THE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the Federal Government to abolish the monthly fixed charges being collected from electricity consumers by the distribution companies.
Besides, Lagos State Electricity Board has put electricity demand in the state at 10,000mw, which is more than the average 4,000mw, being currently generated in the country.
This is however LCCI’s support for the Senate’s call on the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to stop what they described conspiracy to rip off innocent customers despite epileptic supply of electricity to their homes and business premises.
The Director-General of the chamber, Muda Yusuf, while speaking with journalist at the sideline of the seminar/exhibition of the power sector group of LCCI on Tuesday, said that businesses across all sub-sectors are increasingly lamenting the rising cost of energy, which has pushed up their operating costs and prevented many of them from making remarkable profits in recent times.
Yusuf said that the major challenge of electricity consumers besides inadequate power supply was the contentious issue monthly fixed charges imposed on consumers by the electricity distribution companies.
According to him, the fixed charge on consumers by the Distribution Companies have been a heavy financial burden on industrialists in the state.
He said: “We highly support the Senate’s plea for abolishment of fixed charges. It is unfair for the distribution companies to ask consumers to pay for services not rendered to them. I think it should be abolished to reduce the burden of electricity charges on consumers”.
Speaking at the event, the President of LCCI, Remi Bello said that the theme of the seminar titled: “Embedded Power Generation and the Economy” was germane at this critical stage of the nation’s economy, knowing that the increased generation and distribution of power play a significant role in the development of the economy.
Bello said that the country can truly be an investors’ haven if the issues around the power sector are holistically addressed.
He stated: “We expect to see government provide an enabling environment for private sector investments in the embedded power generation sector. The sector has witnessed myriads of limiting factors like poor gas supply, huge legacy debts and poor access to credit. Presently, the NERC’s embedded power regulation allows an independent power producer to embed power within the network of the local distribution company without going through the trouble of connecting to the transmission network.
“Facing current realities, governments alone cannot fill the power supply and demand gaps in the country. The private sector empowered and attracted to actively participate in power generation”.
He added that the effort of the Lagos State Government in its captive power initiatives was timely with its redemptive values to the power sector, at least in the state.
He advised that the whole process of power generation and distribution should be made sustainable while also ensuring operational and regulatory framework.
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