‘High Electricity Tariff Frustrating e-Commerce Growth’

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Operators of e-com
merce companies have cried out over the negative effect of high electricity tariff, describing it as a disincentive to business development in the country.
A survey conducted by the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) shows that less than 40 per cent of electricity bills are paid by consumers and that as a result higher tariffs are expected to be levied in a bid to plug the loss in power revenue.
The stakeholders stated that with a recession poised to sweep through the economy, an unstable currency washing out capital security and epileptic power supply, forcing a dependence on generators, the hike in electricity tariffs will limit industry growth.
The managing Director of Jovago Nigeria, Mr Kushal Dutta, said, “one of the highest cost e-commerce companies in Nigeria cover is electricity. As online-based businesses need constant power supply to function and deliver services to clients, we spend a bulk of our revenue which should go into increasing operations on buying diesel for generators that run almost 24 hours a day.
“Although we predict better market opportunities for the sector, there is need to curb this inflation in tariff pricing so investing companies can begin to thrive and achieve real growth,” Dutta said.
While consumers of power bemoan the instability and high cost of sourcing electricity, the Executive Director, ANED, Sunday Oduntan, said that the high charges were dismissible in view of the low payment habits of Nigerians.
Oduntan said consumer pay less than 40 percent of their actual bills from recording by distribution companies.
“I ‘ve toured all the 11 DISCOs and I see the same pattern across board in terms of our peoples’ attitude with respect to N5,000 and they will pay N2,000 and will tell you they will clear in next time. This is how it continues to pile up.”
With the government removing fuel subsidies and oil marketers refusing to sell diesel at pump princes, the cost of doing business in Nigeria is expected to double over the next three months especially as oil hits a bench mark price of $ 38 per barrel with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicting a further drop to $ 20 per barrel by mid-year.

 

Chris  Oluoh