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NACCIMA bemoans high electricity charges, interest rate

Published by The Nation on Sun, 07 Sep 2014

The National President of Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA) Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubukar has lamented the high cost of electricity tariff fixed charges to consumers and industries in the country.This is even as the NACCIMA boss lamented that the worsening electricity supply, the fixed charges of N75 and N150 based on MYT02 retail tariff to residential house as too high for the average Nigerian.Abubukar who spoke in Lagos on the review of the state of the nation, said that the fixed charges of N90, 000 and N200,000 based on MYTO2 retail tariffs for commercial and industry concerns, is considered too high for Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises in the country, thus urging its discontinuance.He expressed concern on the Central Bank of Nigerias continued retention of its 12per-cent Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), blaming it for the high interest rate in the country, stating that a reduction of MPR will go a long way to reducing the interest rate in the economy.He urged that the interest should be reduced to 5 per-cent to enable banks lend to the private sector at less 10 per-cent interest rate which will boost productivity and create jobs to reduce unemployment and poverty.On monetary policy, while we have commended the CBN and Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at maintaining the 12 per cent since 2012 but we know that the rate is high and unaffordable to borrow, especially for SMEs .We therefore counsel that business operators should not be allowed to continue to struggle with that kind of high lending rates which is based on wrong monetary policy stance, he stated.Quoting reports, he said available statistics on macro-economic indicators and variables from CBN and National Bureau of Statistics noted that the official exchange rate stabilised within a narrow band of N156 and N157 to US dollar while the bureau de change rate increased to between N165 and N170 per dollar.He noted that inflation rate went marginally from 7.7per-cent in January 2014 to 8.3per-cent in July 2014 while Gross Domestic policy growth rate dropped from 7.72 per-cents as at the end December 2013 to 6.21 per-cents in the first quart of 2014.On maritime and port congestion, he said: We are still worried that the policy of 24 hours cargo clearance promised by government is yet to become reality as the issue of cargo congestion has continued unabated at our ports .This has been compounded with the concerns of Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), issuance and wrong computation, huge demurrage to shipping companies, gridlock on the access roads to the ports, amongst others, he added.]]>
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