The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said it has given “No Objection” approval to another set of nine firms seeking to procure and install meters for power consumers across the country.
The Commission, in its bid to bridge the five million metering gap in the power sector, had given similar approval to 22 firms in May, bringing the total number of companies approved by the Commission to participate in the meter procurement to 31.
The NERC said in a statement that successful bidders from the procurement process shall obtain Meter Assets Providers (MAP) permit from the Commission after entering into Metering Service Agreement (MSA) with the electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
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The MAP after obtaining their permits are expected to provide services like financing, procurement, installation, repair and replacement of meters guided by the MAP Regulations 2018.
The MAP regulations mandate electricity DisCos to engage meter assets providers, who will fund purchase, installation and replacement of meters, to meet DisCos’ metering obligations to their customers.
Among the eight new companies granted the “No Objection” include Carlin Concept International Nigeria Ltd., Onenation Energy Platform Nigeria Ltd., Armese Consulting Ltd. and CWG Plc.
Others are Damtaq Ltd., Powerup Projects International Ltd., Esinos Resources International Ltd., and Techadvance Ltd.
NERC described the effort as a way to ensure all electricity customers in the country have access to meters, thereby reducing incidences of estimated electricity billing which has been a reoccurring issue in the country to the barest minimum.
But the commission among other stakeholders in the power sector had kicked against a bill sponsored by the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, aiming to amend the Power Sector Reform Act to prohibit and criminalise estimated billing by DisCos and provide for compulsory installation of pre-paid meters for all power consumers in Nigeria.
The NERC Commissioner for Legal, Licencing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, warned that 50 per cent of power consumers would lose their connection if the law was applied without first addressing the challenges of metering.
Despite the displeasure expressed by the electricity stakeholders over the proposed bill, the lawmakers ignored, saying the greatest thing that could be done was to incorporate some of the views expressed by them in the legislation.
By Oluwasegun Olakoyenikan…
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