FG says price hike won’t affect free meters, expert blames forex | Dailytrust

FG says price hike won’t affect free meters, expert blames forex

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)

Although payment for meters would rise between N13,766 and N26,829 from today across the 11 power Distribution Companies (DisCos), the government has said that will not affect the rollout of free meters to consumers.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had in a letter on Thursday conveyed the approval for a single-phase meter to sell for N58,661.69 from N44,896.17 and a three-phase meter to sell for N109,684.36 from the N82,855.19.

While the government said it has finished Phase zero of the federal government’s National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP)’s 1 million free meters, it is ready to start Phase 1, along with the existing Meter Assets Provider (MAP) that allows consumers to pay for meters.

But the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Engr. Ahmed Rufai Zakari told Daily Trust that the new meter prices will not affect the free NMMP meters the federal government is distributing through the DisCos.

Zakari said “Meters are free under the National Mass Metering Programme. This change in price does not impact a consumer that obtains a meter under NMMP,” he emphasized.

“The regulation is clear. Even if one decides to pay there is a refund process. I estimate up to 90% of meters in the market will go through NMMP in the near term so this is not an issue either way.”

In his comments, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Muda Yusuf, said the price hike may be reflecting the intense inflationary pressure.

“There is also the exchange rate effect because the import content is quite high,” he said.

While calling for a stable economy, he said, “The challenge is not just with meters; it is an economy-wide problem. The higher the import content in any sector or product, the higher the inflation risk,” said Yusuf.

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