generator and so, most generator importers bring in these CKDs and then assemble.
“That does two things: The lack of duties makes it more affordable for consumers, and then, it also promotes local industry in the sense that at least, it brings the value-adding process to be done domestically, which is the assembling.”