NERC’s directive to roll out new meters by May 1, unrealistic - Manufacturer

NERC’s directive to roll out new meters by May 1, unrealistic - Manufacturer

- Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Ltd says the directive from the NERC to begin the roll-out of new meters by May 1 is not feasible and realistic

- The company said the modality to start rolling out meters has to be put in place viz a viz all the various documentations that are required and the infrastructure that will make deployment smooth running

- The indigenous meter manufacturer said it could not fathom how the NERC came up with such directive, because of the time frame required in the processes

- The company also disclosed that consumers would be paying between N36,000 to N37,000 on single phase meters and between N63,000 and N67,000 on three phase meters

Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Ltd. says the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)'s directive to begin the roll-out of new meters by May 1 is not feasible and realistic.

Kola Balogun, chairman of the company, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday, April 7 that rolling out meters by May 1 as directed by the NERC was unachievable, considering other challenges that required attention.

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Legit.ng notes that on April 5, NERC issued permits to Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) to roll-out new meters not later than May 1, 2019.

According to Balogun, the directive cannot work. He said in the first instance, consumers need to be educated about what is expected of them to have access to MAP licensees.

“Secondly, consumers have to be informed on the methods of acquiring meters, whether by payment or by investment.

“Lastly, every manufacturer (licensee) that wants to roll out meters needs a grace of three months to enable them have the meters available in their warehouses.

“The modality to start rolling out meters has to be put in place viz a viz all the various documentations that are required and the infrastructure that will make deployment smooth running,” he said.

“If we are licensed this month (April), three months are enough for us to prepare; that is April May and June, while in July we start implementation.

“Except for few numbers of us who have some stock at hand that can roll out; but the modality to roll out is also a question.

“Apart from NERC giving licenses, we still need processes to be put in place before meters will get to consumers because we need to train the meter installers. They need to be adequately trained on installation in consumers’ premises.

“Consumers also need to be educated on payments; there will also be an ‘EXCO account’ in the process. These are challenges that require a long period.

“While that one is going on, anybody who wants to place an order from manufactures will also be signing a contract agreement for the meters.

“Those who want to import will also be making orders for importations,’’ Balogun explained.

The indigenous meter manufacturer said he could not fathom how the NERC came up with such directive, because of the time frame required in the processes.

“NERC only engaged few MAPs last week and then we have Mojec and others, including two Discos and we still have about eight to nine Discos which are on the process of licensing.

“However, the process needs to be expatiated so that the media will have a clear understanding of the issues and the directive," he said.

He said that according to NERC’s perspective, meter prices have been bench-marked on what was accepted for consumers to pay.

He said that consumers would be paying between N36,000 to N37,000 on single phase meters and between N63,000 and N67,000 on three phase meters, saying that was the position of the regulator.

He added: “We have the capacity to roll out massively, when the project kick starts, and we also pray for that.

“We have sufficient financial support from financial institutions like the CBN and other financial institutions that will support the scheme to have sufficient funds to roll out meters massively."

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Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that Babatunde Fashola, the minister of power, works and housing, said that the federal government was doing its utmost to bring about a new generation of businessmen in Nigeria’s electricity sector.

Fashola revealed that the businesses would be mainly in the metering segment of the sector, which he noted was going through tough times.

He went on to say that not less than 108 firms had registered with the federal government to take over electricity metering supply to customers and ensure that Nigerians were properly metered.

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Source: Legit.ng

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