By Udeme Akpan
The Federal Government has taken delivery of 656,752 prepaid meters, under the phase 0 of the Central Bank of Nigeria-funded National Mass Metering Programme, NMMP.
This represents almost 85 percent of the one million meters to be provided to Nigerians, whose bills are still based on estimation.
However, of the 656,752 prepaid meters, 305,962 have already been installed for consumers, according to the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Mr. Ahmad Zakari.
In an interview with Vanguard, weekend, he said: “The major problem faced by the indigenous producers and Meter Asset Providers, MAPs is the pace of ramp-up of available personnel for installation. Another problem is the lack of a vital plastic component as one of the two major global suppliers (based in Germany) had shut down during the Coronavirus pandemic, resulting in pressure to the value chain.
“However, disbursement has been made for 656,752 meters, with the Discos already in receipt of almost 85% of the funded meters. Based on the current trend, all Phase 0 installations should be completed by the end of June, 2021.”
According to him, the nation would start its phase one and later phase two of the NMMP.
Previously, the Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Engr. Sanusi Garba, had said in an interview with
Vanguard that, “The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, had what we call the Meter Asset Provider, MAP. That scheme was a regulation we issued in 2018 and it took effect in 2019, involving third-party businessmen.
“We gave them permits, and they went to the DisCos and got contracts to supply, install and maintain meters for them.
“So, they are the ones that have a responsibility to install meters for every DisCo in Nigeria. That system is still working as we speak.
However, what happened was that when we gave the permits to those MAPs, and then they got the contract with the Disco’s, each of them was given quantities of meters to supply.”
“In our regulation, we stated that each MAP must get at least 30 per cent of his meters from a local manufacturer, because we want to encourage local production, but 70 per cent, they can import. So, they started, some importing, others buying locally to install the meters.
“Along the line, the government had a new policy, introducing an additional levy of 35 per cent import levy on imported meters, which affected the MAP because at the time we agreed on the price of meters, the levy was about 10 per cent.