Power Supply Will Improve When Duty, Taxes On Solar Batteries, Inverters Are Scrapped– Muda Yusuf

The Director General of The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Muda Yusuf, has said that renewable energy solutions is the best bet for Nigeria as power crisis disrupts economic activities in Africa’s biggest economy.

Yusuf said this in the CPPE’s ‘first quarter 2022 economic review’ sent to THE WHISTLER.

The first three months of 2022 has been a nightmare for businesses and households following the power crisis that left the national grid collapsing twice in less than a week.

Some parts of the country witnessed blackouts as the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, blamed power disruptions on dry season and faulty gas plants.

“It is thus imperative to have a more holistic approach to the multifarious challenges hampering power delivery. There should be greater emphasis on off grid solutions in order to ensure the decentralization of the power sector,” said Yusuf.

He added, “The current model of high dependence on the national grid has not worked well to serve the economy.

“The country is too vast for the highly centralized regime of national grid. The continued ownership and control of the transmission component of the power supply chain is also a challenge to grapple with.

“We should ensure the rapid promotion of renewable energy solutions through the enactment of policies that will make it more affordable.

“The current high cost of acquiring renewable energy installation has been a major impediment to the access of this energy solution. For instance, the cost of solar panels and batteries are very prohibitive.”

The CPPE boss emphasized the need for the Federal Government to remove duty and taxes on renewable energy sources like solar equipment and inverters.

He said, “We submit that import duty and taxes on solar equipment, solar batteries and inverters should be scrapped to improve access to renewable energy solutions. The implementation of the energy mix programme of the government needs to be accelerated.

“I believe the government still needs to provide generous fiscal incentives for investors in the sector because of the economic development and social impact of an improved power sector performance.”

Yusuf lamented that the power sector reforms of 2013 has not delivered the desired result.

According to him, the expectations of Nigerians were not met by the privatization process.

He said, “The entire experience has given privatization a bad name. There are issues of due diligence, technical capacity, financial capacity, political interference, metering issues, estimated and arbitrary billings, payment defaults to the Generating Companies, commercial losses, electricity theft, technical losses, cost reflective tariff and the economics of the private sector investment.

“We also have concerns about the capacity of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading [NBET] Plc to effectively play its role of providing liquidity to support the electricity supply chain.

“Evidently, there are diverse internal and external variables impeding the achievement of the desired outcomes of the power sector reform.”