Energy

Electricity meter providers demand price review, unfettered access to Forex, others

Meters Assets Providers (MAPs) operating in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) have demanded an upward review of the current price of prepaid meters by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

MAPs in a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Lagos said the demand became necessary “in view of rising inflation, continued upward movement of foreign exchange rates, associated increases in customs cost, increase in container freight costs, and the disruptions in the international supply chain, leading to a global increase in the prices of raw materials and components for the manufacture of prepaid meters.”

MAPs however noted that there will be corresponding downward review of meter prices when there is a downward movement in foreign exchange rates and other cost factors.

Speaking on the sideline of the meeting, the chief executive officer of Holley Metering Ltd and Celdon Group, Ifeanyi Okeke, commended the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, for the bank’s strategic funding of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) to close metering gap and end estimated billing.

The meter providers urged CBN to guarantee access to foreign exchange (FOREX) to local meter manufacturers and assemblers for the procurement of parts and accessories (Completely Knocked Down (CKD) or Semi Knocked Down (SKD) parts, including equipment for meter manufacturing/production as well as expansion of factory infrastructure.

They equally urged that the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) should be encouraged to create dedicated desks/teams at the various ports to fast-track the clearing of prepaid meters and components from the ports to improve delivery timelines. Further, it noted that it is crucial that the ministry of finance and Customs harmonise and provide clarity on HS codes for uniform assessment as it relates to meters, meters parts, components and accessories.

They demanded a change in the modalities for the implementation of the presidential waiver of the 35 per cent levy on fully built prepaid meters and extension up to December 2022. The list of all NERC approved MAPs benefitting from the levy waiver should be made available by NERC/FMF to the Customs to circulate to their commands, thus removing the requirement from MAPs to individually apply to NERC each time.

They noted that the MAP scheme is critical to closing of the metering gap hence it should be carried along in the implementation of the National mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

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