Solar power firms are winding up operations over the rising cost of solar power equipment in the country, it was learnt.

The firms, mostly from states in the northern and eastern parts of the country, are shutting down following the decision by the Federal Government to increase customs duty on solar power equipment from five to 10 per cent, since early this year. The prices of solar panels, batteries and other equipment used in generating solar electricity have increased by 100 per cent, thus hindering the plans by investors to invest in solar electricity. Mostly affected are firms which build mini-grids, with a view to connect communities, which are off the national grid, to electricity.

The President, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), Mr Segun Adaju, said the body rejected the rise in customs duty on solar panels on the ground that it was causing untold pains to the firms. He said many of his members were losing patronage, as they could not afford to buy panels imported from abroad, adding that many would be out of business soon. According to him, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has increased the woes of operators, by indiscriminately increasing the duty on solar equipment.

Source: The Nation