Manufacturers yesterday threatened to close shop, following the increased electricity charges which impact heavily on their production.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) recently reviewed upward the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2.)
The manufacturers at a meeting in Abuja yesterday told NERC that the new tariff is not acceptable to them because of the parameters used in computing it.
Energy and fixed charges for factories and businesses in the MYTO 2.1, they said, are the highest in the world, thereby making it unsustainable to run businesses in Nigeria.
They noted that could interrupt the expected success of the Federal Government’s industrial revolution policy, adding that fixed charges by the distribution firms had risen astronomically in the new structure.
The Ikeja Branch Coordinator of Steel Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Felix Okojie, said the commission must revert to the old MYTO, which took effect from June 2012 and had a five years life span to run.
Okojie cited the decision of NERC to jack up fixed charge from N702.11 to N123, 321 for Abuja distribution network, N750 to N155, 923 for Benin and N781.13 to N226,797 for Kaduna as an attempt to destroy the manufacturing sector and throw people out of work.
He further explained that a comparative analysis of the cost of energy in Nigeria and other countries showed that Nigerian business pays the highest in the world.
“The MYTO 2012 to 2017, which was supposed to operate for five years, constituted our long-term planning. So, coming at the middle to increase and not just a mere increase but an increase of almost 44 to 45 per cent is completely destructive. In some areas, it is 100 per cent.
“It is like nobody is actually thinking about the progress of industries in the country. You do not just wake up from nowhere and begin to disrupt a long term plan. In the MYTO, it was not mentioned that the five-year plan, which started on the 1st of June 2012, was going to be distorted at any time,” Okojie said.
He added: “The explanation that they have the right to adjust it any time is completely new to us. Maybe that is internal administrative thing but even if they would have that, since we are the major stakeholders, they should carry us along.”