Selective energy subsidy, an unfair economic policy – REAN

The Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) has described Nigeria’s continued subsidy of fossil fuel energy as an unfair economic policy, thus calling on the government to provide a level-playing ground for all energy sources in the country to compete.

REAN, an umbrella association of all renewable energy operators in Nigeria, stated at the 2017 edition of the annual Power Nigeria Conference and Exhibition in Lagos, that it was not asking for subsidy from the government, but wanted the government to allow market forces determine the operations of all energy sources in the country.

Its interim president, Mr. Segun Adaju, said these in his remarks at the renewable energy session of the conference which had top industry players in attendance.

Adaju, equally called for the establishment of special taskforce unit within the customs, to handle renewable energy imports, adding that practices at the country’s customs units were contributing to the high cost of renewable energy procurement and deployments to homes and offices in the country.

“There should be a special taskforce in the customs to ensure that renewable energy technologies when they are being imported don’t get into problems. A lot of us that import products like batteries get it tough with the customs, they tell you that batteries are batteries and they don’t separate a car battery from batteries for renewable energy installations, and this affects prices charged to consumers,” said Adaju.

He then stated: “You cannot be subsidising our competitors – fossil fuel. We are not saying you should subsidise solar but create a level playing field so that everybody can play very well and we can compete well.

“Government should support regulation of the industry for standard and allow market forces to determine the prices. A lot of substandard goods are coming into the market now and we cannot help it – there is a need for comprehensive consumer protection, not just in terms of price but also quality delivery. Government can support consumer protection but also allow market forces to determine prices.”