69 firms get NERC’s meter procurement permits

Sixty nine firms have secured meter procurement permits from the Federal Government in a bid to reduce the 4.1 million metering gap rocking the country’s electricity sector.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), an agency of government, issued the meter procurement permits for the firms to provide, install and replace meters to meet the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) metering gap and obligations to their customers.

The electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) have earlier said that about N299 billion was required to close the 4.1 million metering gap.

They also seek more capital expenditure window and legislative actions for mobile courts to swiftly tackle energy theft and meter bypassing.

The meter procurement permits, which are as a sequel to the Commission’s approval of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulations 2018, are intended to facilitate the closure of the wide metering gap in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) within the next three years.

Under the inscription of ‘No Objection’, the new scheme is to qualify intending investors to participate in the meter procurement process in NESI, which was launched in March this year.

Earlier in May 2018, 22 firms were announced by the electricity regulatory commission for the process, which as at the end of July 2018 had grown to 69.

The MAP regulation, according to NERC, mandates DISCOs to engage meter assets providers, who fund the purchase, installation, and replacement of meters to meet DISCOs’ metering obligations to their custDiscos’
This is to ensure that all electricity customers are metered, thereby reducing incidences of estimated electricity billing to the barest minimum.

The Commission said it arrived at the number of accredited firms, having conducted due diligence on the supporting documents to the applications submitted by interested investors and therefore granted successful applicants ‘No Objection’ certifications to participate in the procurement process for meter assets provision in accordance with section 8 subsection 4 of the Meter Assets Providers Regulations, 2018.

Speaking of the new regulation, the Chairman, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Limited and one of the permit holders, Kola Balogun, described the new policy as laudable.

“I see the MAP scheme as something laudable and capable of addressing the shortfall in the financial involvement in the metering sub-sector. I think it is a welcome idea but my worry is that often, we have a good policy but implementation has been an issue.

“So, I pray the MAP regulation will have the desired impact as designed in the book,” he said.

Some of the other meter provider firms are Huawei Technology Company Nigeria Limited; Bilview Energy Limited; Chintech Electro Nigeria Limited; Holley Metering Limited; Meron Nigeria Limited; Integrated Power Limited; MBH Power Limited; Trimani Engineering Limited; Sapropel Energy resources Limited; Megawatt Distribution International Limited; Unistar Hi-Tech Systems Limited; MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited; Imperial Infrastructure Development Company Limited, and Ratio Consulting Limited.

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED, it would be recalled, said during a public hearing on the Bill to Criminalise Estimated Billing at the National Assembly in Abuja that the Discos were making huge investments in providing meters for their customers and cutting down those on estimation.

SOURCE: NewTelegraph

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