Manufacturers ask FG for licence to sell meters directly

The Federal Government should licence meter manufacturers to sell directly to electricity consumers, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL) Chairman, Mr Kola Balogun, said yesterday.

This, he believes, will help to bridge the huge metering gap.

According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), of the 12,784,685 customers as of September last year, only 4, 772,906 (37.33 per cent) have been metered.

Balogun, who spoke with reporters in Lagos, noted that metering was a key challenge in the industry and was responsible for apathy towards bills payment.

He said: “The government can select a few tested and trusted manufacturers that have the capacity and endorse them for the generality of consumers to buy prepaid meters directly from them.

“They can grant them licenses just like banks, telecommunications and insurance companies.

“We, as manufacturers, want NERC to give us the room to sell directly to consumers and take it to electricity Distribution Companies for installation.

“It is as simple as that because there is no meter that we produce that doesn’t meet the standard of Nigeria.

“So, if all our locally manufactured meters meet the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) certification, consumers can buy them and take them to the DisCos.”

According to him, it will be a win-win because it will not only close the metering gap and shore up the revenue efficiency of the DisCos but will also create huge employment opportunities for Nigerians.

Balogun said: “This will fast track the metering process. Some people cannot wait until the DisCos install meters in their premises.

“They have their money and want to buy meters but they are passing through a lot of bureaucracy in the hands of the DisCos.

“Many consumers are frustrated about the estimated billing system and want to get their meters as soon as possible.

“We have people who have made payments for meters but have still not been metered because of various issues.”

Balogun praised the government for the successful completion of the Phase Zero of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) and the support given to local meter manufacturers.

He said the companies were prepared for the commencement of the second phase and were working to ensure that the meters complied with the 4G network requirements.

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