President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Chief Mrs.Nike Akande has advised government to urgently explore alternative models of power provision which focuses on diversification of energy sources and decentralization of power supply channels in the country.
Akande also lamented high dependence on gas pipelines from the Niger Delta which is fraught by high vulnerability risks which the economy and the citizens can no longer bear.
She proposed the need for the review of the current framework/model with a view to finding a sustainable solution to the current challenges in the sector.
According to her, The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry join other stakeholders in the economy to draw the attention of Government to the worsening power supply across the country over the last couple of months.
The situation continues to pose challenges to business operators, despite the tariff increase. There are complaints across all sectors about high energy costs especially high expenditure on diesel and petrol for large and small businesses respectively.
Most businesses spend as much as 15-25% of their total operating cost on alternative power sources.
On the lingering fuel scarcity in the country she said there is urgent need for the government to liberalize the downstream petroleum sector for unfettered private sector participation and investment.
She explained that this would improve efficiency, attract more investment, generate more jobs and reduce the pressure on the country’s foreign reserves.
She said:’ The prolonged scarcity of petrol [PMS] in the past few weeks has taking a major toll on business. Apart from the considerable loss of man-hours as a result of long fuel queues and associated traffic issues on the highways, the fuel scarcity challenge also promotes proliferation of black market’’.