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High import duty, others stall over 700,000 meter deployment

The increase in the import duty for meter devices and other implementation hiccups have stalled the deployment of over 700,000 meters in the first phase…

The increase in the import duty for meter devices and other implementation hiccups have stalled the deployment of over 700,000 meters in the first phase of the Meter Assets Providers (MAP).

According to the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), which tests and certifies meters, the DisCos were to present 1.023 million meters for testing in the first phase of MAP scheme which began in May 2019.

However, only 273,000 meters have been tested and certified by NEMSA while about 750,000 others are yet to be deployed by MAP firms appointed by the DisCos to install meters, due to the high import duties and the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) in a statement on Sunday said: “There is an urgent need for the Government to intervene so that there will be more meters available to be installed.”

The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy at ANED, Barrister Sunday Oduntan, said some MAP companies can install 3,000 meters daily for the DisCos if the meters were available.

“These are separate companies but DisCos support MAP and we want them to succeed.

“There should be zero percent import duty on meters.

“The high import duty at the ports is killing the power sector.”

Oduntan also said when customers are metered, they would be happy as the estimated billing method was affecting the DisCos’ revenue collection drive.

ANED also noted that the DisCos cannot be blamed for the current slow process of providing meters for their customers as that role was alienated to the MAP companies since the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) implemented the MAP regulation in 2019.

The DisCos said if the Government fails to intervene, the NERC order that DisCos should provide meters for all electricity consumers by 2021 may not be realistic.

The Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba, recently said the Government was considering a solution soon.

“There have been discussions between Discos and the government about the issue of meters and the metering of customers.

“I am glad to inform you that the government is working now to resolve this issue so that meters can be available,” Agba noted.