The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has decried the challenges in the slow uptake of the 2000Mw stranded electricity by the manufacturing sector and its implications.
Its Director-General, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir said the challenges had to do with accessing the stranded power and that eligible customers should not owe any distribution companies (DisCos).
He recalled the legal dispute between the Association and the some DisCos over poor management of the Multi-Year Tariff Orders, which led to the claim by the DisCos that manufacturers were owing them.
He said manufacturers were expecting that the government would quickly resolve the impasse between manufacturers and the DisCos.
He regretted that the challenge of inadequate electricity supply persisted last year and worsened by skyrocketing electricity price.
He said: “Inadequate electricity supply remains a major driver of the cost of production. A situation where cost of electricity constitutes about 40 per cent of the cost of production and cost of self-generated electricity in 2016 as high as N129billion, N117.38bilion in 2017 and about N43billion in 2018 in the first half of 2018, is not manufacturing friendly. Our survey finding shows slight improvement in electricity generation and distribution with the greatest challenges coming from obsolete electricity infrastructure, weak transmission and distribution networks.”
He pleaded with government not to allow any increase in electricity tariff in the face of inadequate supply, support stakeholders on the electricity value chain to improve generation, transmission and distribution, intervene in the impasse between MAN, DisCos and NERC and resolve associated issues. Other intervention he asked for is for government to relax some of the requirements for the uptake of the 2000Mw stranded electricity so that manufacturers can leverage on the initiative.
Ajayi-Kadir sought deliberate actions that would promote non-oil exports in the country. According to him, MAN believes that the starting point to increasing non-oil export is improving the productive capacity in the real sector, particularly the manufacturing sector.
He stressed the need for government to explore the resource-based industrialisation programme that involves the resourceful utilisation of the abundant natural resources in the country for domestic production, develop key selected mineral resources through backward integration, especially those with high inter-industry linkages such as iron ore, zinc-led, bitumen, lime stone and coal; encourage private sector investment in solid mineral development for domestic utilisation with appropriate incentives and intensify backward integration in the agricultural sector to produce more industrial input supply for other sectors.
Furthermore he canvassed the need to strengthen the Bank of Agriculture 9BoA) to continue to lend for agricultural production such as crop and animal production at a rate that supports production in the sector; resuscitate the petrochemical industry by encouraging domestic refining of crude petroleum.
Source: The Nation