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Govt urged to liberalise electricity meter market

By Sulaimon Salau
10 February 2015   |   11:00 pm
IN a bid to fully meter and adequately evaluate the consumption of all electricity consumers in the country, the Federal Government has been urged to liberate the electricity meter market and create a conducive business environment for the indigenous meter manufacturers to thrive.    The Executive Secretary, Meter Manufacturers Association (EMMA), Muyideen Ibrahim, in a…

IN a bid to fully meter and adequately evaluate the consumption of all electricity consumers in the country, the Federal Government has been urged to liberate the electricity meter market and create a conducive business environment for the indigenous meter manufacturers to thrive.

   The Executive Secretary, Meter Manufacturers Association (EMMA), Muyideen Ibrahim, in a chart with journalists in Lagos recently, also called for Federal Governmentís support to arrange a special intervention fund for local meter manufacturers.

   Soliciting for a five per cent (interest rate) intervention fund, he said this would enable locally produced meters to be sold at a very competitive price like their counterparts from China.

   He argued that the local manufacturers have the capacity to fill the current metering gap in the country.

   His words: “The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERCís) statistics showed that the metering gap is about 1.5 million per annum. That translates to about 3 million meters in two year. Only one of our member has a production capacity of about 1.2 million meters yearly, which translates to 100,000 per month, indicating that only two members can even meet the demand of the whole country, so we have the capacity.

   “Indeed, most of the manufacturers also have provisions for expansion of their facility in case of an upsurge in demand,” he stated.

   Justifying the call for liberation, he said, ìthe present situation allows that the manufacturers can only sell to Discos (distribution companies), so, what we are clamouring for now is for the government to libralise the market so that individuals that needed meter can easily approach an approved NERC vendor to buy the meter.

 ìThis system would encourage more Nigerian to acquire meters. What we are experiencing now is crazy bill or estimated bill because some of the Discos are not willing to install meters for consumers, so what we want is liberalization, so that manufacturers can sell meters directly to consumers,î he said.

   The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, had earlier lamented the huge metering gap in the electricity sector, promising government support to the operators.

   “50 per cent of electricity consumers in Nigeria do not have meters, they are all placed under estimated billings and the President Goodluck Jonathan is not happy about this because a lot of people complained to him. 

So, he as approved the revalidation of all the contracts that had hiccups with the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). On that note we will be giving about 1 million meters to Nigerians based on the existing contracts.”

   He further assured that government would also provide funds that private companies can assess as a loan to boost production of meters.

 “We are still working on the details and we will announce to everybody when it would be lunched,” he said.