Power distribution companies in the country installed 26,000 meters under the Meter Asset Provider scheme in four months, even though over 250,000 applications were received from customers.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission raised concern with the “abysmal level of the implementation by Discos of their customer enumeration, and meter rollout targets under the MAP scheme”.
The regulator, in a communiqué issued after a meeting with stakeholders in the Nigerian electricity supply industry last Monday, cautioned that enforcement action would be taken against non-compliant Discos.
It noted that only 26,000 customer meters had been installed under the MAP Scheme since its inception on May 1, 2019, emphasising that “it is the responsibility of the Discos to meter their customers.”
NERC, therefore, directed the Discos to take appropriate measures, including “calling up the Performance Bonds entered into with meter asset providers, if need be, to ensure that metering targets are met.”
Last month, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, lamented the inability of the Discos to distribute available grid power to consumers
He said part of the lack of infrastructure was the inability of Discos to provide meters to consumers, adding that the government stepped in through NERC’s MAP Regulation of 2018 in a bid to resolve the issue.
He announced that over 250,000 applications had been received and processed by Discos as of then for installation by MAPs.
“This figure is expected to quadruple by end of 2019, and double by end of 2020 largely closing the current metering gap of 5.3 million consumers,” he had said.
NERC, in its report for the first quarter of 2019, said the metering gap for customers continued to be a key challenge in the electricity industry.
According to the regulator, out of the 8,840,801 registered electricity customers, only 3,793,895 (42.9 per cent) have been metered as at the end of the first quarter of 2019.
“Thus, 57 per cent of customers are still on estimated billing which has contributed to customer apathy towards payment for electricity,” it added.
Authored By: Femi Asu