The Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, has said with the one year meter import waiver approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the local manufacturers should have built capacity, for meters to be available to end the estimated billing regime.
In a tweet, the minister said: “I am Pleased to tell you that President has approved a 1-year waiver of Import Levy on meters, Nigerians without meters can be supplied as soon as possible and an this ends Estimated Billing Nationwide.
“It is expected that within that one year period, local meter manufacturing companies would have built up the capacity to meet up with the demand,” he said.
The Buhari’s approval of a one-year deferment of the 35 per cent import adjustment tax (levy) imposed on Fully Built Unit (FBU) electricity meters was announced by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning this week.
The ministry had said six million power users were already registered and waiting to get meters.
A statement from the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said the HS Code 9028.30.00.00 tariff is under the 2019 fiscal policy measures for the implementation of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Common External Tariff (CET) 2017 – 2022 of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), approved in 2015.
The statement said the approval for the adjustment was on a request by Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, to support the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in rolling 3 million electricity meters, which is under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) framework.
“The 35 percent levy was imposed on the recommendation of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to encourage local production, as well as protect investments in the local assembly of electricity meters,” Zainab said.
The MAP regulation stipulates that a MAP firm must source a minimum of 30 percent of their contracted metering volumes from local meter manufacturers.
“However, the application of the 35 percent levy on electricity meters has created a significant challenge to the smooth implementation of MAP scheme of NERC.”
It also noted that six million electricity consumers have embraced the opportunities presented by MAP and signed off to pay for electricity meters at the regulated prices approved by NERC.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba who had inspected the Calabar NIPP power plant hinted on the waiver.
“I believe Nigerians will soon begin to see the impact. So in a short while, people will have meters to know what they consume and pay for the same. I think six months from now there should be a noticeable improvement both in supply and in metering.”