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CSO wants FG to address crazy billings, intensify effort on metering

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Civil Society Group for Good Governance (CSGGG), has called on the Federal Government to address “crazy billing’’ of electricity and to intensify efforts on metering.

Mr Dominic Ogakwu, the Convener of the group, made the call in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja after a one-day power forum with the theme: “Assessing the independent power producers’’.

Ogakwu said that issue of overestimated billing known as crazy billing was becoming worrisome, adding that the epileptic power supply was stifling the operations of small and medium enterprises in the country.

“Small and medium businesses are suffering due to poor power supply. We want the government to proffer solutions so that SMEs can thrive.

“The government needs to address the issue of crazy billings by providing access to meters for business owners and other private power consumers,” he said.

Ogakwu said that off-grid power solutions like solar, wind, and other forms of renewable energy would address power generation, transmission, and distribution in the country.

He said that investments on the alternative solution were best for the nation as the alternatives were working well for other countries.

“We appeal to government to invest in solar and other renewable sources of energy. The power sector should be encouraged,’’ Ogakwu said.

Ogakwu said that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) had stated that 100 million Nigerians, which were about 75 per cent of the total population were not connected to the national grid.

“Sixty three million of this population does not live within kilometers that could give access to electricity pole.

“Also, According to the Power Generation Report by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing released on April 9, eight out of Nigeria’s 27 power plants were shut down due to gas line and frequency management constraints at some point,’’ Ogakwu said.

He said that these facts suffice to consider electricity policy alternatives that de-emphasise having all Nigerians on the national grid, rather concentrate more on renewable, off-grid solutions which are easier and more flexible to deploy.
The convener urged that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to lower its newly imposed five to 10 per cent import duty on solar panels necessary for deploying electricity by solar system.

Ogakwu said that the law puts import duty on solar panels at zero per cent to encourage wider adoption of alternative and renewable sources of electricity with focus on solar energy.

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