Nigeria: Stakeholders Hopeful of MAP Regulations’ Ability to Address Estimated Billing, Metering

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With about 4.7 million unmetered consumers projected to double in a couple of years, stakeholders in the energy sector have aligned with the federal government’s Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulations to close the metering gap and its attendant challenges in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.

The Managing Director, Mojec International Limited, Chantelle Abdul, explained that the MAP was a laudable initiative by the government to address the huge metering gap while also bringing an end to estimated billing in the country. 

Abdul at the launch of bank consumer and retail financing scheme for MAP meter acquisition in Lagos, said the absence of meters has to be addressed to give Nigerian consumers access to affordable and quality power, adding that her company is well positioned to deliver high end metering systems.

She said the first roll-out scheduled to take place next month, marks a new dawn in the sector, which has for long been grappling with problems such as acute shortage of meters, estimated billings, and huge arrears of unpaid bills, owed by electricity consumers.

She however stated that privatisation has opened the market space for meter providers in the country, building the local competence to produce high end quality meters in the country.

Also speaking at the event, General Manager, Finance and Management Services, NERC, Abdulkadir Shettima, said NERC is hopeful that when the scheme flags off next month, it would eradicate the practice of estimated billing to have happier customers.

According to him, the MAP would attract private investments, create a new metering industry and reduce commercial losses.

He said the MAP Regulation is significant because it effectively unbundles Nigeria’s electricity distribution sector, by re-allocating the responsibility for providing metering services, effectively creating a new class of market participants.

In his words: “We expect that the Metering Service Providers (MSPs), that is, the existing licensed meter manufacturers, importers, installers and vendors, will, take advantage of the opportunity that the MAP regulation creates, to expand their service offering and refine corporate strategy. 

“The existing MSPs are better-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities which the MAP regulations provide, because they can easily leverage their existing networks and knowledge of the metering business for value and scale, a factor, which could be a differentiation advantage in raising expansion financing.”

Authored By: Femi Adekoya

SOURCE: GUARDIAN

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