By G9ija

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a one-year deferment of the 35 per cent import adjustment tax (levy) imposed on fully built unit (FBU) electricity meters HS Code 9028.30.00.00 under the 2019 fiscal policy measures for the implementation of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) common external tariff (CET) 2017 – 2022.

A statement from the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning said the move was in line with the gov ernment’s commitment to tackle the electricity challenge in the country.

The approval for the adjustment is specifically predicated on a request by the minister of finance, budget and national Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, to support the Nigerian Electricity Reg ulatory Commission (NERC) in rolling out three million electricity meters under the meter asset provider (MAP) framework.

The request had made reference to a 35 per cent import adjustment tax (levy) which was approved in 2015 on the importation of FBU electricity meters which attracted 10 per cent im- port duty rate in the ECOWAS CET.

According to Ahmed, the 35 percent levy was imposed on the recommendation of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to en- courage local production, as well as protect investments in the assembly of electricity meters locally.

In a statement yesterday, special adviser, media and communications to the minister, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, said an important feature of the MAP regulation is a gradual up scaling of the patronage of local manufacturers of electricity meters with an initial minimum local content of 30 per cent with the potential of significant job creation in the area of meter assembly, installation and maintenance.