The process to bridge the huge metering gap in the Nigerian electricity sector industry may have begun with the scheduled distribution of about 900,000 prepaid meters by the Abuja Electric Distribution Company (AEDC) to customers in its franchise area.

Nigeria’s metering gap currently stands at 3.4 million.

The use of meter allows consumers to pay for only what they consume. The distribution companies also charge for only what they supply.

The distribution of the meters will be done over the next three years in Abuja, as well as Niger, Kogi, and Nasarawa States under the Meter Asset Providers (MAP) program.

The AEDC chairman, Ernest Mupwaya, said this while speaking at the launch of Meter Asset Providers (MAP) in Minna on Friday.

“The meters in Niger State will be distributed by Turbo Energy,” he said.

Mr Mupwaya, who was represented by the General Manager, Niger Region AEDC, Usman Usman, said three vendors – MOJEC, Turbor Energy and Meron Consortium – have been selected for the purpose of ensuring there is adequate distribution of meters.

“MOJEC will handle FCT and Kogi State. TUBOR energy will operate in Niger state while MERON consortium will operate in Nassarawa State,” he said.

Mr Usman said 900,000 customers have been scheduled for metering in AEDC franchise areas.

“Being a moving target, we are aware that the number may increase and as it does, the vendors will take them by 100 percent,” he said.

He said the project is expected to last for 36 months.

“The pedigree of the vendors approved for the AEDC by the regulator are well known to us and we have worked with them in the past.

“Customers will make 25 per cent deposit for single meter phase which is about 10,000 while the deposit for the three phase meter is 20,000,” he said.

Similarly, the managing director Turbo Energy, Daniel Obemure, said the company has the capacity to ensure that all its customers are metered.

“We do not only have the capacity, we are coming with a team that produce more than 300,000 thousand meters on daily basis,” Mr Obemure said.

He said the company is saying no to estimate billing, therefore, customers will greatly benefit.

“We are saying no to estimated billing, customers will definitely benefit. We are coming with solutions that makes it extremely easy for consumers to load their meters any day either online or offline.

He said the meters have 99.9 accuracy in terms of billings and readings.

“The price for the single phase meter is N36, 991.50 while the price for the three phase meter is N67, 055.85.”

Meanwhile, the permanent secretary of ministry of works, Niger State, Abubakar Balarabe, said the MAP intervention will close the metering gap in Niger State.

He said over three million people are yet to get meters in Niger State.

“For some time, there have been misunderstandings between our youth and AEDC because of over billing. (With) this now, it will be a thing of the past.

MAP policy was introduced in March 2018 to help relieve the DISCOs of the financial burden of supplying meters to consumers, allow the entrepreneurs to take up the responsibility as a business, diversify the sources of meter supply and address the huge metering gap in the system.

The MAP regulation provides for a third-party financing of meter production and supply, under a permit issued by the NERC, with a 10-year period to pay back the cost. Meters are seen as assets with a technically useful life of 10-15 years.

Newsmen earlier reported how the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, bickered with the distribution companies (DISCOs).

The squabble was majorly over tariff review and electricity consumers awaiting the prepaid meters they were promised to guarantee efficient delivery of electricity to their homes.

While the minister accused the DISCOs of sabotaging the country’s economy by refusing to carry out directives aimed at resolving key constraints to performance, including metering of consumers, Mr Oduntan accused the minister and government of reneging on all performance agreements signed in 2013.

He said adequate performance of the power sector, including provision of meters for consumers, was tied to adequate funding.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Momas Electricity Metre Manufacturing Company Ltd. (MEMMCOL) Lagos, Kola Balogun, in April, said the indigenous metre manufacturers have started massive production of metres.

“We will be producing a minimum of about 70,000 meters monthly on three shift production operations to support the May 1 actualisation.”

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