FG mandates free metre distribution by DisCos

 The Metre Assets Providers initiative, which was recently delayed by the National Mass Metering Program, has been ordered to restart by the Federal Government.

In 2020, the NMMP initiative under Vice President Yemi Osinbajo's office was created to bridge the huge metering gap in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), even though the DisCos' MAP has been in place for several years.

FG mandates free metre distribution by DisCos

Phase 0 of the FG's NMMP intervention reached over 800,000 houses, while the MAP intervention only managed to reach 400 000 homes by 2020.

Garuba Sanusi, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission chairman, stated last week that Phase 1 of the Federal Government's NMMP was scheduled to commence in August. Consequently, DisCos were asked to continue and speed up on the MAP.

Meters from local manufacturers will be installed by the DisCos by the end of August. Consequently, DisCos have been asked to re-open the MAP, and consumers are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire theirs if they cannot wait for the free metres," he added.

45 local metre makers are actively bidding to be signed up under the metre providers scheme run by the Federal Government (FG).

As for the 45 manufacturers, Sanusi said that the bidding process had already started. He added that the winners of the bid rounds will be identified when the procedure is complete.

One million homes are targeted for Phase 1 of the NMMP.

According to Sesan Okunade, an metering and financial accounting expert, NERC should have allowed the MAP to go through in the first place.

To begin with, I don't know why the program that was going well was terminated by NERC." Customers are willing to pay for metres. Therefore if the initiative hadn't been halted, we would have made significant progress in closing the metering gap. DisCos would have had to be on their toes, resulting in lower billing estimates for consumers.

But he noted that the decision by NERC to restart the initiative was a positive step. He added that customers will only be charged for what they use, which is still a good concept.

DisCos need to take its obligations more seriously, according to Barr Chijioke James, national president of the Electricity Consumption Association of Nigeria.

Consumers have been paying for their metres even though the distributors must metre every customer. Even if the majority of customers pay, the process of allocating metering takes some time. Despite the president's command to manufacture and distribute metres around the country, this is not the case. He says, "We think discos must awaken to their duty in the power industry."

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