The Electricity Meter Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (EMMAN), has appealed to the Federal Government to review its decision on one-year deferment of the 35 per cent import levy on electricity meters in order to promote local content in the manufacturing of pre-paid meters.
The Association said the directive to defer 35 per cent import duty on pre-paid meters was an incentive for mass importation of the meters against scaling production capacity of made in Nigeria.
It said local manufacturers were not being patronised by off-takers in the downstream of the power sector value chain, because they are not prepared to cut corners.
EMMAN said the presidential approval of tax deferment on importation of three million finished electricity meters would have negative effects on the power sector.
It says allowing such a decision to run for a year would jeopardise government’s efforts at industrialising the country.
The group stressed that the deferment might set back the development that was already on ground, while the decision would dampen the hope of the local manufacturers as well as cripple the anticipated growth in the sector.
It noted that as an in-depth manufacturer in the sector, it takes an average of three months to set up SKD (Semi Knock Down (SKD)/ Complete Knock Down (CKD) factory.
The Association, therefore, advised the government to encourage importers to set up factories, to create a value chain that would provide employment opportunities to Nigerians.
Speaking as a member of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the downstream, Chairman of Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Limited (MEMMCOL), Kola Balogun, said the 35 per cent levy is the only protection that is available to them and it is not peculiar to the sector alone.
Balogun argued that the removal is an indication that the government is more disposed to favour importation to the detriment of the local industry.
Source: The Guardian