Estimated billings: FG moves to roll out 4m additional meters

The federal government said it has concluded plans to roll out additional four million meters to drastically reduce estimated billing by the Electriticity Distribution Companies (Discos).

It said the four million meters would be deployed under the 2nd phase of its metering programme tagged: “National Mass Metering Programme” .

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Critical Infrastructure, Ahmed Zakari, Friday night, said the first phase of the programme was launched in December 2020 with a target of one million meters across the country. 

The statement stated that the federal government had provided funding for the programme through loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to DISCOs, which provides that meters are provided to customers free of charge.

“This phase will provide up to four million meters and shall also use a similar financing mechanism as phase 0. It will be recalled that the 1st phase (Phase 0) was launched later than expected in December 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a target of 1million meters across the country.

” Till date, 750,000 meters have been delivered to DISCOs in just under 8 months. This is a marked improvement in terms of the speed of installation of meters compared to its predecessor (Meter Asset Provider (MAP) programme which recorded 350,000 meter installations in over 18 months”, the statement said.

It stated further that in preparation for the second phase (also known as Phase 1) of the NMMP, the Nigerian electricity sector regulator (NERC), had conducted extensive consultations and stakeholder management, and had revised its metering guidelines.

“One of the key successes of the NMMP initiative is how rapidly it has increased private sector interest in investing the local meter assembly, manufacturing and installation space.

“In addition to the springing up of new factories such as the Quantum meter assembly plant in Lagos and the Smart Meter assembly plant in Kaduna, we are also seeing the refurbishment and upgrade of some metering plants that had been also fallen into disrepair such as EMCON in Kaduna.

” This development in the meter assembly space is driven by the CBN’s commitment to support local meter assembly/manufacturing as only local companies will be allowed to participate in the bidding process for the upcoming phase of the programme.

“This promises to increase the job creation impact of the programme which has already attained appreciable heights with over 10,000 direct jobs created as a result of the phase 0 of the programme.

“For phase 1, a central procurement mechanism to be overseen and supervised by NERC will be employed in order to ensure that meters are secured at the lowest possible cost, thereby reaching the goals and objectives of the NMMP.

“The commencement of the procurement process of Phase 1 has been done strategically to ensure that there is no gap in meter supply to customers during transition from Phase 0 to Phase 1 of the NMMP,” the statement said.