Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria(ERA/FoEN) has called on the Federal Government to among others “shelve immediately the increase in petroleum pump price and electricity tariff and halt tax burdens on renewable energy and the elimination of multiple taxes to address climate change and energy access.”
The Organisation made the call through its Executive Director, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo at a Youth Talent Hunt and Empowerment programme in Benin City on Tuesday.
Dr. Ojo stated that the programme is “addressing clean energy access for all in order to reduce the nation’s carbon footprints in line with the Paris Agreement in 2015.
“It also helps to provide opportunities and logistics support for our youths to lead in the production of innovative cleaner technologies to drive the renewable energy sector.”
Going forward, ERA/FoEN condemned “in strong terms the unnecessary tax burdens that have characterised Nigeria’s economic development thrust in recent times by the federal government of Nigeria.
“The sudden increase in the Value Added Tax from 5 percent to 7.5 percent, the increase in the pump price of petrol to N162.00 per litre and electricity tariff of over 100 percent hike by the federal government can be counterproductive on the productive sector of the economy especially in the development of the nascent renewable energy sector.”
ERA/FoEN stated that the “tax burden are ill-timed as the federal government has carried on without due consultation with the civil society groups, labour unions and other stakeholders to gauge the mood of the people.”
Describing the youths as catalyst of change, ERA/FoEN asserted that “they understand the need for clean energy transition to reduce the burden of oil dependency and unbearable tax regimes from the oil sector which is leading to harsh economic realities in Nigeria.”
Earlier, Engr. Abdullahi Aliyu, the assistant Director (Training) of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria(NAPTIN), promised that his agency would always be available to offer the needed help to any youth who has an innovation to showcase.
Damilola Asaleye, the co-founder/Chief Operating Officer of Ashdam Solar Company Ltd, gave reasons why Nigerians have to embrace renewable energy which includes to provide reliable power supply; to allow fuel diversification; to enhance energy security; to lower risk of fuel spills; to help conserve the nation’s natural resources and to mitigate climate change.
Over twenty youths from across the country participated in the one day programme held at the Precious Palm Royal Hotel, Benin.