Prepaid meters: expert lauds President Buhari for granting waiver on import levy
An Electricity expert, Mr Mohammed Idris on Monday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for granting a one-year waiver on import levy on prepaid electricity meters.
Idris gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Akwanga Local Government Area (LGA) of Nasarawa State.
According to him, the waiver by the President is a demonstration of political will directed at addressing the challenge of meter deficit in the country.
Idris, also the acting Director of Works, College of Education Akwanga (COEA), said he expected to see massive installation of prepaid meters by Distribution Companies (DISCOs).
According to him, this will go a long way in ending the regime of estimated billing as directed by the President.
“Prepaid meter is the only thing that will help both the electricity customers as well as the distribution companies from being shortchanged, as customers will only pay for energy consumed.
“If any customer fails to recharge, such a customer will not have access to electricity,” he said.
Idris stressed that prepaid meters would also address frequent clashes and attacks on staff of DISCOs by customers for trying to disconnect them over unpaid bills.
He urged DISCOs to put machinery in place to check the activities of some of their staff, alleging that some of them aid illegal connections by bypassing prepaid meters, thereby shortchanging the company.
The expert advised the appropriate agency of government to ensure total compliance with the ban on estimated billing by ensuring that it monitored that all customers were metered.
He appealed to customers to buy prepaid meters as was the case in other developed nations.
NAN reports that Buhari had approved a one-year deferment of the 35 per cent import adjustment tax (levy) imposed on fully-built unit (FBU) electricity meters.
This is in consonance with the 2019 fiscal policy measures for the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Common External Tariff (CET) 2017 – 2022.
The approval was specifically predicated on a request by the Minister of Finance, Budget And National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed to support the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in rolling out three million electricity meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) framework. (NAN)