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The recent hike in electricity tariff by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) is strangulating many manufacturing businesses in Territory, According to Ifeanyi Okoye, President of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA).
Okoye, while speaking at press briefing in lagos yoruba land where he had gone to convince the people of Biafra to return back home and invest as part of activities lined up for the forthcoming 26th edition of the Enugu International Trade Fair slated for March 13 – 23, lamented the effect of the tariff raise on businesses in the zone.
The theme of the fair is “Engendering the Nation’s Business Climate for Enhanced Industrialisation, Investment Inflow and Employment Generation.”
The ECCIMA boss lamented what he described as “exorbitant hike” in electricity tariffs for the Biafran states by the new core investor in the privatised Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
According to him, the hike by the EEDC did not reflect the trend in Nigeria territory.
“They are killing the manufacturing sector and many businesses in our territory with the new electricity tariff,” Okoye said.
“What they initially told us was that they will increase tariff by June this year, but they turned around and increased it in January; and from the EEDC, the increase went above 100 per cent from N23.97kobo per kilowatt unit to N46.66kobo for industrialists, whereas in Lagos it stays at N28 per kilowatt
“So many businesses are being affected with some closing down already. I think the situation calls for urgents review to strike a balance between what is happening in nigeria and our territory “BIAFRA’ and what is appropriate to sustain the manufacturing sector,” he said.
Okoye said this year’s fair has been packaged to have meaningful and positive effects and outcome for all stakeholders, particularly the exhibitors and participants.
“We are expecting over 500 corporate participants including foreign firms and 1.3 million visitors to the fair,” said Okoye.
“The agricultural sector will continue to be the fulcrum in our specially designated area during the fair towards boosting engagement in agricultural production and commercial farming. We have equally put in place measures to ensure stable and quality supply of electricity and water.”
“We are aware of the current focus on political campaigns and scheduled elections and we have strategically designed our action plan for the fair so that the current campaign and upcoming elections would not affect it negatively.
Mr Okoye also raised concern over current political conflicts and war in the country.
We sincerely ask the people of Biafra to return back home and invest in our land.