As the privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) being supervised by the Federal Government is fast approaching conclusion, some key players in th energy sector are nursing fears of being sidelined from taking a decisive role in the supply of energy components and power-related services, due to the unwholesome preference for foreign products.
Leading a handful of concerned players, Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL), a local smart meters manufacturer decried unhealthy preference for foreign products, especially in the energy sector, at the detriment of local content policy.
MEMMCOL, which expressed worries over unhealthy preference for foreign energy products by foreign technical partners that are currently taking charge in Nigerian energy industry, also declared that absence of differentials in Customs Duties between raw material and complete products imported at 5 percent, could further worsen the situation if unchecked.
Speaking during a facility tour of MEMMCOL located along Lagos-Ibadan expressway in Ogun state, Kola Balogun, the Chairman, who claimed that the energy firm had invested N8 billion in its efforts to ensure that smart card electronic meters are being produced in the country for improved economy expressed worries that government does not support the growth of local industries through patronage and enabling policies.
“I felt it is important to showcase all the experiences we have gathered for the past 18 years in this country. But to my greatest surprise after much effort putting up this factory in this country, we have not seen the necessary support from government and we feel the market is there, that formed the basis of our projection,” Balogun said.
“The metering gap for the country today is more than 3 million and we felt, by setting up this company, we will be able to meet up and break even. But, because of policy related to issues surrounding government, it has actually made us not to fulfil our projections. So my appeal to the Hon. Minister of power is to solicit government support to ensure the necessary patronage”, he said.
Also, Lucas Scaraffiotti, the Managing Director, MEMMCOL decried “ambient culture of importation in the power sector,” which he said was hampering the growth of local power sector players, saying: “the current privatization of PHCN is bringing new actors to the power sector with foreign technical partners and soon foreign products.”
By: RAZAQ AYINLA