Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Saturday said the challenge of irregular power supply in Nigeria was likely to persist until Distribution Companies (DisCos) could effectively collect tariffs from consumers through available and affordable metering system.
Osinbajo made these remarks in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State while inaugurating an electric metering factory as part of activities marking the 30th anniversary of the state’s creation.
The vice president argued that Nigeria’s economic development was heavily dependent on effective power supply, and lamented the fact that DisCos had not been able to collect tariffs because of non-availability of meters.
“The electric metering factory is an important project. Inadequate power is the major obstacle to full economic development in Nigeria.
“We have also identified the facts that DISCO is unable to collect tariffs effectively from consumers because we are unable to afford the cost of metering.
“I think there is an important policy innovation, as there is no restriction on those who can actually produce meter for our consumers”, he said.
He commended the Akwa Ibom State government for establishing the metering factory, saying the Federal Government was hopeful of more of such factories springing up across the country.
“The country is open for this kind of enterprise and we are looking forward to a lot more activities.
“But we are looking at 2.7 million units of meters annually here and this is absolutely fantastic.
“I know that job opportunities here will be substantial for a start”, Osinbajo said.
In his speech, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, said the factory would manufacture an average of one million meters annually, and thanked the investors for their confidence in the state.
“The essence of this industry is to ensure power for all. Once you can buy recharge cards, you can have electricity, it is available for all.
“The capacity can be doubled from 2.7 to 5.4 to enable us pay for the power that we generate.
“The project is a private initiative for the betterment of all Akwa Ibom people and for Nigeria at large”, Emmanuel said.
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