FGN sets to kick-off Phase 1 of national mass metering, targets 4million customers

 

Solomon Ezeme

The Ministry of Power in a release Thursday said it would soon commence the process of rolling out the National Mass Metering Program (NNMP) now tagged Phase 1 by providing 4 million meters using similar financing mechanism as Phase O.

This was contained in a statement EnergyDay obtained via the office of the Power Minister, Engr. Sale Mamman on Thursday. The Ministry recalled that the Phase 0 was launched later than expected in December 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a target of 1million meters across the country, adding that only 750,000 meters have been delivered to DISCOs in just under 8 months.

According to the statement, the Phase 1 will provide up to 4 million meters, and shall also use a similar financing mechanism as phase 0, which is also part of government’s plan to end estimated billing.

The statement reads in part: The Federal government of Nigeria has concluded arrangements for the commencement of the 2nd phase of its metering program tagged National Mass Metering Program which it expects to drastically reduce estimated billing by DISCOs, that will ensure consumers are billed appropriately for the electricity they consume by installing meters free of charge in household and business premises that are currently unmetered.

“The Federal Government provided funding for the program through loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to DISCOs. Meters are provided to customers free of charge. This is indeed unprecedented and has so far led to the tremendous success recorded so far.

“Till date, 750,000 meters have been delivered to DISCOs in just under 8 months. This is a marked improvement in terms of the speed of installation of meters compared to its predecessor (Meter Asset Provider – MAP program) which recorded 350,000 meter installations in just over 18 months.

Essentially the Nigerian Meter Industry has increased local installation capacity by a multiple of 5.
In preparation for the Second Phase (known as Phase 1) of the NMMP, the Nigerian electricity sector regulator, NERC, has conducted extensive consultations , and has revised its metering guidelines. This phase will provide up to 4 million meters and shall also use a similar financing mechanism as phase 0.

“One of the key successes of the NMMP initiative is how rapidly it has increased private sector interest in investing in the local meter assembly, manufacturing and installation space. In addition to the springing up of new factories such as the Quantum meter assembly plant in Lagos and the Smart Meter assembly plant in Kaduna, We are also seeing the refurbishment and upgrade of some metering plants that had also fallen into disrepair such as EMCON in Kaduna.

“This development in the meter assembly space is driven by the Central Bank’s commitment to support local meter assembly/manufacturing as only local companies will be allowed to participate in the bidding process for the upcoming phase of the program.

“This promises to increase the job creation impact of the program which has already attained appreciable heights with over 10,000 direct jobs created as a result of the phase 0 of the program.

“For phase 1, a central procurement mechanism to be overseen and supervised by NERC will be employed in order to ensure that meters are secured at the lowest possible cost, thereby reaching the goals and objectives of the NMMP.
“The commencement of the procurement process of Phase 1 has been done strategically to ensure that there is no gap in meter supply to customers as the NMMP transitions from Phase 0 to Phase 1.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Power has reaffirmed commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to eliminate the metering gap by 2023. The continuation of the NMMP according to the Minister is in line with the FGN’s agreements with Organised Labour (NLC and TUC) on Electricity sector reform.

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