Why We Seek FG’s Intervention on Meters – DisCos
Federal Government’s intervention has been sought by the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) over the delay usually encountered in clearing imported meters at the ports as well as the heavy import duties paid for imported electricity components.
In a statement, the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, Sunday Oduntan, stated that the challenges which translates to high cost of prepaid meters dampens their customers interest in signing up for the MAP programme.
Oduntan, said that government’s intervention has become necessary as it would enable the DisCos to quickly install meters for their customers.
Stressing that some of the meter providers have the capacity to install about 3,000 meters per day for DisCos if they were available, Oduntan, however, disclosed that the challenges had been major setback in their metering targets as advanced by the Meter Asset Providers (MAP) regulation.
He said: “There should be zero per cent import duty on meters.
“We must assist local meter manufacturers to bring in components duty-free until Ajaokuta is ready.”
He said the high import duty at the ports was killing the power sector.
According to Oduntan, when customers are metered, they would be happy because estimated billing is not good for them and the DISCOs.
“While those importing meters are finding it hard because of the import duty, the local meter manufacturers are also finding it difficult to continue production.
“This is because they have to pay import duties on at least seven different components which they import for use in producing the meters in Nigeria.
“These are separate companies but DisCos support Meter Assets Providers and we want them to succeed,” he said.
Oduntan said with the current import duty and other challenges befalling the implementation of MAPs, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission’s order that DisCos must meter all electricity consumers by 2021 might not be realistic.
He said: “There is an urgent need for government to intervene so that there will be more meters available to be installed.”
Oduntan said the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency recently confirmed that out of 1.023 million meters expected for testing in the first phase of MAPs scheme, which began in May 2019, NEMSA had tested and certified only 273,000 meters.