The Federal Government on Thursday directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to revert to the former situation where power consumers were allowed to purchase meters from approved vendors.
The 11 electricity distribution companies operating in Nigeria were in September 2016, directed by NERC to stop alternative meter financing scheme, which allow consumers to buy meters from approved vendors, on or before November 1, 2016.
The scheme, Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation, which gave electricity consumers access to buy and install meter on their own where Discos were unable to promptly deploy meters to them was initiated by NERC in 2013, before it was asked to stop from November 1, 2016.
However, apparently due to complaints by many Nigerians over Discos’ failures to provide them with meters, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, on Thursday ordered for a reverse to the former order.
According to the ministry, both the federal and state governments at the third edition of the National Council on Power meeting recently, resolved that NERC should return to the regulation that permits power consumers to purchase meters, especially where the Discos could not provide the facility.
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting which was presided over by the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, read in part, “Council considered issues, observations and recommendations made by the working /technical committees as contained in the reports laid before it, and took key decisions as well as gave directives for implementation with time lines as outlined below.
“NERC to reinstate regulations permitting willing customers to purchase meters from approved meter vendors as approved by the distribution companies and the Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency with a framework to reimburse such customers in cash, or energy.
“NERC to issue a regulation that enables third-party meter providers to install and manage customers’ meters, provided that such third parties are certified by NEMSA and approved by the Discos based on available metering standards.
“NERC to provide a framework for compensating the investment made by meter service providers in cash or shares in the Discos.”
The meeting of the council which also had the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Hassan and members from 27 states of the federation in attendance, also called on NERC to commence an aggressive multi-platform public awareness programme that would reach as many customers as possible and explain all policies and regulations and obligations related to metering.
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