Rising energy costs due to worsening electricity supply may force more industries in Nigeria to collapse, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has warned.
The local media Friday quoted Chamber President Goodie Ibru as saying that industries rely on power generators to operate, despite the high cost of diesel, which is sold for about 165 naira (about US$1) per litre.
“This is in addition to the problem of dwindling sales, weak consumer demand, high cost of fund, dumping of substandard products at ridiculous prices in the market and unethical practices in the importation processes.
”If the current trend persists, we may not have an industrial sector in a few years to come. Only a robust package of incentives can save the sector from total collapse. The burden of energy cost and funding has become excruciating and intolerable,” Mr. Ibru said.
Nigeria’s persistently-poor power supply has forced many industries to close down, cut their workforce or relocate to neighbouring countries.
The power situation has worsened in recent times due to problems with the country’s main hydro-electric power station and the shortage of gas to fire the thermal plants.
The government has said the resultant power outages may continue till much later in the year.
At the best of times, Nigeria generates about 4,000 megawatts of electricity, considered to be far inadequate for its 160 million population.