N36,991 charge on meter:  Manufacturers demand spread of payment, Stakeholders react

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… As Ikeja Electric distributes 48,000 meters in 6 months

Manufacturers Association have demanded for spread of payment for electricity meter  following directive by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ÿNERC              ÿ for total payment to ensure installation withhin 10 days by  Meter Asset ProvidersÿMAPs              ÿThis position is one of reactions obtained from stakeholders in the power sector in response to NERC”s directive. to Meter

Asset Providers (MAPs) to begin the roll out of new meters by May 1, 2019 to consumers.

The new meters according to a statement issued by NERC on April 6, will cost consumers N36,991.50 for a single phase, while  three phase will cost N67,055.85.

Responding to questions on the directive by NERC, the Head Media Communications, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Mrs. Angela Olanrewaju, told Nigerian that  they don’t have alternatives than to do what the regulator wants them to do. She said,” It is a directive to all the DisCos. So, we don’t have a choice. We must align with what our regulator wants.” On his own part, the Head of Corporate Communications Unit, Ikeja Electric, Mr. Felix Ofulue,  said  that the directive does not mean that  meters will flood the country by May 1.  According to him, roll out of meters involves processes, noting that Nigerians should not be too expectant. He said that the plan to meter houses has always been there and “We are ready for it. It is not an issue.”

Responding to questions on how many meters IE has distributed in the last one year, he said, “I don’t have the figures now , because I need to find out, but I know that between October last year and March this year, we probably be doing average of between eight and ten thousand  per month.”

The President,  Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr.  Mansur Ahmed, told Nigerian NewsDirect that payment for the new meters should be spread over a period of time, so that it will not be a burden to consumers.

“Manufacturers are the ones suffering the effects of estimated billing.  From my perspective, I think that the payment for the meters should be spread over a period of time , so that it will not be a burden on manufacturers,” he said.

Mr. Ahmed, stressed that their position at the stakeholders meeting was that the payment for the new meters should be paid by installment and they will stand by it.

Lending his voice on the permission given to MAPs by NERC, the Executive Secretary,  Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Chief Sunday Oduntan, said that the move by NERC was a welcome development, stressing that it was longer overdue.

“It is a good move. It is a welcome development. We support anything that can bring meters to Nigerians to use. We support any initiative that will help us roll out more meters.  We will support the MAPs. And we will continue to cooperate with the Federal Government to ensure massive rollout of meters in the country. Responding to question on why the meters are on the high side, he said, “I can’t say that. We have been talking about this for years about the actual cost per one.”  He stated that MAPS and the manufacturers of the new meters will be in a better position to say why the prices for the meters are high.  “I can assure you that these meters are not cheap. So, in this country, we need to come to a decision whether we want this thing or we don’ want it.  If we want it, we should be ready to pay for it.

However, the Chairman, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Limited, one of the licensed MAPs,  Mr. Kola Balogun, in an address to newsmen in Lagos recently,  faulted the directive saying that it is neither feasible nor realistic.

He listed poor infrastructure, consumer education and timing as part of  the challenges that make the directive difficult to achieve.

In the statement issued by NERC, the commission said  that MAPs engaged by Abuja and Jos electricity distribution companies (DisCos) will install the new meters in customers’ premises within 10 working days of making payment.

The statement read in part: “The Commission issued permits to Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) on 5th April 2019, in accordance with section 4(3) of the MAP Regulations 2018, to MAPs that were successful in the procurement conducted by Abuja and Jos Discos,” NERC said.

“Section 4(3) of the MAP Regulation 2018 requires all electricity distribution licensees to engage MAPs that would assist, as investors, in closing the metering gap and thus eliminating the practice of estimated billing in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (“NESI”).

“AEDC has appointed Mojec International Limited, Meron Consortium and Turbo Engineering Limited to provide 487,000, 213,000 and 200,000 meters respectively while JEDC has appointed the Triple 7 and Mojec International Limited consortium to provide 500,000 meters.

“NERC has directed that the roll-out of meters shall commence no later than the May 1, 2019.”

“Customers of AEDC, JEDC should expect from the take off of rollout date for meters to be installed in their premises within 10 working days of making payment to MAPs in accordance with section 18 (3) of the MAP Regulations 2018,” the commission said.

“MAPs shall charge a maximum of N36,991.50 for single phase meters and N67,055.85 for three phase meters. These costs are inclusive of supply, installation, maintenance and replacement of meters over its technical life.

“The Commission shall monitor closely the rollout plan of distribution licensees and overall compliance with the regulation and various service agreements by the MAP and electricity distribution licensees.”

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