The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged the Federal Government to remove import tariffs and Value Added Tax on renewable energy products as the nation continues to explore alternative energy to reduce the huge gap in public power supply.
ERA pointed out that Nigeria could leverage its economic drives in renewable energy if government could invest in it and boost power supply in the country.
Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the organisation’s Programme Manager, Mike Karikpo, said that more than 70 percent of countries in Africa were without renewable energy.
The environment management advocate, who commended the government for approving a zero import duty for machinery and equipment used in the power sector, explained that a zero tax policy on renewable energy products and components would address the lingering crisis of pervasive low power supply nationwide.
He explained: “We call on the Federal Government to immediately implement a 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, and electrical apparatus for switching or protection of electricity circuit from 20 per cent to 10 per cent.
“We, however, call on the government to ensure zero VAT on products like batteries, charge controllers, inverters and the implementation of the approved low tariffs on other renewable components”, Karikpo added.
He projected that low tariffs on renewable energy items would promote in-country assembly and production of renewable energy, create jobs and attract prospective investors into the sector.
The project management expert noted further that the resources to manage renewable energy were available, adding however that what currently constitutes the hurdles to grow the sub-sector are non-supportive policies.