The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA, has called the Federal Government to eliminate import tariffs and Value Added Tax, VAT, on Renewable Energy Products and Components.
ERA which made this call in Port Harcourt yesterday, noted that if this is done that Nigeria will be a major supplier of renewable energy in Africa, adding that over 70% countries of the continent do not have renewable energy.
Speaking, the Programme Manager of ERA, Mike Karikpo, commended FG for already approving a zero import duty for machinery and equipment used in the power sector, urging them to extend better attention to renewable energy products.
Karikpo said: “We call on the federal government to immediately implement zero Value Added Tax policy on all renewable energy products and components to accelerate growth of the renewable energy sector.
“We acknowledge the fact that the federal government had approved a zero import duty for machinery and equipment used in the power sector, especially those locally produced.
“We also welcome the reduction in tariffs on items like automatic circuit breakers, switches, lamp-holders, electrical apparatus for switching or protection electricity circuity from 20% to 10%.
“We however call on government to ensure zero VAT on products like, batteries, charge controllers, inverters and the implementation of the approved low tariffs on other renewable components as this would promote in-country assembly and production of renewable energy in Nigeria and would boost job creation for prospective investors in the sector.”
He further called for consistency in the applications of current VAT and approved import duties by the customs as the current inconsistent application of these makes the taxes and charges unpredictable and will certain discourage Investment in renewable energy.
“We have the manpower in renewable energy, but no policy environment. We are calling on the federal government
to invest money in renewable energy, the same way we did to generators.
“At this time Nigeria needs 40,000 mega watts installed electricity, but we are struggling with 5000 mega watts. It is part of our campaign to encourage the use of renewable energy sources,” he added.