By Ernest Chinwo
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said it is opposed to the bill seeking to ban the importation of electricity generators into the country.
This is as the body also stated its opposition to the new tariff of electricity under consideration by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC).
The President of MAN, Mansur Ahmed, stated the position of the manufacturers while briefing journalists in Port Harcourt at the end of the 303rd National Council meeting of the association.
He said the association would ordinarily support a ban on the importation of goods that could be produced locally, especially if the ban would be carried out in such a way that it would not ground the economy.
He noted that the nation’s production of electricity or generators was grossly inadequate to run the economy.
“To ban importation when you cannot produce enough electricity or generators will be to kill the economy,” he said.
While calling on the Senate not to pass the bill, Ahmed however challenged manufacturers in the power sector to note the nation’s deficiency in that sector and work towards self-sufficiency in power production.
On plans to increase electricity tariff, Ahmed said: “MAN noted Disco (Distribution companies) inefficiencies as a major lacuna in the power sector and hereby declares total opposition to the new tariff of electricity under consideration by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC).”
On the federal government’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic, he said MAN appreciates government on the palliative measures to manufacturers on the impact of the disease on business.
Specifically, he expressed hope that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would implement the disbursement of the N1.1 trillion intervention fund set aside by the federal government to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the economy.
“This is a period we all need to come together, make sacrifices in the interest of the nation,” he said.
MAN also called on the federal government to make the ports in Rivers State and other areas operational to decongest the Lagos port and make the ports viable.
Ahmed also commended the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for ensuring improved security for citizens and business.
“Also, the recent inauguration of the Rivers State Ease of Doing Business Council by the governor is a sign of the state government’s commitment to support business in the state. This we believe is supportive of increased tempo in manufacturing production,” he said.
He said manufacturers in the state would complement the gesture of government with increased investment expected to create more employment and deepen peaceful investment in the state.