By Rukayat Moisemhe
Lagos, Jan. 7, 2021 The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Thursday described the directive by the Federal Government to suspend the implementation of the proposed electricity hike as a temporary relief.
Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, MAN Director-General, said this, while reacting to the Federal Government directive to the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the recent hike in electricity tarrif.
Recall that NERC had on Tuesday adjusted upward tariff review from N2.00 to N4.00 for some bands, while citing the partial impact of inflation and movement in foreign exchange rate.
Ajayi-Kadir said the three weeks respite was to accommodate the spirit of the agreement between the Labour Union and the Federal Government on the tariff increase.
“Though there is a possibility that the increase may be reconsidered during this period, there is no doubt that the National Electricity Regulatory Commission is already anticipating an increase.
“This is why the call for circumspection and pragmatism in the matter of increase remains relevant.
“No matter what becomes the outcome of the Ad-Hoc Committee’s work, an increase at this time is ill-timed and not manufacturing friendly,” he said.
Ajayi-Kadir urged government to go beyond the reasons given for the timed suspension, to include consultations with other economic actors, such as the manufacturers.
“They are the major consumers of electricity and they are the ones whose businesses will be most impacted by the increase.
“The sector is already groaning under inclement operating environment, including the debilitating impact of COVID-19 disruptions and deteriorating infrastructure.
“It is, therefore, important for us to avoid this additional burden,” he said.